Healthy Eating and Workouts Kept Pregnancy Weight Gain to a Minimum (Holly)

Age: 33
Weeks PP: 5
Number of Pregnancies: 2
Number of Children: 1
Current Weight: 132
Pre-Pregancy Weight: 126

I was very worried about how my body would look post partum. I worked out prior to pregnancy and continued to do so through my entire pregnancy, up to 2 weeks prior to delivery. I would have worked out all the way to my due date but I developed gestational hypertension and was placed on bed rest at 36 weeks. By continuing my workout and maintaining a healthy diet, I kept weight gain to a minimum. I gained 32 pounds and once fluid was lost, I was within 8 pounds of my prepregnancy weight by 2 1/2 weeks PP. Fortunately, I was blessed with no stretch marks! This may be part genetics and part lifestyle, whatever the reason, I am happy.

My body is definitely not the same as it was, my tummy is no longer flat and my hips are wider. I know that my hips will never be the same but I can work on the tummy. I really don’t know how long it takes for the extra skin to go away and the Linea Negra to disappear but I have faith that those will subside within a year. I restarted my workout regime 2 weeks PP, I am on a slower pace than before but I will be up to full speed soon! Overall, I feel quite accomplished at this stage of PP. I know that all my hard work and diligence paid off! I have had friends say that it isn’t fair that I look this good so soon, I remind them how hard I worked for this.

I wanted to share my pictures for any woman who is pregnant/trying to conceive and worried that there is no hope for their body once they deliver their baby. I am proof that maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy helps the body rebound. Proper exercise and diet has also given me extra energy to care for my little baby.

13 thoughts on “Healthy Eating and Workouts Kept Pregnancy Weight Gain to a Minimum (Holly)

  • Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I also worked out through my entire pregnancy and gained a minimal amount of weight. Like you, my body bounced back quickly, although this is my 2nd full-term pregnancy, so the skin was a little looser. I heard constantly that it wasn’t fair that I was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans at 3 days PP, but I worked hard while I was pregnant to have that happen!
    You look great.:)

  • Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    That’s the way to go! for me, I didn’t start working out until a year after my daughter was born, but at the moment, I’m definitely in the best shape of my life.
    I really think that this is the ultimate way to stay healthy and some women give up on themselves too early.
    Good job, Holly!

  • Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    You really do look fabulous! I think it’s important to remember that all our bodies are different and respond differently to pregnancy etc. I have a niece who is the epitome of fitnes and discipline and excellent nutrition. I think she gained 20 lbs total with her pregnancy and yet her belly is covered in stretch marks(it’s a hormone thing)and her breasts shrivled to raisens when she was done nursing. We just never know. So, yes we should all take excellent care of ourselves but also accept ourselves ,and each other, Imperfections and all.

  • Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    You do look healthy and it sounds like you worked hard. You should be proud of your healthy habits and dedication to caring for yourself.

    I do want to say though, that resuming working out at 2 weeks post partum is really not realistic for everyone and should be done gently. I just don’t want other women to read this and feel that they should be doing the same thing and have failed if they have not. Every woman and every birth are different and so is a realistic recovery timeline as bodies heal. The delivery of my first was by CS and I can tell you that I was barely off of pain meds by 2 weeks let alone ready to work out.

    I just feel like this attitude can be a little destructive and misleading bc a lot of factors go into what your body will look like after a pregnancy. It depends a lot on fitness level, yes, but also genetics, if you are having multiples, if you had conditions during pregnancy that caused water retention, method of birth, etc.

  • Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 7:11 am

    At 5 weeks PP, of course your belly isn’t flat. Your uterus is still enlarged!!!! That’s not to say that magically, at the mystical 6 weeks when it’s ‘supposed’ to be back to normal, your tummy will also magically flatten :) Oh, how I wish.
    You can’t get rid of extra skin, except by a tummy tuck. You can strengthen muscles that tighten your inner girdle though.
    As for working out 2 weeks PP…that’s really not for most women. Our bodies have been through a huge transformation, and the first 6 weeks are much better spent getting to know our babies (the babymoon) and getting nursing established. However, by babywearing, I was actually working out the day I came home from the hospital! It’s a great gentle workout that fits easily into daily PP life and makes life with a new baby so much easier.
    But you look great!

  • Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Thank you for posting and I am glad you had a good outcome.

    However, I think this website is about celebrating the journey of our bodies. Many women “do everything right” and still end up with a body that greatly reflects a pregnancy.

    So what I am saying is: many women work hard *just like you* and it doesn’t show. I was one of those women. (But I look great now- in clothes…)

    I hope that women who read your post are gentle with their bodies and enjoy their babies and focus on their health.

  • Friday, January 29, 2010 at 12:38 am

    No offence to the poster above (Tracy) but in more mild cases the lose skin will go back with diet, exercise, decent genetics help of course, and most importantly TIME. Yes some women’s skin gets stretched to the “point of no return”, but with mild-moderate lose skin you can expect it to tighten back up.

    I’m not sure why this came up anyway, Holly clearly has no lose skin lol!

    Way to go working out through the pregnancy! I hope to do a better job of it this time around. I was always pretty fit but I was tired/lazy during my pregnancy :( I’m now a fitness freak and hope to keep it up throughout my next pregnancy! If I can keep the weight gain to 40lbs or less I’ll be THRILLED lol.

    What sort of working out did you do? Cardio? Classes? Weight lifting? Yoga/pilates? Swimming?

  • Friday, January 29, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    I think “MR”‘s post is a great one :)

    When I initially read this story I wanted to comment but wasn’t sure how to without it sounding like an attack on you, or your succcess.

    I am honestly pleased that you are able to look so wonderful after having a baby. I know there are plenty of women out there who do, I just wasn’t one of them exactly…

    Before falling PG with my daughter I was a fit 5’7” 60kg (132 pound) woman who ran 15-25kms recreationally with friends weekly and went to the gym 3 times a week and generally lived a very healthy existence.

    Despite continuing with my pre-pregnancy exercise routine (modified to suit each stage of pregnancy), and adding in 2 sessions of water aerobics a week right up to when I delivered my daughter at 40wks 3days- I put on 20kg (44pounds) whilst pregnant.

    As well as the aforementioned exercise I was eating a healthy balanced diet. And in the effort to “avoid” stretchmarks was slathering on cocoa butter 1-2 times a day.

    My OBS said I was the most “healthily boring” patient he’d had in 10yrs *lol* and the weight gain I was experiencing was “what my baby needed”. I even kept a food diary for a week to show him to see if there was anything I could cut out of modify, and he expressedly forbade me to eat less or “diet”.

    After I had my daughter I was able to go back into 3 sessions of circuit training with doctor’s permission at 6wks post partum, and walked with my daughter in the pram every day without fail pregressing back to a jog by the time she was around 3months old.

    I also exlusively breastfed until 6months, and my daughter self weaned at 15months.

    Despite the above- I was still 5kg (11pounds) over my pre-pregnancy weight at 12months postpartum when I fell PG again. And I have wider hips than I did before childbirth and a road map of battle scars for memory’s sake ;)

    I guess what I am getting at is although “doing all the right things” is definately beneficial towards helping a woman’s body return to some semblance of pre-pregnancy shape and tone. It is by no means a guarantee :)

    All the best of luck with motherhood :)

  • Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I was just wondering, is that a scar on left side of your belly? Maybe its just the picture….. my biggest fear is that I have a couple of scars on my belly from having moles removed for biopsy, they are horizontal and about an inch in length, but my husband and I are going to start trying to get pregnant next month and I am terrified that those scars are going to stretch and look crazy…

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Holly, you look fab! Do you mind sharring if you used any creams/lotions/oils to rub down your belly while PG? im still trying to figure out if its genetics or what you do hehe :)

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    You’re going to look great! You look just like I did at 5 weeks and now my belly is flat again. However I can pinch more skin now on my belly then before pregnancy and I have more of a roll when I slouch. Pregnancy changes your body but you have a wonderful thing to show for it!

  • Monday, February 15, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    I did cardio (arc trainer) for 45 minutes per day, 5 to 6 days per work during pregnancy. Now that I am back to work, I dont have enough time to carry on with this routine but my body is getting back in shape with 5 (40) minute routines per week. I will post some more pics in a few months.

    As far as working out 2 weeks pp, I am not advocating that. I returned to working out without consulting my doctor. I consulted a nurse who said to take it slow and listen to my body.

    As far as the scar, yes it did stretch but it has gone back to almost the same size.

    As far as creams, I used cocoa butter twice daily.

  • Monday, February 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    One more addition, the comment about the first 6 weeks being a babymoon: my workout helped keep my sanity. Women need some “me” time to keep from going insane with a newborn. I would be in the looney bin had I not had time away!

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