Losing the Baby Weight

Losing the Baby WeightLadies, here’s a fun open thread for today: how did you lose the baby weight? If you haven’t yet (but have tried), what do you think the reason is? Have you discovered any new great recipes or workouts you love along the way?

For my $.02, I’m still struggling, I guess with weight that I originally put on when I was pregnant with my first (who was born in August 2011, so, uh, it’s technically still baby weight, right?). I did everything to lose weight after J was born — being in a new body at the same time I was going through my postpartum identity crisis seemed like adding insult to injury.

I finally got into a good groove right around the time we got pregnant with my second, H. During my first trimester, J was just starting a new “school year” at his daycare, and I caught at least two stomach bugs from him. As a result, I actually lost about 10 pounds during those few months. My doctors said not to worry, one telling me cheerfully, “You have a very efficient little parasite in there!” I was already so overweight that minimal weight gain during my pregnancy was the goal anyway. I gained 20 pounds after that point — before delivering a 10 pound, 2 oz. baby. After H, I fell into a good weight training regimen and lost more weight — then hit a stressful patch last summer and gained a ton of it back… and then tore my ACL on vacation in November, which at least put the focus on food.

Going back even further than THAT, though, I had lost/maintained a healthy weight for years when I was in BigLaw — but when I left my firm (ending my nightly healthyish Seamless dinners for 1) and got married, and started drinking a glass of wine (or more) with dinner most nights, that was when the real weight creep started. I never really found my “healthy” groove, if that makes sense.

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Nursing Clothes for Working Moms: Five Companies To Try

nursing clothesIn the few years that I’ve been paying attention to nursing stuff (both personally as well as for the blog), I’ve seen the same companies over and over again. I thought it might be fun to round them up for new moms who are searching for nursing clothes and unsure if that BabySteals or Zulily deal is worth it, or trying to gauge the quality of a brand in a local maternity shop, or experimenting with what kind of nursing access works best.

Personally, my consistent favorites were shirts that lift up, either with partial panels or entire second front layers — they kept my tummy covered while providing some coverage for my breast. The biggest hits and misses came from a second category that kind of overlaps with the first that I’ll call the “secret panel” access, like the red top below. Depending on how the cutout hits you and your bust, it could be great — or horrible. Finally, my least favorite were the types that pulled down — the pro here is that there’s very easy access, but the con is that the top of your breast is totally exposed. (For some reason, the phrase “whip it out” kept coming to mind whenever I used one of these tops!!!) There are still other tops with different sorts of nursing access, like a secret zippered panel. Most of the serious maternity shops (like the excellent Figure8 Maternity) focus on the first two types. Ladies, which kind of nursing access did you like best? What were your favorite brands for nursing-friendly workwear?   

types of nursing access for workear

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Postpartum Tuesday: Underlux Underwear

Panties: Dear Kate Underlux Underwear I recently found an old thread on Corporette where readers were raving about these “period undies.” (Thinx is another similar brand.) I just placed my first order and haven’t, er, tried them out yet, but according to the website, they’ll hold from 1-3 teaspoons of liquid (depending on the style) and can be rinsed, then machine washed/tumble dried. Obviously, don’t try to wear these things for the 4-8 weeks postpartum — but if your postpartum life includes issues from unpredictable periods to fear of leaks, these undies could help. They’re $32-$48 per undie and go up to size 3x, and it’s pretty easy to get a 20%-off code if you sign up for the mailing list. They also offer free U.S. shipping. Dear Kate Underlux Underwear

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Mom Brands – Do You Buy ‘Em?

shopping for mom brands

Here’s a question Kate and I were just discussing (and I believe the readers were yesterday as well): at a certain point, have you found yourself buying brands for yourself that you would have previously considered “mom brands,” either out of convenience (like if you’re already buying your kids’ clothing at the store), a lack of patience for delicate-care clothing, or the desire for a more forgiving cut than you wore prior to kids? Do you seek out brands where the in-person shopping experience is best suited for moms, like the Evereve stores (here’s an interesting Inc. article about them)? 

Let’s face it, Lands’ End, J.Jill, Eddie Bauer — these are not usually the brands the stylish 20-something wears. In their marketing, the companies even try to brand themselves as mom brands, using models who are past their 20s (some even, gasp, with gray hair) and who have medium-sized and actually plus-sized bodies. I always think of the ill-fated Jones New York as the classic example here (although I did wear a ton of their clothes in my 20s), but I used to love the model they used on their site because she was pretty but medium-sized, with a much boxier, almost athletic build than you see on most models. So let’s hear it: Which brands have you recently tried, or tried again? Which do you like? Which brand used to be in the “mom brand” camp but is now crossing over — for example, Talbots has made huge strides lately to getting more fashionable clothes and cuts in.

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Open Thread: Work After Maternity Leave

work-after-maternity-leaveWhat are some of your best tips for adjusting upon returning to work after maternity leave? What do you wish you’d known, or what did you come to realize?

For my own $.02: Among my friends, the end of maternity leave has loomed large in all of our lives — but on a kind of sliding scale. Women who had to go back to work at 10 weeks (or even sooner) dreaded it terribly, while women with longer leaves — 6 months or more — typically felt much better about it and almost welcomed the end of their leave. A few bits of advice along those lines:

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Body Image As a Mom

Mom Body Image | CorporetteMomsKate and I were discussing the troubling issue of body image as a mom — even if you get back to your old “size,” what do you do when you just feel different in your skin, or when you feel like your shape has fundamentally changed? Kate generously offered to share her thoughts in more detail… —Kat

New mothers are given two choices for looking at and thinking about their post-baby bodies. These general messages are:

Message #1: “If Kate Middleton can do it, so can you!”
Come on, it’s time to lose that baby weight! Look, these skinny celebrities did it — you can too! Don’t worry, breastfeeding will make the weight just FALL OFF. This mom isn’t even a celebrity and it wasn’t a problem for HER. In her words, “What’s your excuse?”

Message #2: “Hey, you went through pregnancy and childbirth! Be proud of your body — it’s amazing!” 
Sure, it looks a bit different now, but it created a new life! Maybe you even breastfeed your baby — you produced milk that kept a little human being ALIVE! Celebrate and love your body, stretchmarks tiger stripes and all!

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