As if maintaining a healthy lifestyle wasn’t tough enough, mix in a pregnancy (and the hormones that go with it) and watch things get even more interesting.
HellaWella caught up with super 'mompreneur,' Rosie Pope — star of "Pregnant in Heels;" founder of Rosie Pope Maternity, MomPrep and Rosie Pope Baby; and author of “Mommy IQ: The Complete Guide to Pregnancy" — to ask how she lost the baby weight in three short months after the birth of her fourth child, and to get her advice on staying healthy and fit during, and after, pregnancy.
I gained just under 40 pounds and lost about the same.
I began light running two weeks postpartum. I also began a new diet rich in protein and carbohydrate limited to earlier in the day. My main secret to success I think is clean eating; choosing fish, meat and vegetables with no sauces or spreads; and incorporating seeds like Chia for sustained energy throughout the day.
I started running for 20 minutes a day and then doing sit-ups and pushups, and I increased my run to a 5k (3.1 miles), but decreased the frequency to three days a week. I have also started working in the Da Vinci BodyBoard as often as I can because it is quick (30 minutes) and is helping me get my shape back now that I have lost the pounds. I really don't have the time to take classes so I have to work out where I can, when I can. I also can't discount all the dance-offs my kids and I have after dinner. I'm getting pretty good at breakdancing!
By and large, I take a break from exercise during pregnancy. I like to stay active making sure I am playing with the kids and walking instead of taking cabs, but I don't follow a dedicated exercise regime. For me, it's an important break before I get back into it in a big way postpartum. It's so easy to burn out with four kids and a crazy career, that the break is really helpful for me to be motivated post-pregnancy. I have also had complications during pregnancy that make exercise trickier.
'Can/should they continue their current exercise regime, or will it harm the baby?' As with almost everything in pregnancy, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It is imperative they consult their doctors and listen to their advice. While exercise is often a wonderful thing during pregnancy, sometimes the type and frequency need to be modified, and that can be difficult for some women. But there are many things we need to become more flexible about as we become parents, and so it is very worrying to me when I see women putting their fixation on extreme workouts before their child's safety.
The bottom line is: Exercise can be great in pregnancy, or it can be dangerous. To know the answer for you, an OB who knows your pregnancy, your body and your workout schedule intimately needs to weigh in.
The sooner you do it, the easier it is. Weight loss and gain are inextricably linked to our emotional state and self esteem. The longer you wait, the more defeated you can feel and the harder it can be. However, you have to be honest with yourself about your goals. If you are breastfeeding you cannot restrict yourself, as breastfeeding needs to be your priority. And if you are waking up many times a night, fatigue can get in the way.
Creating structure and schedule will be a key component to also help you tackle a diet and lose weight. But most of all, be kind to yourself — you just did something incredible. You had a baby!