Getting Your Figure Back -- After Having a Baby

Your hormones are racing. Rolls are in places you didn't know existed. And you want to get your body back, but who has the time? New moms are busy. Postpartum women are overjoyed by the experience of welcoming a new addition to their lives. Simultaneously, they do dream of shedding the 20, 30,40, 50! pounds gained from the pregnancy…

To inspire new moms to lose the baby weight, we talked to Melissa O'Shea, Registered Dietitian at Exhale Spa in New York City. Melissa's work at Exhale Spa includes group seminars and individual meetings with women before and after their pregnancy.

Melissa's advice for new moms wanting to drop unwanted pounds from pregnancy -without compromising their health.

1. Make time for your food: Don't skimp on protein, it's what keeps you full the longest. A drop in blood sugar is what triggers cravings.

  • Try to eat frequently, every 3-4 hours
  • Meals should consist of about 400-500 calories
  • Keep snacks between150-200 calories
  • Overall, aim for 3 meals and 2 snacks daily

2. Don't skimp on sleep!

  • If you're sleep deprived, it's much harder to manage stress. Try and sleep when your baby sleeps.
  • Hormones can get imbalanced when you are sleep deprived. The "I'm hungry" hormone ghrelin becomes elevated and the "I'm full hormone leptin becomes suppressed.

3. Breastfeed. Even if only for a few days or weeks.

  • Helps with weight loss -when you're breastfeeding you're a furnace burning calories all day long
  • Provides antibodies for the baby, boosting their immune systems
  • Creates a Bonding experience between you and your baby

4. Don't snack on your kid's food!

  • It's extra calories that can add up and keep you from attaining your goals.
  • Pack snacks for your child and for yourself too when you are on the go.

5. Cravings are very real.

  • Come up with healthier options for salty, sweet and savory cravings
  • If you ignore your cravings they will keep building up
  • Life is too short to not eat things you love; so eat that half of cup of ice cream and move on.
  • Small portions within a well balanced diet won't sabotage your goals.

6. Hydrate.

  • Hunger and thirst are controlled by the same part of the brain so you might just be dehydrated, not hungry.

You can contact Exhale Spa at 212-249-3000 to set up your appointment with Melissa for a personal consultation (say you saw this article to receive special discounts).

Stay Tuned: The genConnect & Exhale Spa Mom Makeover Challenge kicks off soon! genConnect with the experts at Exhale Spa will be offering moms online workout videos, tutorials, live chats and health articles to motivate moms to look and feel their best! To learn more about the Mom Makeover Challenge, sign up for genConnect.com.

For more on health and fitness:

About the Author:

Melissa O'Shea, MS RD is a Registered Dietitian with a Masters of Science in Nutrition Education from Columbia University. Melissa has been working with Exhale Spa, NYC, for two years and also works extensively for corporate clients, such as American Express, Citigroup and Credit Suisse, providing nutrition sessions and lectures on weight loss and heart disease for their employees.

For daily expert updates on your newsfeed, follow genConnect on Twitter and Facebook.