To this day I have still not weighed myself since Christmas. Unlike Elly, I simply haven’t wanted to know. There’s a part in Davina McCall’s Pre & Post Natal Workouts DVD where she gives advice about pregnancy, and one thing that rang true with me was her suggestion not to weigh yourself: “let the midwives weigh you, but don’t look at the scales”.
I don’t think I would have been able to resist glancing down at the scales but the funny thing is, none of the midwives have actually weighed me. Even at my first booking appointment, they just asked what I weighed and wrote it down. I can vaguely remember the doctor weighing me when I first broke the happy news so perhaps that was added to the notes at some point and the midwives must have believed her! As far as I can tell, weighing policies have changed in the past five years (Davina’s DVD came out in 2007) and unless you are very overweight, underweight or indeed “superobese” they just have a look at you and assume you are ok. Which suits me fine. I had been bracing myself for my 36-week midwife appointment which on my schedule not only said “weigh” but also “BMI” (why?!) – however, either I managed to distract her with my rapid birth plan patter or else this aspect of the appointment simply passed her by. And I wasn’t going to remind her!
So I’m therefore reasonably confident that the end of my pregnancy will arrive without my ever knowing what I weighed. I’m assuming it’s around the 2-stone mark as this appears to be around average, and with most other things (e.g. my bump size) seeming to come up average so far, this would make sense.
My thoughts have now turned to how I can get back into shape following the baby. Losing weight is not a priority – my scales remain in the loft and I doubt I’ll get them down again for a long time – but eventually fitting into my old clothes, even if it takes a year, would be marvellous!
The first six weeks will probably be taken up with looking after our newborn and trying to sleep. However, breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories a day – as listed by the NHS as one of its many advantages – which is a good start! That doesn’t mean I’m going to eat as normal though… the idea is that you have to EAT those extra calories in order to maintain any energy at all. However, there is no reason why the additional intake can’t come in the form of healthy options such as nuts and seeds rather than chocolate cake. It’s better for your baby anyway. I’m sure they have developed enough of a sweet tooth already via my placenta.
Following an all clear after the postnatal checkup with the GP (which usually happens between 6-8 weeks after birth), you can then theoretically do as much exercise as you’d like (within reason – your body needs to fully recover which can often take much longer!) As you might expect, there is absolutely loads of information about this on the internet: sites such as Babycentre, Netmums and What to Expect have comprehensive information on diet and exercise after the birth. New mums can pick and choose what might suit them best.
Personally, rather than heading down the gym (where would I put the baby?) I’m hoping to combine exercise with fun and socialising. Luckily we live near a large park that organises buggy pushing mornings and exercise classes that both mum and baby can attend. I’ll hopefully be meeting up with friends who have also just given birth and going for nice brisk walks. I’ve also been told that as your baby grows bigger, simply picking them up and playing with them is one of the best and probably most rewarding forms of exercise.
At least, unlike a post-pregnancy Beyonce, I don’t have a whopping 4 stone to lose (although, not knowing what I weigh, I can but hope!)