Moms of Many Lose the Baby Weight

“Wow, you look amazing”

It’s a compliment that I hear over and over again, only it doesn’t stop there

“….for having ten kids!”

and I walk away wondering if it really is a compliment.
moms of many manage
This week the 4 Moms of Many tackle the heavy topic of losing baby weight. Connie (mom of 8 ) at Smockity Frocks, the Headmistress’s girls at The Common Room , KimC (mom of 10) at Life in a Shoe and I are sharing our thoughts and  tips for how we keep our girlish figures (or not).

For the last 15 years I’ve been either pregnant, breastfeeding or both so I’ll only be suggesting gentle ways of maintaining a healthy weight.

Disclosure:  I weigh more now than I did before having children and my body does not look like it did when I was mulling over which college’s athletic scholarship to accept and  I’m OK with that.

The basic principle for losing weight is not a secret, neither is it very complicated, you must expend more than you consume. I do realize that it’s easier said than done.

1. Exercise – I think this is the absolutely best thing you can do to maintain a healthy weight. When I exercise I have more energy, feel less sleepy and crave healthier foods. Most women can exercise during pregnancy (although if I so much as walk at more than a stroll during the first few months it induces vomiting, any suggestions?) and throughout breast feeding the baby with no problem.

2. Eat whole foods. – Whole wheat bread, brown rice, healthy meats and fats and lots of fruits and veggies, this type of diet is filling and will help weight control.

3. Limit junk food. – Although I’m completely convinced that an occasional bowl of  ice cream makes the world a much happier place, we do not regularly purchase or consume junk food.

4. Relax and accept that we’re all different. – I have friends who struggle with being underweight because they loose so much during breastfeeding. I on the other hand seem to hold onto some weight until the baby begins solid food and then I drop 5-15 pounds without making any other changes. (I’m hoping the last few pounds will go when/if the baby weans before I’m pregnant again.) God made us all different, so stop comparing yourself to others.

5. Exercise – In case you didn’t get it the first time this is important. It’s also incredibly hard to do when you have a houseful of children to homeschool, a home to manage and a husband to love on. However, I find that when I make the time to exercise EVERYTHING else is easier to manage and I feel much better.

Edited to add: #6. Drink water and drink lots of it. –  Check out my water drinking tips.

Specific helps:

Weight Watchers Online – I’m new to this program, but love it. It’s flexible, gives me lots of control and when I follow the plan I lose weight.

T-Tapp – These DVDs  help you tone your body, giving amazing results. Check out Charlotte’s (mother of 12 who went from a size 22W to size 6 in 18 months) success story.

Wii Fit Plus – My parents got this for our family for Christmas and it’s a great way to ease back into regular exercise. The program monitors your weight, helps you set goals and then provides a fun, motivating way to exercise.

Now visit the other moms of many to read how they say good-bye to their baby weight:
Smockity Frocks
Life in a Shoe
The Common Room

For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.

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42 Responses to Moms of Many Lose the Baby Weight
  1. tanya
    May 19, 2011 | 8:45 am

    Thought this might appeal to your frugality: sparkpeople.com is like WeightWatchers Online except it’s free. I used it to help me lose 100+ pounds.

    [Reply]

    Leslie Reply:

    I was just jumping on to mention http://www.sparkpeople.com as well. I have lost 40 pounds so far!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks ladies.

    I’ve looked at that before, but there is no consideration for breastfeeding (or pregnancy) that I can see and one or both has been true of me for more than 15 years, so I’ve not considered it as a viable option. Am I missing something?

    I love that weight watchers has helped me lose weight without compromising breastfeeding.

    [Reply]

    tanya Reply:

    Their network includes a site for expecting and breastfeeding moms called babyfit.com. They also have a site for teens sparkteens.com.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you.

    [Reply]

  2. Samantha
    May 19, 2011 | 9:16 am

    Breastfeeding never helped me lose :( It did keep me more hungry than pregnancy-all six times. I didn’t get the weight off (78 pounds) when I finished nursing #6. Lots of exercise and healthy eating got me into a smaller size than high school. My belly isn’t perfect, but I feel great!

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  3. Tristan
    May 19, 2011 | 9:28 am

    Hi Kimberly! I would love any specific to pregnancy exercise suggestions as we’re expecting again (hooray!). I’ve got baby Caleb just about to turn 6 months old, so this was a close spacing between pregnancies and I didn’t lose all the weight I had hoped, though there is only 4 lbs left of weight from his pregnancy. While I don’t plan to lose weight during pregnancy, I would love to keep up exercising. Right now I use Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds videos. Any other great ideas?

    Also am open to any suggestions for going from 6 children to 7. I’ll have 3 under 3 again with the oldest only 10 when baby arrives.
    Thanks!

    Tristan

    [Reply]

    Tancy Reply:

    Tristan, I am in my last month of pregnancy and I am doing T-Tapp. I am overweight and struggle with high blood pressure and all sort of things while pregnant. This has been the BEST pregnancy ever and I can hardly wait to see how it makes a difference for me in labor and delivery. My blood pressure has been regulated and I have so little backache compared to what I usually have. I highly recommend T-Tapp to anyone!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!

    I second the T-Tapp recommendation. I did that before my pregnancy with Bella and after I got through the worst of the nausea I started back up during the pregnancy.

    Praying for a safe and healthy pregnancy.

    [Reply]

    Tancy Reply:

    I also forgot to mention that I have only gained about 15-20 lbs and I lost inches in some places during this pregnancy!

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    Another pregnant T-Tapper checking in. (I’m 29 wks with baby #6) I really have enjoyed having a routine that only takes around 20 minutes and yet helps me feel better when pregnant. Also, I usually go to the chiropractor when pregnant for hip discomfort, but haven’t had to while doing T-Tapp. I am not over weight, so I don’t T-Tapp for that purpose, but it is great for health and posture as well.

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  4. Tiffany
    May 19, 2011 | 10:01 am

    I LOVE Weight Watchers. I have struggled with my weight since being a teenager. It finally reached the point where I was in risk of having health issues and had to do something. with the advice of a friend (who lost 100lbs!) I tried it. So far I’ve lost about 40lbs, -35 inches and have gone from a pretty tight 28 to an 18. I still have a ways to go but I am working on it. The great thing about this program is that it reinforces HEALTHY eating rather than dieting. I don’t have to skip bread with my spaghetti or my fruit. I can have it all as long as it’s in moderation and I stay within my daily allowance. It’s an excellent program. I recommend the meetings but I know it’s more expensive. This is a great post! :)

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  5. Mary Jo
    May 19, 2011 | 10:19 am

    I’m not a mom of many (yet!), but my oldest child is 26 months and our second is 4 1/2 months. During my first pregnancy, I gained 50 pounds and I still had over 25 of that left when I got pregnant with #2. I was still nursing when I became pregnant, and I think that combined with much healthier eating and exercise during pregnancy helped me gain only 20 pounds this time around (and I still birthed a 9lb., 5oz. baby–it obviously didn’t hurt him any!). I started Weight Watchers online when he was a couple months old and I’ve lost 15 pounds and am at my lowest point since some point during my first pregnancy. It works really well, and I love the flexibility. We tend to eat a more whole foods/Weston A. Price diet, and I love that I can incorporate the healthy fats we enjoy and stay within my points. :o) (And, the occasional bowl of ice cream doesn’t keep me from losing weight–bonus!)

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  6. Diana
    May 19, 2011 | 10:20 am

    After two babies, the ONLY thing that is helping me shed baby weight is going very low carb (no grains, sugar, legumes, etc.). Breastfeeding didn’t help, exercise, healthy diet, etc. – nope. I’m so glad to be finally losing the weight, as I’ve added 15-20 pounds per baby.

    [Reply]

  7. Cheryl @Treasures from a Shoebox
    May 19, 2011 | 10:22 am

    This subject is very timely for me right now as my 4 oldest daughters (ages 15-27) and I have recently begun a weight loss accountability with one another. I have 10 children and am in the “latter half of the 40s”, so the weight doesn’t come off as easily as it used to. Amazingly though, as I’ve begun several pregnancies overweight, the actual 30 lbs of baby weight has not been hard to lose (probably helps that each baby weighs 10 – almost 12 lbs each at birth!).

    [Reply]

    Tristan Reply:

    I agree, my last few pregnancies(babies 4-6) I’ve only gained 20-25 lbs and it comes of pretty quick with no real work, but I’ve started overweight each time. Praying it will be the same this time around after baby #7. :)

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  8. Kimberley Carpenter
    May 19, 2011 | 10:55 am

    Thanks for the reminder that God made us all different and to not compare to others! Great tips and advice. These are all suggestions I need to take more seriously and follow through with. On a different note, a couple years ago for a Mother’s Day post on my blog, I calculated how many months/years I have been pregnant and/or breastfeeding, etc. You can check it out here: http://kim-neveradullmoment.blogspot.com/2009/05/memorable-mothers-day-math-in-may.html

    Have a great day!

    [Reply]

  9. Amy @ Birthblessed.com
    May 19, 2011 | 11:05 am

    By the time baby #5 was a year old, I was twenty pounds heavier than my full-gestation weight with baby #1. And I was miserable. People would comment, “Wow, all those kids must be a lot of work.” I really looked that bad. I had to make changes. First: Winsor Pilates “Win in 10″ actually did take in my waist by 4″ in the first ten days. I stood taller and got started on a trek that got me back on the ball. 2) Don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to increase your eating or decrease your movement unless you really have been told by a doctor to do otherwise. I gained 25-40 lbs with each of the boys, but I only gained 5-15 lbs when pregnant with each of the girls. I wonder if hormones made a difference? I know I ate a lot of the wrong kinds of food when pregnant with the boys, and more fruits, veggies and fish when pregnant with the girls. The last two pregnancies were the ones that started after I wanted to lose weight…. so I kept up exercise routines (loved YogaBaby video) and kept my food portions small and full of veggies and fruits. My last pregnancy, I started at 151 and delivered at 154 and dropped from size 12 to size 8 during the pregnancy. When my baby was four months old I was a trim size 6. Mindful eating and consistent movement have kept me feeling great about how I present myself now as a mother of 7. Next year when my baby graduates kindergarten and my oldest graduates high school, I know that no one will be telling me that I look worn out from “all those kids.”

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  10. Smockity Frocks
    May 19, 2011 | 11:28 am

    Oh yes. Last week, I got, “You look very glamorous… FOR A HOMESCHOOL MOM OF 8.”

    I guess they expect us to be hunched over with hairy moles growing from our chins.

    [Reply]

  11. Trooppetrie
    May 19, 2011 | 12:05 pm

    I have walked up and down my street, as in four houses down, four houses back. just so i am walking but can still see my house

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  12. Celee
    May 19, 2011 | 12:16 pm

    I know you guys didn’t do a linky for this one, but I had to join in on the fun.
    http://miscellaneousmusings-x.blogspot.com/2011/05/losing-that-baby-weight.html

    Celee

    [Reply]

  13. Dianne
    May 19, 2011 | 2:13 pm

    You forgot to mention water! My next door neighbor lost a bunch of weight by drinking lots and lots (I don’t know how much that is, but I’m confident it was at least a gallon) of water everyday. She’s also some type of nurse and I know she does a lot of walking, but that in and of itself didn’t help her as she was definitely chubby. She also looks so young now, I constantly mistake her for one of her teenage daughters from a distance. She said other than the water, she didn’t change anything else, per se, but is also more conscious of the food choices she makes. Love your website!

    [Reply]

    Dianne Reply:

    Ok sorry- I didn’t see tip #6!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    LOL, great minds think alike. You must have left your comment while I was editing my post to include drinking water. I did forget to include that initially and it is important. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  14. Michelle
    May 19, 2011 | 2:32 pm

    What great timing! My little one is 2 mo and I just started getting back into the groove. I keep hoping this time I’ll be the miraculous mommy who loses a ton of weight by just breastfeeding…but I’m like you. It seems the extra weight (after the initial weight loss) doesn’t come off until they start solids. (I gained FIFTY POUNDS this time! Gasp!) I have 20 to lose and follow basically the steps you listed. I, however, do it a little at a time. Like right now I’m only doing 30 minutes of cardio a day and have cut out my caloric drinks other than milk. (I went overboard on this baby with SODAS!)And water, water, water! To watch my sweets, I’m treating myself to Hershey Special Dark Kisses! Yummy! And less calories than what I would normally eat. I’ll watch my calories and what type I eat once I get consistent with this first phase.

    I somehow can’t manage the energy to exercise during pregnancy. With baby #1, I continued tae kwan do for about 6 months…but since then, pregnancy means rest for me. I would love to know tips on continuing through pregnancy.

    You know what doesn’t help me lose weight after baby? Recipes for Chocolate Chip Brownie Cheesecake. ;)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Ahem, misery loves company and if I have to fight the evil Chocolate Chip Brownie Cheesecake it’s at least nice to know I’m not alone. ;)

    No tips on exercising during pregnancy. It’s something I struggle with because I’m so terribly sick and tired. I do generally manage to walk regularly by the last trimester, but other than that…

    I sometimes think that if I could only do something to be rid of the horrible nausea, then everything would be better, but to date nothing has worked for me.

    [Reply]

    Dianne Reply:

    Nausea? I’m surprised not many women know about Bentonite Clay for nausea. I first saw it on bulkherbstore.com, and then a couple of other places on the internet, but not many people talked about it. Well, I don’t know about other women, but it worked really well for me. I didn’t have horrible nausea with my last pregnancy, but it did calm what nausea I had. A couple of my other friends have tried it with the same results. I purchase food-grade hydrated Bentonite Clay (usually near the detox items at the health-food store). I mix a couple of tablespoons with juice and drink it and within a few minutes the nausea subsides. I use this for any type of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea with excellent results. We even use it for heartburn.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you Dianne. I will certainly try this out if God blesses us with another pregnancy. (and if it works I may just have to buy you a latte or ice cream or cupcakes!!!)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Oh and congratulations!

    [Reply]

  15. Michelle
    May 19, 2011 | 2:34 pm

    BTW… your Life in a Shoe link is not work…it’s just “inashoe.com”

    [Reply]

  16. Laura Tullis
    May 19, 2011 | 2:58 pm

    I know what you mean when you say,”is that really a compliment?” I have 9 children. Losing weight from the actual pregnancies wasn’t too hard. The weight seems to want to fall off afterwards. It’s the 7 miscarriages (3 in the last 6 months) when my body is confused that the weight wants to stay. Talk about adding insult to injury. :(

    [Reply]

  17. Celee
    May 19, 2011 | 5:12 pm

    Hi Kimberly,

    The time I exercise depends on what I’m doing and on our schedule for that day. In the summer while my big kids have swim practice (7-9 am), the little kids and I walk (one will graduate to his scooter this year and I push two in a double stroller). When I run, I do so in the morning when I’m fresh (and that’s why this isn’t happening very often right now). When I do circuit weights it’s because my kids are at the indoor pool or gym working out (nursery for littles). I do Insanity at night (9 ish)so I can bathe afterwards (it is a VERY sweaty workout.) I never do all these things in one day, it just varies.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Celee

    [Reply]

  18. Stacy
    May 19, 2011 | 10:25 pm

    The more babies, the easier it has been for me to lose the weight. I know I have strong abs in there somewhere, but I don’t imagine I will ever see them again ;0

    [Reply]

  19. Dawn
    May 20, 2011 | 4:42 am

    Hey Kimberly! Just stopping into say I appreciate that you’re contributing to the 4 moms of many series on losing weight! I look forward to continuing to read what you have to say. :-)

    [Reply]

  20. jane
    May 20, 2011 | 8:10 am

    I just bought the book “Love in a Diet” by wendi jeub, a mother who just had #16 and she weighs less and feels healthier than when she had number 5. I believe it is still on sale on their jeub family website for only $5. I would encourage you all to buy it.

    [Reply]

  21. Carrie Parker
    May 20, 2011 | 8:50 am

    My friend shared with me today something I never knew about that may help yourself or some of the gals here. I didn’t realize gals, guys and children suffer from this common abdominal ailment.
    How to prevent a diastasis during pregnancy.
    Here is the Raising arrows web site for a gals personal story http://www.raisingarrows.net/2011/05/diastasis-recti-tummy-chronicles.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FssxG+%28Raising+Arrows%29

    And then the official site for the techinic
    http://www.diastasisrehab.com/

    [Reply]

  22. RG
    May 20, 2011 | 10:27 am

    Ha! So funny. I am expecting, and in the very puky part of things. Was reading your post in email. Skimming the bold headlines …Eat Whole Junk Foods…Whaaa? Yea, reread. Makes sense now. Thanks for the info.

    [Reply]

  23. Eve
    May 20, 2011 | 4:15 pm

    okay, that cracked me up!!

    [Reply]

  24. Eve
    May 20, 2011 | 4:16 pm

    (oops…tried to reply to Smockety’s comment)

    [Reply]

  25. Taximom5
    May 22, 2011 | 9:01 am

    I had hyperemesis through all my pregnancies, so didn’t gain weight– until AFTER each baby was born, when I gained 30 pounds,

    I found out years later that I had gluten intolerance, which probably caused the hyperemesis.

    I dropped 20 pounds in the first six weeks of a gluten-free diet–and at that point, I wasn’t trying to lose weight! I was eating plenty of carbs, just not gluten.

    I think the reason the low carb diets work so well is that they are low-GLUTEN by definition. But you can’t go low-carb when pregnant or nursing without a serious loss of energy,

    So try gluten-free (but avoid prefab gf breads and cookies, they taste awful and contribute zero nutrition—make your own) !

    [Reply]

  26. Carmen
    May 25, 2011 | 2:22 pm

    Everyone is such a source of encouragment! I enjoyed all the posts.

    [Reply]

  27. Michelle
    June 3, 2011 | 5:16 pm

    I had to laugh at the beginning of your post. I too have had to wonder if when someone says to me “you look great, for having 6 kids” if that is really a compliment or not. I was just thinking about it the other day, I think for my sake I will take it as the compliment I am sure it is intended to be, :)

    [Reply]

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