Why is it harder to lose weight after a second baby? It’s a common struggle for many moms, including myself. Nearly 8 out of 10 postpartum women find it harder to lose post-baby weight the second time around.
I have also been there, and I know how you feel. It took me a while to find the best method to lose weight.
There are a variety of factors at play that can make it more difficult to lose baby weight after a second baby, including:
- Hormonal changes
- Physical changes
- Lifestyle changes
- Stress and anxiety
With a little extra effort and a positive attitude, you can successfully manage your post-pregnancy weight and feel confident in your body again.
#1 Hormonal Changes Post Baby
After a second baby, hormonal changes can make it harder to lose weight – it’s a struggle that WE moms know all too well! Pregnancy and breastfeeding can cause postpartum weight retention, and a second pregnancy can mean a greater amount of weight gain and difficulty losing it.
- The hormone prolactin is released during breastfeeding, which can cause a slower weight loss process than after a first pregnancy.
- A big drop in estrogen and progesterone hormone levels after childbirth. and
- A drop in thyroid levels can lead to fatigue and depression and difficulty to lose weight
Hormonal imbalances can be one of the reasons why some women struggle to lose weight after giving birth. It can take three to six months for hormones to return to normal levels after childbirth, depending on whether the woman is breastfeeding or not. Extreme fatigue, recurrent infections, dry skin, and inability to lose weight after giving birth can be the symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
Women and hormones… They haunt us forever, don’t they, LOL.
#2 Physical Changes After Second Baby
Physical changes that might affect losing baby weight:
- Weight gain: Even though weight gain is common during pregnancy, it can be harder to lose weight after the second, or third pregnancy. Especially if we didn’t return to our pre-pregnancy weight after the first baby.
- Body shape changes: Pregnancy can cause lasting changes in the body, such as a softer belly, wider hips, and a larger waistline. These changes may make it harder to return to the exact pre-pregnancy shape.
- Relaxed tummy muscles: The abdominal muscles can become stretched and weakened during pregnancy, and it can be harder to tone them after multiple pregnancies.
#3 Lifestyle Changes
Our life changes dramatically once we become moms. But after a second baby… It’s like 10 times harder, isn’t it?!
My lifestyle changed completely, and so will yours. These changes affect our ability to focus on ourselves when it comes to reaching pre-baby weight.
Here’s what happens:
1. Lack of time
With the arrival of a second child, moms often find themselves with less free time and more responsibilities. This can make it challenging to prioritize exercise and meal planning, resulting in less time devoted to baby weight loss efforts.
2. Decreased energy levels
The demands of caring for two children can be physically and mentally exhausting. Fatigue and lack of energy may make it harder to engage in regular physical activity or stick to a healthy eating plan.
3. Emotional and mental stress
Balancing the needs of multiple children can be emotionally and mentally taxing. Stress can lead to emotional eating or reliance on convenience foods, which can hinder weight loss efforts.
4. Prioritizing family over self-care
Every mom does this! We prioritize our children’s needs over our own, which can result in neglecting self-care, including exercise and healthy eating habits.
1. Find time-efficient exercise options: Look for ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. This could include taking short walks with both children, doing quick home workouts during nap times, or joining a parent-child exercise class.
2. Meal plan and preparation: Plan and prepare healthy meals and snacks in advance to avoid relying on unhealthy options. Batch cooking and freezing meals can be a time-saving strategy.
3. Seek support: Reach out to your partner, family, or friends for support and assistance in caring for the children. This can free up some time for self-care activities like exercise or meal planning.
4. Manage stress: Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as practicing mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
5. Set realistic goals: Be patient and set realistic weight loss goals. Remember that slow and steady progress is more sustainable and achievable in the long run.
6. Get enough sleep
It’s important to be kind to yourself during this process. There’s no need to rush, and it’s okay to take your time. Remember that you’re doing the best you can and that it takes time and patience to lose the extra weight. Take it one day at a time, and don’t forget to celebrate the small victories!
#4 Stress and Anxiety
Navigating life with two kids can be overwhelming, especially when you’re also trying to take care of yourself and lose the extra weight. It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed and anxious as you try to balance the demands of a newborn and the expectations of life.
- This can lead to postpartum depression, which can make it difficult to stick to a plan to lose weight after baby number 2. You may find yourself feeling frustrated and overwhelmed as you struggle to lose weight after giving birth, especially if it’s your second or third baby.
- Let’s not forget the increased stress and anxiety that comes with managing two or more children. You may feel like you don’t have enough time or energy to devote to losing weight after pregnancy.
- It’s also possible that you feel like you have less control over your diet since you’re now responsible for more people.
It’s important to remember that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed out when trying to lose weight after having a second baby. It’s okay to take things slowly and make small changes to your lifestyle rather than trying to do too much all at once.
Breastfeeding is not an effective method for weight loss, as it is possible to gain weight while nursing if your diet is not carefully monitored. Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding does not burn a significant amount of calories for milk production.
While some stored body fat may be burned during breastfeeding, the body actually retains some fat specifically for the purpose of producing breast milk. It is common for women to not lose all the pregnancy weight until they have completely stopped nursing.
Some of the reasons why breastfeeding could slow down your weight loss are:
- Hormonal changes
- Extra calories; breastfeeding requires extra calories for milk production, so consuming more calories than needed can hinder weight loss
- Lack of sleep and increased stress hormones can negatively impact your metabolism and weight loss efforts.
- Genetic factors can also influence how your body responds to weight loss attempts while breastfeeding
To add my grain of salt to this – I breastfed both of my girls for 3 years. And I can remember how much I craved sweets during that period! It was so hard to resist.
Tips to Help You
Diet and Nutrition
Here are a few tips to help you get back into shape after giving birth to your new baby:
- Start slow. Don’t try to rush into an intense diet or exercise regime. Start with small changes and build from there.
- Create an easy meal plan. Consider meals that are easy to make and don’t require a lot of time.
- Make healthy snacks available. Having healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables ready to go can help you resist unhealthy temptations.
- Get support. Reach out to family and friends for help with meal prep and childcare so you can focus on your own health.
Exercise and Activity
Getting back into an active lifestyle can be challenging, especially with a newborn at home. Most of us struggle with postpartum weight gain and find it hard to find the time for ourselves or any kind of activity.
Making small changes can help you reach your weight-loss goals.
- For example, start by taking a few minutes to go for a walk each day. This can help you get back into your exercise routine and start slowly building up your activity levels.
- You can also try doing some light exercises at home, such as yoga or Pilates. This will help you build up your strength and stamina as you work towards your goals.
Don’t be discouraged if you’re not seeing results right away. It can take some time to get back into your pre-baby routine.
Read what method worked for me after 2 pregnancy’s
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I find the time to exercise while caring for two children?
Finding the time for exercise can be hard when caring for two children. Start small and look for moments in your day to sneak in some activity – take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk together after dinner, or make it a family activity. Be patient and understanding with yourself, and you’ll find the time.
What type of diet should I follow for the best weight loss results?
You’re on a journey to reach your weight loss goals. To help you succeed, consider eating a diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, and fruits and vegetables. Visualize yourself reaching the finish line with each healthy choice you make. You can do it!
How can I cope with the stress of having two children?
Take time for yourself. Schedule breaks throughout the day to relax and de-stress. Remind yourself that parenting two children can be difficult, but you are capable of handling it.
Talk to friends and family for support and take advantage of any help they may offer. You can manage the stress of two children!
Are there any supplements I should take to help with weight loss?
You can take supplements to support your weight loss journey. Consider taking a multivitamin, protein powder, and probiotics to help you reach your goals. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking anything, as some supplements may not be safe while breastfeeding. Good luck!
I hope my answer on why is it harder to lose weight after a second baby was helpful. While it may not provide much comfort, it is indeed a common struggle for many of us.
It’s important to be patient with yourself and find a weight loss method that suits you best. Right now, the most important thing is to prioritize your well-being and your family.
Try not to let this obstacle interfere with the precious moments of your baby’s first year. These memories are incredibly special, and it’s essential not to miss out on them by overthinking about your weight.
Remember, you will succeed! I have no doubt about it.