Hi Hayley,
I am desperate, and I need some fitness advice.

I had a baby 4months ago, and while I lost the pregnancy weight (almost all of it), my clothes (mostly pants and skirt) don't fit anymore. I put about 12kg during pregnancy and now I have lost almost all of them (still 2kg to go) with a Balanced diet and breastfeeding (no sports for me so far).

I am 1.70 tall and now weigh around 55kg. I don't think it is the weight, since I have been up to 55kg before and even though they were snug I could at least close my pants! My shape has changed, I have a pouch and wider hips now. I used to run before pregnancy and now I can finally start exercising again. Running is out though, as I am prone to knee injuries.

What can I do? I prefer classes to machines but I am willing to do whatever it takes to avoid buying a new wardrobe. Or should I just give up because my hips will never go back?



Take a deep breath in and relax.  You just had a baby 4 months ago! I don’t know many women who can fit into their pre baby pants within 4 months of delivering. 

You are breast feeding and while a women is breastfeeding, her body taps into its pregnancy weight stores a little bit to help produce enough milk. Your body will use about 750 calories a day to feed your little one, and at least 500 of that will come from the food that you consume leaving the other 250 to be produced from your body’s stored fat. 

So, until you have finished breast feeding, it is important to hold a little more fat on your body to help nourish your baby. If you allow your weight to drop too low, too quickly, you risk potentially not producing enough milk. And, if you were someone who normally gained weight in her hips (pear shaped) then that is where your body is going to store it, for now. Hence why your pants may be a bit snug.

But I understand your frustrations and your desire to get back into those pre-baby clothes as well as wanting to save yourself some money and not having to go out and buy a new wardrobe. So continue with your balanced eating, making sure you are consuming enough calories to both feed yourself and your baby. This is when you are now eating for two, not while you were pregnant.

Also, try and eat foods that will help reduce the stress in your body. You could be in a constant “fight or flight” response right now, which also causes your body to store weight, and staying away from adrenal stimulants, such as sugar, can be extremely beneficial. Try adding in Vitamin B and Omegas into your diet as well.

As for exercise, start hitting the gym, but do a variety of activities. Get into a post natal specific strength class once or twice a week if possible. If not, grab some weights and focus on your body’s big movers: thighs, glutes, back. This will help shape your legs as well as add muscle mass to your body, which will get that metabolism rocking.

Download a Pilates workout to do once or twice a week, at home while baby is sleeping. This will help you rebuild your core, which pregnancy caused havoc on. I use Pilates Anytime.

For your cardio, I suggest spin classes. At 400-600 calories burned per class, it doesn’t get much better and the classes are usually accompanied with motivating instructors, energetic participants and loud music. With a new spin studio popping up daily it should be easy to find one in your neighborhood and try out a class.

If you are looking to do something with baby, get out and walk. If you are walking at a brisk pace, your body will actually burn just as many calories in a mile as if you were to run the mile.

You may want to go out and buy one or two new pairs of pants that make you feel fabulous right now, and once your old pants fit you, store the new pants away for those days when we all need our “generous pants”. I was organizing my closet this weekend and tried on all of my pants and was amazed how many different sizes of pants I own. My body changes its shape all the time, depending on what it is I am doing. When it is mountain bike season my legs become so muscular that I have to go up a size or two but once running season hits, my bum literally melts off my body and I am down a size or two. You just had a baby, so your body is shaped a little different right now. But it will come back, just give it time.