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The
doctor is in: 5 things research says really help you lose the baby weight

First things first. We just want to say that you are


beautiful, mama. You are making a baby from

scratch. In a way, you might think of a little baby weight simply as a

reminder of the awe-inspiring work you have put in to create your little

miracle.

Not a souvenir you are excited to hold on to? We get

it, girl.

Every time you step on the scale at your monthly or

(gasp!) weekly OB visit has you wondering, “How will I ever lose all of this baby weight?”

“Will it ever come off? Will breastfeeding really

help me lose weight after the baby is born? What can I do to lose the baby

weight safely and effectively? Am I doomed to never see my waist again?”

Yes, these are the questions that plague many of us

mamas. Here’s the good news. Your postpartum weight-fate is not written in the

stars!

Okay, sure. Research

indicates that 25% of women retain 10 or more pounds one year after giving

birth. That doesn’t mean that you are destined to fall into that group! Armed

with the latest insights into losing postpartum weight, you will have the

knowledge you need to lose that pesky baby weight and start feeling like your

old (young) self again!

These are the 5 things that will really impact your postpartum weight

retention.

Gestational weight gain.

Weight gained during pregnancy is probably the most important factor in determining how much baby weight is retained.

Research even shows that weight gain during pregnancy is related to postpartum weight retention more than 15 years after giving birth!

Women who gain more than the recommended gestational

weight gain retain on average 4.72 pounds 3 years later and 10.41 pounds more

than 15 years later.

Exercise.

Frequency of postpartum exercise has been linked to

postpartum weight retention.

More specifically, exercising a little every day, or walking at least 30 minutes a day, is related to less postpartum weight retention.

It doesn’t need to be as intense as your pre-baby

boot camp or CrossFit—as long as it is consistent. Choose an exercise you

actually enjoy and you will be more likely to keep up with it. Even a few laps

in the pool or a power walk with baby will work wonders for your weight and

health!

Food intake.

Does this one seem a little obvious? Sure, eating less

food is related to less postpartum weight retention. But not all foods are

created equal, mama.

Fats contain more than twice the calorie content of carbohydrates and proteins. Trans fats, especially, have been shown to be related to postpartum weight retention.

In other words, eating fewer baked goods (e.g.,

cakes, cookies, pie), chips, French fries, doughnuts, fried chicken, and margarine

will help you shed excess baby weight even faster. If you are feeling tempted,

look for a tasty (and slightly healthier) alternative, or have a

smaller-portioned treat once in a while. We know, mama. #thestruggleisreal

Television viewing.

Research

suggests that the chance of retaining 5kg (around 11 pounds) of postpartum

weight goes up significantly with each hour of television watched per day.

Additionally, physical activity does not appear to alter the detrimental effects of

television viewing (or trans fat intake) on postpartum weight retention.

This research found that women who watched less than 2 hours of TV a day were in a better position to lose their baby weight.

Breastfeeding.

Although we’ve all been told about the beneficial

effects of breastfeeding on weight loss, empirical evidence on the topic is

less clear.

Overall, research suggests that breastfeeding itself is not enough to lose postpartum weight. However, breastfeeding exclusively for 3-6 months and breastfeeding for at least 12 months is related to significantly less weight retention.

Specifically, research

indicates that women who breastfeed intensively and for longer periods of time

(i.e., 12+ months) lose weight more rapidly between 3 and 6 months postpartum

and retain less weight after 12 months.

Although breastfeeding can burn up to an additional

500 calories a day (20 calories per ounce of expressed milk), it probably

shouldn’t be counted on as the primary means of postpartum weight loss.


There may be countless reasons you want to shed

those remaining post baby pounds. Whether it is to feel your best or look your

best, remember that striving for a healthy weight after your pregnancy should

be done for yourself.

If you retain a pound or two a year or so after baby

is born, don’t beat yourself up. The average woman retains around 1.3 pounds,

give or take. When we think about what that weight represents, we can totally

live with that tiny badge, err…bulge of honor.

Wishing you all the health and happiness in your

post-baby world, mama!

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Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.

$70

Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.

$65

Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.

$45

Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!

$23

Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.

$30

Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.

$39

'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."

$35

Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.

$24

Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.

$22

Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!

$25

Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.

$32

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.

$105

Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.

$17

Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.

$68

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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