Shedding pounds post-pregnancy in Eagle County
Vail CO, Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Labor pains are just the beginning of the learning curve for new moms. For many women, shedding the extra pounds put on during pregnancy just doesn’t fit in the schedule.
Even local celebrity mom Trista Sutter, famous for her title role in the premiere season of ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” shares the concern, although she had added incentive to lose her baby weight.
“A huge motivation for me was I was going to be on the cover of Us Weekly,” Trista said.
Her recommendation for other new moms?
“Set a date, maybe set a vacation where you’re going to be in a bikini,” she said.
For moms who are less confident with their bikini body, a family photo shoot with a specific outfit to fit in can also be good motivation, she said.
“If you have the motivation it pushes you in the right direction.”
New moms face several hurdles to losing weight. One mom, Alejandra Solis, voiced a common concern.
“I haven’t started to exercise at all because I don’t have any time,” she said. “I’m still fat … I’m planning on exercising but I don’t know when.”
Solis’ five-month-old daughter, Luisiana, was born with a hearing defect so she has been spending a lot of time taking the baby to doctor appointments.
Susan Morrison, mom to six-month-old William, said there just aren’t enough resources in the Vail area for new moms. Or if there are, they’re not well advertised, and they’re in the middle of the day, which is inconvenient.
Sarah Giovagnoli and Claudia Montes are working to change at least part of that problem with the Warm Welcome program. The monthly class, free for new moms, began in January as part of a statewide grant from Bright Beginnings, a nonprofit organization that offers free parenting programs to new parents in Colorado.
At a Warm Welcome meeting last week, nine moms ” and one dad ” gathered in a semicircle to learn about the dangers and joys of new parenting.
“How many of you breastfeed?” asked Montes, a staff member for Bright Beginnings.
As several babies began to cry, Montes zoomed in on one mom asking about the health benefits of mixing breast milk and formula.
Do whatever works for you, she said. There’s no right or wrong way.
Montes is hoping to foster a welcoming environment for new moms and babies in the monthly class. The meetings are fairly laid-back.
“Whatever questions you have, that’s the direction we’ll go,” Montes said. “I’m focusing on taking care of you as a parent, you have to take care of yourself.”
To help moms focus on themselves, this month’s special speaker was a fitness expert. Robin Manzanaras, owner of the Pilates Corner in Eagle, led the new moms in a postpartum pilates class.
Manzanaras, who was recently certified in pre- and post-natal pilates techniques, is teaching a four-week post-partum pilates class for moms and babies starting June 30.
Sutter had some helpful recommendations for new moms trying to lose weight.
Paying an up-front fee for a class can help encourage some people to go, she said.
Sutter used a personal trainer and the pressure to meet appointments with him kept her on track, she said. But if a personal trainer is not an option, she suggested low-key alternatives.
One option is to meet up with someone in your neighborhood who also wants to be active, or set a play date with another mom and her child.
“If you can’t afford equipment, then go for a walk and don’t down a cheeseburger and fries when you go out to eat,” she said.
New moms, like Solis, who has been busy with her daughter, Luisiana, sometimes can’t find to make it to the gym. What then?
If you can’t leave the house, Sutter, who has a master’s degree in physical therapy, had some do-it-yourself weight loss tips. A free online tool at http://www.revolutionlifestyle.com calculates how many calories you should eat based on height, weight, sex and whether mom is breastfeeding or not.
“Just know about health in general; there are so many gimmicks out there and people just try to get the fast track,” Sutter said.
The most important workout tip is to do something to raise your heart rate for at least 20 minutes.
“It could be as easy as getting outside and going for a walk” with the baby, Sutter said. “You’re doing something outside that’s fun and gets the baby fresh air.”
To finish off a 30-minute home workout, try 10 minutes of calisthenics like sit-ups or push-ups.
Another issue that might face new moms as they try to get back in shape is the lack of sufficient day care in the area; the waiting list is 100 strong right now, said Giovagnoli, a volunteer for Bright Beginnings.
You don’t have to stick with traditional daycare, Sutter reminded. Find a friend who also has a baby and trade kids for an hour or two while you get some exercise.
Ruth Moon is an intern at the Vail Daily. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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