By Melissa O’Shea

6 Steps to Get Your Pre-Baby Body Back

  |  Women's Health  

Your hormones are running wild. Rolls are in places you didn't know existed. And you want to get your body back, but who has the time? New moms are busy. Postpartum women are overjoyed by the experience of welcoming a new addition to their lives. Simultaneously, they do dream of shedding the 20, 30,40, 50! pounds gained from the pregnancy...To inspire new moms to lose the baby weight, we talked to Melissa O'Shea, Registered Dietitian at Exhale Spa in New York City.

Growing up, Melissa was always fascinated by reading the nutrition information off food labels. Her fascination became her career when she graduated with a Masters of Science in Nutrition from Columbia University. Her work at Exhale Spa includes group seminars and individual meetings with women before and after their pregnancy.

We sat down with Melissa to get the inside scoop on the best ways new moms can drop unwanted pounds from pregnancy -without compromising their health.


1.  Make time for your food: Don't skimp on protein, it's what keeps you full the longest. A drop in blood sugar is what triggers cravings.

  • Try to eat frequently, every three to four hours
  • Meals should consist of about 400-500 calories
  • Keep snacks between150-200 calories
  • Overall, aim for three meals and two snacks daily

2.  Don't skimp on sleep!

  • If you're sleep deprived, it's much harder to manage stress.  Try and sleep when your baby sleeps.
  • Hormones can get imbalanced when you are sleep deprived. The "I'm hungry" hormone ghrelin becomes elevated and the "I'm full hormone leptin becomes suppressed.

3.  Breastfeed. Even if only for a few days or weeks.

  • Helps with weight loss - when you're breastfeeding you're a furnace burning calories all day long
  • Provides antibodies for the baby, boosting their immune systems
  • Creates a Bonding experience between you and your baby

4.  Don't snack on your kid's food!

  • It's extra calories that can add up and keep you from attaining your goals.
  • Pack snacks for your child and for yourself too when you are on the go.

5.  Cravings are very real.

  • Come up with healthier options for salty, sweet and savory cravings
  • If you ignore your cravings they will keep building up
  • Life is too short to not eat things you love; so eat that half of cup of ice cream and move on.
  • Small portions within a well balanced diet won't sabotage your goals.

6.  Hydrate.

  • Hunger and thirst are controlled by the same part of the brain so you might just be dehydrated, not hungry.


Melissa O'Shea is a expert guiding people through their weight loss, nutrition, and health challenges. Melissa is a registered dietitian with a Masters of Science in Nutrition Education from Columbia University. Melissa has been working with Exhale Spa, NYC, for two years and also works extensively for corporate clients, such as American Express, Citigroup and Credit Suisse, providing nutrition lectures for their employees.



Also see: Moms DO Have Time to Work Out

Sluggish, Anxious, Exhausted? It May NOT Be Just the Baby

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