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It's True: The Weight Gets Harder to Lose With Each Baby

Photograph by Twenty20

During my first pregnancy I was ravenous. I would shove chips in my mouth at the grocery store. I carried snacks with me at all times. My portions grew as fast as my stomach and before I knew it, two brownies for dessert piled with whipped cream and drizzled with peanut butter and chocolate sauce couldn't begin to touch my cravings,

I became more of a woman in nine months time—50 pounds more to be exact—and was a little upset when my son came out only weighing 8 pounds out of the 50. I was hoping for 25 at least.

But with a little exercising, and getting my eating back on track, I shed the 50 pounds in about 10 weeks. I remember walking around a craft fair one day, talking to a seasoned mother who looked at me and said, "You know, I looked great a few weeks after the first one, too. Just wait, if you decide to have more, it gets harder every time."

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Less than a year later I was pregnant again and repeated devouring my food like a trucker. The 50 pounds spread across my thighs, belly, ass and face faster than a pad of butter melting down a stack of pancakes. No problem, in about 10 weeks it'll be gone, I told myself. Please pass the cake.

Only the second time around, 10 weeks came and went and I still had extra love in my handles. My experienced mom friend was right. Those last 10 pounds would not budge despite my efforts, so I began working harder than I did after my first child was born.

One would think I would have learned my lesson from my prior pregnancies, but no, I still ate a shit-ton of food.

My body decided to give in and let go of the weight, exactly seven months later—the same night I got pregnant with my third.

One would think I would have learned my lesson from my prior pregnancies, but no, I still ate a shit-ton of food. If you've ever been pregnant, nursing, and chasing around a toddler, you feel my pain. You're starving and who has the energy to eat healthy? It's a grab-and-go kind of situation.

My body, and so many other bodies, are meant to gain more than the recommended 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. (Who writes this stuff anyways?!)

Of course it didn't just slide off in 10 weeks, or 20 weeks, or even 45 weeks. No, it took three years this time before those stubborn pounds got the hell out of my life. I was beginning to think they were going to the grave with me.

Despite hard work, breastfeeding, and a good diet, the baby weight does get more stubborn after each pregnancy. Women don't bounce back as fast, and for some really obvious reasons:

It's harder to get a workout in.

When you have one child, you're able to get them in a stroller and head out for a walk or run. It's much easier to sneak in a workout when they're asleep or occupied. When you add another one to the mix, you now have to get two of them to get out the door, in the stroller or distracted so you can try to bang out a workout. It certainly isn't as easy.

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Your sleeping also affects your weight.

With more than one child, you probably aren't sleeping as well. Sleep has an effect on our metabolism, so when you aren't getting the rest you need, your cortisol levels spike which doesn't allow you to metabolize calories as well.

You don't have as much time to plan your meals.

Taking care of one child is exhausting. Taking care of two is even more so. It's more difficult to plan healthy meals for yourself. Let's face it, sometimes the crust to your kid's grilled cheese is lunch, and before you know it, it's dinner time and you eat the entire contents of your pantry because you haven't taken a moment to eat all day and your hunger catches up to you.

Many women go through the baby weight battle. It's not in vain either. The reality is, it's hard to see our bodies change. Just try to remember the journey it has been on, and in the grand scheme of things, extra weight will come and go, but even if it never goes, we aren't less of a mom over a few unwanted pounds.

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