You should plan to return to your pre-pregnancy weight by 6 months after delivery. Most women lose half of their baby weight by 6 weeks postpartum (after childbirth). The rest usually comes off over the next several months.
A healthy diet with daily exercise will help you shed the pounds.
Your body needs time to recover from childbirth. If you lose weight too soon after childbirth, it can take longer for you to recover. Give yourself until your 6-week checkup before trying to slim down. If you are breastfeeding, wait until your baby is at least 2 months old before you try to lose weight.
Aim for a weight loss of about a pound and a half a week. You can do this by eating less food, and getting more exercise.
If you're breastfeeding, you'll want to lose weight slowly. Weight loss that happens too fast can make you produce less milk. Losing about a pound and a half a week won’t affect your milk supply or your health.
Breastfeeding makes your body burn calories. It helps you lose weight. If you're patient, you may be surprised at how much weight you lose naturally while breastfeeding.
These healthy eating tips will help you lose weight safely.
Don’t go on a crash diets (not eating enough) or a fad diet (popular diets that limit certain types of foods and nutrients). They will probably make you drop pounds at first. But those first few pounds you lose are fluid and will come back.
Other pounds you lose on a crash diet may be muscle instead of fat. You will gain back any fat you lose on a crash diet once you return to normal eating.
You not be able to return to your exact pre-pregnancy weight or shape. For many women, pregnancy causes changes in the body that stay. You may have a softer belly, wider hips, and a larger waistline. Make your goals about your new body realistic.
A healthy diet combined with regular exercise is the best way to shed the pounds. Exercise will help you lose fat instead of muscle.
Once you're ready to start losing weight, eat a little less and move a little more each day. It may be tempting to push yourself into a hard routine for fast weight loss. But rapid weight loss is not healthy and is hard on your body.
Don’t overdo it. Just a quick walk around the block with your baby in the stroller is a great way to add exercise to your daily routine.
Updated by: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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