Shed Weight After Pregnancy

Woman measuring her waist
Publish 5 May 2022

Enjoy practical ways to move those maternity clothes to the back of the closet so you can reach a healthy postpartum weight.

Tipping the Scale

For nine months, you remind everyone that you are eating for two. Never mind that one of the humans weighs under five pounds. You get credit for amniotic fluid, additional breast fat, and expanding mammary glands. With the cravings and mostly sedentary habits, no one will fuss if you gain 30 pounds or so. Let’s say during the final stretch, you go wild, and your excess weight approaches 40 pounds.

During labor, the adorable bundle of joy pops out—with his cushioning and source of nutrition. Step on the scale after returning from the hospital and, there you stand, 30 pounds overweight. It wouldn’t be as bad if you were six feet tall, but at five-foot-six, your face, neck, belly, hips, and thighs cannot conceal the excess.

With new feeding and sleep schedules, Mommy has little time for squats at the gym. Some women are like tight rubber bands that snap back into place within a couple of months. But your weight loss requires more discipline.

We’ll go over some practical ways to move those maternity clothes to the back of the closet. You can reach a healthy postpartum weight to face parenting with energy!

What Exactly Is Baby Weight?

Here’s some history on what “baby weight” is, why it occurs during pregnancy, and why it isn’t required after the baby arrives in the world.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that women of normal weight carrying one baby gain 25 to 35 pounds (11.5 to 16 kg) during pregnancy.

Weight gain recommendations fluctuate depending on whether the expecting mother is underweight, overweight, or carrying multiple babies.

Pregnancy weight gain consists of the following, according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology:

  • The baby
  • Placenta
  • Amniotic fluid
  • Breast tissue
  • Blood
  • Uterus enlargement
  • Fat reserves

You Had a Baby, Now What?

Lose Pregnancy Weight

Going on a diet is probably the last thing on a new mom’s mind after giving birth. And, according to Cheryl Lovelady, a nutrition expert at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, that’s perfectly acceptable.

“I tell moms, ‘The first month, don’t worry about your weight,’” Lovelady added.

Whether they give birth vaginally or through C-section, most women lose roughly 13 pounds after giving birth. The bulk of it comes from your baby, of course, since most newborns weigh between 5½ and 8¾ pounds.

The remainder of your initial weight loss is due to the delivery of the placenta and the loss of amniotic fluids that surround your baby in the womb. You may lose a bit extra weight during the first week after giving birth simply by shedding retained fluids. (This is why you feel like you’re peeing and sweating more than normal!)

Given that average-weight women typically gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy, this decrease is a good start. Of course, it isn’t everything. Your body is still retaining additional weight from the fat reserves you accumulated throughout your pregnancy, which won’t go away on its own. Here are five tips for losing weight after pregnancy.

The Bonus of Breastfeeding

Your body uses between 400 and 500 calories each day to produce breast milk, which comes from your food and the fat you gained during pregnancy. That calorie-burning surge is sufficient for some mothers to return to their pre-pregnancy weight without doing anything extra.

Breastfeeding also causes the release of hormones that aid in the shrinkage of your uterus and post-baby tummy.

Consume a Lot of Superfoods

When you’re a new mother, your body needs the maximum nutrients possible, particularly if you’re breastfeeding. Choose foods that are high in the nutrients you need while low in calories and fat.

Fish is one of these “superfoods” because it contains DHA, a vital omega-3 fatty acid that aids in the development of your newborn’s brain and neurological system. Cold-water seafood such as salmon, sardines, and tuna are excellent providers of DHA.

Milk and yogurt are considered excellent foods because they are rich in calcium, essential for bone health. Don’t forget about the protein. Lean meat, poultry, and beans are rich in protein and fiber while low in fat. They’re beneficial for you and will keep you full longer.

Keep Your Cravings Under Control

Aside from consuming nutritious food, you need also be aware of what foods to avoid after giving birth. You will most likely be exhausted and sleep-deprived after delivering your baby, which may cause you to want unhealthy foods. Following birth, you should avoid the following foods:

  • Saturated fatty acids
  • Refined sugar
  • Sugary drinks
  • Processed foods
  • Fried items
  • Alcohol
  • Foods high in salt

Know When To Begin Exercising

Getting active might help you lose weight and offer you a much-needed energy boost. So, it’s worth saying yes to exercise when your body is ready.

You may begin gentle exercise a few days after birth if you exercised before pregnancy and had an uneventful vaginal delivery. If you had a C-section or had problems during your delivery, you should wait at least six weeks before returning to strenuous exercise. However, it’s better to receive the formal go-ahead from your doctor before you begin.

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