Losing weight after pregnancy: getting your body back

Losing weight after pregnancy takes time, but it’s possible. Focus on eating a healthy diet and incorporating physical activity into your daily routine.

If you’re like most new moms, you’re looking forward to putting away your maternity clothes and putting on your old jeans.

Understand the smartest way to address post-pregnancy weight loss and promote good health for life.

Consider your eating habits

When you were pregnant, you may have adapted your eating habits to support your baby’s growth and development.

After pregnancy, proper nutrition is still important, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Making smart choices can promote healthy weight loss after pregnancy.

  • Eat more food from plants, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Choose lean protein from a variety of sources
  • Limit sweets and salt
  • Controls portion sizes
Losing weight after pregnancy
Losing weight after pregnancy

Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine

In the past, women were often told to wait at least six weeks after giving birth to start exercising. Today, however, the waiting game is over.

If you exercised during pregnancy and had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, it’s usually safe to start light exercise within a few days of delivery, or as soon as you feel ready. If you’ve had a C-section or a complicated delivery, talk to your health care provider about when to start an exercise program. You can usually start light exercise four to six weeks after delivery.

When your health care provider gives you the go-ahead:

  • Be aware of breastfeeding. If you’re breastfeeding, feed your baby just before exercise to avoid discomfort caused by breast congestion. Wear a bra that holds you tight.
  • Start small. Start with simple exercises that strengthen major muscle groups, including your abdominal and back muscles. Gradually adds moderate-intensity exercises.
  • Include your baby. If you’re having trouble finding time to exercise, include your baby in the routine. Take your baby for a daily ride in a stroller or baby carrier.
  • Don’t go alone. Invite other moms to join you on a daily walk, or try a postpartum exercise class. Exercising with others can help motivate you.

Remember to drink plenty of water before, during and after each exercise session. Stop exercising if you’re in pain. This could be a sign that you’re doing too much.

The added benefit of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can also help you lose the weight you gained during pregnancy.

This happens because when you breastfeed, you use fat cells that are stored in your body during pregnancy, as well as the calories in your diet, to stimulate milk production and feed your baby.

Set realistic goals for weight loss

Most women lose approximately 13 pounds (5.9 kilograms) in childbirth, including baby weight, placenta and amniotic fluid. In the first week after delivery, you’ll lose more weight as you remove retained fluids, but the fat stored during pregnancy won’t go away on its own. Thanks to diet and regular exercise, it might be reasonable to lose up to 1 pound (0.5 kilograms) a week. Returning to your pre-pregnancy weight can take six months to a year, whether you’re breastfeeding or not.

Be gentle with yourself and accept the changes in your body. Above all, take pride in your healthy lifestyle. Losing weight after pregnancy


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