How Quickly Can You Expect to Lose the Baby Weight?
Most doctors recommend that women who begin their pregnancy at a healthy weight gain 25-35 lbs throughout their pregnancy. During the final weeks of pregnancy, when you’ve gained the weight you need to help your baby grow healthy and strong, and are probably feeling a little heavy, you may begin to look forward to losing weight after your baby is born.
When you think about postpartum weight loss, it’s important to remember that in the early weeks and months of your babe’s life you should focus on nurturing and taking care of your little one and yourself rather than stressing about the fact that you’re still wearing maternity clothes. You should also talk with your doctor before beginning any sort of diet or exercise plan. Every woman is different and how quickly you return to your pre-pregnancy weight will depend on a variety of factors including your age, your natural metabolism, whether or not you’re breastfeeding, and how much weight you gained during pregnancy.
No matter how much weight you gained, you’re sure to lose a big chunk of weight in the hospital! At delivery, most women lose around ten pounds. The average baby is between seven and eight pounds and, along with the placenta and amniotic fluid weighing in at two to four pounds, you’ll likely feel a good deal lighter right away after your baby is born. Many women also lose another three to ten pounds of water weight in the days after delivery. While not everyone has as much water weight to lose, it’s not uncommon for women to lose up to twenty pounds in the first few weeks to the first month of baby’s life.
After the first month post-birth, your weight loss may stall or you may begin losing weight at a slower rate. Most doctors recommend that women refrain from dieting or exercising strenuously for around six weeks after birth. At your post-partum appointment, you should talk with your doctor about your weight loss goals and the safest way to reach them. Many women who chose to breastfeed continue to lose weight at a rate of one to two pounds per week due to the serious work their body is putting into producing milk. Once your doctor gives you the okay, you can typically follow a standard diet and exercise plan (not a fad diet!) and expect to lose around one pound per week.
While every woman is different, on average women who lose the weight they gained during pregnancy do so within six to nine months. If you gained more than the recommended twenty-five to thirty-five pounds it may take a bit longer.
It’s important to note that not all women return to their pre-pregnancy weight and even if they do their bodies may never look quite the same. And that’s okay! It’s important to feel confident and strong as well as to have the energy to chase your little one as they grow but stressing over your weight usually doesn’t do much good. As you think about losing weight after baby’s birth remember that your doctor’s advice, as well as some patience and care for yourself, will go a long way!