Now that you have replaced that pregnancy glow for an exhausted sheen, you might be eager to shed the weight you carried around with that baby. Be wise about your postpartum weight loss. Anything too extreme or too intense could cause harm to you and your baby or could cause a set back in your steady weight loss.
Weight loss happens naturally after you give birth. Considering all the work that goes into labor, you should be rewarded with a little extra gift, in addition to your baby. About 10 lbs. are shed as soon as you push that little bundle out, as well as the placenta. After birth, your body naturally sheds the rest of the pounds as it returns to its former, pre-pregnancy state.
After losing the first 10 lbs. at birth, your body continues to lose weight naturally over the next few weeks. Your body will gradually work out the additional fluids it had stored during pregnancy. By the sixth week of your baby’s life, you will probably have lost about half the weight you put on during pregnancy. The rest will disappear over the next five months. If you are healthy, you should lose all your weight by the time your baby is six months old.
You can give your body some help in its natural weight loss by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eat between 1,200 and 1,500 calories per day, depending on your base line weight and exercise routine. Create a diet that is full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Put together snacks while you are full of energy to munch on when you and the baby want to rest. Go for a walk to exercise and get fresh air for you both.
Although you may feel tempted to lose a lot of weight quickly, you should not put yourself on a diet unless a doctor has recommended it. Especially if you are breast feeding, you need plenty of energy to care for your baby. Some light exercise will help you feel energized and healthy. Strenuous exercise might exhaust you even more than you already are.
Weight loss after pregnancy is critical for your long-term health and future pregnancies. Harvard School of Public Health published a press release in September 2006 that documented a Harvard study that outlined the relationship between retained weight and pregnancy complications.
- mother and baby image by Andrii Oleksiienko from Fotolia.com