So you’ve just had a baby! Now that the initial excitement has settled in, you may be wondering about realistic weight loss after giving birth. What is the average amount of weight lost? How long will it take to lose the weight? And what are some of the best ways to help speed up the process? Keep reading for answers to these questions and more.
How Much Weight Will I Gain During Pregnancy?
The average woman gains about 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. If you’re carrying twins or multiples, you may gain more weight. If you’re overweight when you become pregnant, you may gain less weight.
How Much Do You Lose After Giving Birth?
Right after delivery, you can expect to lose about 10-12 pounds, which includes the weight of the baby, placenta, and amniotic fluid. You’ll also lose another 5 or so pounds during the first week post-delivery as your body sheds excess water weight. So all in all, it’s not uncommon to lose up to 20 pounds in the first few weeks postpartum.
Of course, every woman is different and some may find they lose weight faster while others may take longer. It also depends on how much weight you gained during pregnancy. If you were within the recommended weight gain range for your build and height, you may find it easier to slim down postpartum. However, if you gained more weight than recommended, it may take longer to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight.
How Long Does It Take To Lose The Weight?
The rate at which you lose the pregnancy weight can vary and is different for every woman. Some women find that they drop the pounds quickly while others may take longer. On average, most women return to their pre-pregnancy weight by 6 months postpartum, though it could be sooner or later depending on a number of factors.
Best Ways To Help Speed Up The Weight Loss Process
If you’re looking to shed the pregnancy weight quickly, there are a few things you can do to help speed up the process.
Eat a healthy diet
One of the best ways to help lose weight post-pregnancy is to eat a healthy diet. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while avoiding processed foods and sugary drinks. It’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough protein and calcium. And be sure to hydrate with plenty of water throughout the day.
Another key factor in losing weight post-pregnancy is exercise. Moderate intensity exercise such as walking or swimming can help burn calories and promote weight loss. And it’s important to start slowly and build up gradually. If you’re not currently active, consult with your doctor before starting any type of exercise program.
Consider breastfeeding your child
If you’re able to breastfeed your child, it can not only help them get the nutrients they need, but it can also help you lose weight. For one, nursing a baby requires energy and effort. And since breastfeeding helps to provide your child with the nutrients they need, it can also help you lose weight post-pregnancy. It's been estimated that breastfeeding can help you burn an extra 500-700 calories per day. So if you’re looking to lose weight postpartum, breastfeeding is a great way to do it.
Get plenty of rest
It’s important to get enough sleep when you’re trying to lose weight. When you’re well rested, you have more energy to exercise and eat a healthy diet. Shoot for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is important for your health and can also help with weight loss. When you’re properly hydrated, your body can better metabolize fat. And drinking water can also help to reduce bloating and water retention. Aim to drink 8-10 glasses of water per day.
The Low-Down on Postpartum Exercise
As mentioned above, exercise is a key factor in losing weight post-pregnancy. However, exercise isn't just about weight loss. Exercise comes with a slew of other benefits, such as improving your mood, reducing stress, and boosting your energy levels.
Ready to get back into exercising? Here are some useful tips for you to consider:
Involve your baby during exercise
It’s important to get back into a fitness routine after giving birth, and what better way to do it than by involving your little one?
There are a number of exercises you can do with your baby that are not only fun, but also beneficial for both of you. For example, put Baby in their stroller and go for a walk around the neighborhood—the level of difficulty is up to you! Or, try a baby yoga class. You'll get to do yoga while Baby is either on the floor or in a nearby stroller or bouncer.
Exercise with other moms
If you're having trouble getting back into the swing of things after giving birth, why not try exercising with other moms? There are a number of mother-and-baby exercise classes available in most communities. Or, if you prefer to exercise on your own, try joining an online forum or group specifically for mothers who are trying to lose weight post-pregnancy. This can be a great way to get motivation and support from others who are going through the same thing.
Focus on core exercises
After giving birth, it’s important to focus on exercises that will help to strengthen your core muscles. These are the muscles that support your back and spine, and they can be weakened during pregnancy and childbirth.
There are a number of different exercises you can do to strengthen your core, such as Pilates, yoga, and crunches. Or, try a simple at-home workout like this one:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles and bend forward at the waist until your back is parallel to the ground.
- Hold for 30 seconds and then return to the starting position.
- Repeat 10 times.
How to Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals
When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to set realistic goals. Losing too much weight too quickly can be unhealthy and difficult to sustain long-term. So aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week. This may seem like a slow process, but it’s a healthy rate of weight loss that you can maintain over time.
Losing weight after pregnancy takes time and effort, but it’s possible to reach your pre-pregnancy weight. The best way to do it is by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. And be sure to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water. If you set realistic goals, you’ll be more likely to achieve them! It just may take a bit longer than you think.