Postpartum weight loss: What Should i Expect?
You waited patiently, or not, for months to get to meet your new bundle of joy. Protected, loved, and eating for two. And once the baby got here, he or she was only 8 lbs! So, why am i still hanging onto this weight, you may ask. Typically during pregnancy women gain between 25-35 lbs, some may be more or less than those numbers. So where do the rest of those pounds come from? Your breast tissue, blood supply, fat stores and enlarged uterus. Women also store extra energy-reserves late in pregnancy as a hedge against possible disasters that might cause food scarcity. It’s like insurance for our species. So, naturally, with thought of survival in mind, you can expect that a new mother’s body would not just get rid of it’s reserves.
Mothers will lose about 15 pounds at delivery, and then drop another 4 to 6 pounds of water weight in the first week or so, leaving them about 15 - 20 pounds over their pre-pregnancy weight a one month postpartum. Then the rate of weight-loss slows to about 2 to 4 lbs. per month if you are eating a healthy balanced diet. If you notice that weight doesn’t seem to be budging it may be a good idea to talk to your family doctor about a safe, healthy way to help the weight come off slowly. Since your body needs ample rest and nutrition to recover from delivery, fend off infection and feed your baby, you shouldn’t even think about dieting until your baby is 6 weeks old — no matter how anxious you are to squeeze back into your pre-pregnancy clothes.
Don’t forget to get moving! We know, you’re a new mother, you’re busy all of the time! But, make time to exercise, you can even take baby! Put your baby in the stroller and the two of you can take a walk. A good walk to or in the park is also a great way to meet other moms and possibly make some new friends. Join mommy and me classes. Support is key to achieving your goals.
All in all, you can expect to lose most to some of your baby weight, but you may have to throw in some healthy eating and exercise to help it along a bit. Always remember before making any changes in nutrition or exercise you should check with your doctor.
An interesting fact, and perhaps another reason for breastfeeding, depending on how much milk you produce, breastfeeding can burn up about 500 calories per day. What’s more, it stimulates the release of hormones that help shrink your uterus. Plus, breastmilk is basically liquified fat stores!
No matter what don’t push yourself to bounce back right away. Your body grew a human being…stop and think about that just for a second. Understanding the changes your body has made will help you create manageable expectations for the future! Now, go grab some extra baby snuggles! They are only little once!