- Your post-baby belly will ordinarily be the first to flatten out. This happens to up to six weeks after delivery. This is because your uterus will take time to shrink back into its ordinary size.
- You will shed excess water weight that you accumulated during pregnancy and IV fluids that were administered during delivery. This water leaves through sweat so be prepared for a lot of this, post-partum.
When this is done, what remains now is fat and extra weight that was gained during your pregnancy. This can be handled by following a diet and exercise.
When is It Safe to Start Losing Weight?
- You should plan to reclaim your pre-pregnancy body anywhere between 6-12 months. Losing weight too soon after delivery may prevent you from fully recovering from the process of childbirth.
- You should give yourself until your 6-week check up to try and lose weight. If breastfeeding, you should wait until your baby is at least 2 months old or until your milk production has normalized before cutting the calories.
- A realistic goal would be to aim to reduce at least half a kg every week. This is usually done by watching what you eat and exercise. You should, however, get clearance from your doctor before you start weight loss.
Losing Weight and Breastfeeding
Care should be taken when losing weight when breastfeeding, this is because losing too much weight to quickly could reduce the amount of milk your produce.
Breastfeeding in itself burns 200 to 500 calories per day. Aiming to lose 500 grams per week will therefore have no effect on milk production.
How to Lose Weight Safely While Breastfeeding?
Following a healthy diet that encourages breastfeeding. Read more on foods that encourage milk production here. Will help in meeting your baby’s nutritional needs even when losing weight. The following tips should aid in healthy weight loss:
- Eat at least 6 meals a day instead of one large meal
- Drink plenty of water
- Choose baked or steamed food over fried foods
- Limit sugar and sweets
- Eat slower
- Aim to exercise moderately every day.
Preventing too much weight gain during pregnancy could also be a strategy to avoid having to lose too much weight postpartum. There are foods that are recommended for you to eat and what not to eat.
The ideal result for losing weight postpartum would be doing it slowly enough for your body to recover fully from pregnancy and maintaining milk production for your baby.
Please note that development differs from one child to another. Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.
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Last reviewed March 2019