Understand everything you need to know about postpartum weight loss and how you can best lose the baby weight.
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Are you eager to get the postpartum weight loss journey started so you can get back into your normal size clothes again? You are among thousands of new moms who are in your same shoes, trying to get rid of the baby weight and feel like normal again.
Losing the baby weight postpartum is not something to take lightly. Have a better understanding of postpartum weight loss and know how you can best get a handle on losing the excess baby weight.
How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy?
It has been advised by the CDC (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention) that women gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. This is the healthy target range pregnant women should strive for all the way up to the end of their third trimester.
Those women who have excess weight gain during pregnancy are more likely to encounter these consequences during pregnancy:
- Increased risk of being overweight postpartum and beyond
- Increased chances of pregnancy complications
- Heightened risk of diabetes and heart disease
- Higher health risks for women with gestational diabetes
What Is Baby Weight?
The term “baby weight” is the excess weight that remains after giving birth. It’s the unwanted weight that new moms are trying to get rid of and lose.
Curious about makes up the “baby weight” during pregnancy? Pregnancy weight gain consists of:
- the baby (of course)
- amniotic fluid
- breast tissue
- uterus enlargement
- extra fat stores
But once the baby is born, you still have a high number on the scale. So what is causing the extra weight gain? The extra fat stores. That’s not the answer you were probably looking for, but it’s true.
Understanding that the extra fat is there for a reason might help ease your mind a bit. It’s not necessarily due to anything you did wrong during pregnancy, but it’s just the way our body prepares for childbirth and breastfeeding.
The extra fat acts as an energy reserve for the birth and breastfeeding. Keep in mind, if you gained more than the recommended amount during pregnancy, the excess weight gain can result in too much fat.
The excessive fat that was gained and remained after childbirth is commonly known as “baby weight”.
How Much Weight Do You Lose After Giving Birth?
Every woman is different, but it is averaged to be 13 pounds of weight loss after giving birth (vaginally or via C-section). What makes up the 13 pounds? The majority of the weight is your actual baby’s weight and the rest comes from delivering the placenta and losing amniotic fluids that surround your baby in the womb.
Babies average between 5.5 pounds and 8.75 pounds. So expect some weight loss, but don’t expect your pregnancy weight to return right after delivery.
How Long Does It Take To Lose The Postpartum Weight?
If you are interested in knowing how long it takes to lose the postpartum weight, set your expectations low and aim for 6 months to a year. Some women do accomplish this sooner and some can take longer, even up to 2 years, but on average it can take between 6-12 months to lose the postpartum baby weight.
This average is based off of women who gained the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy. If you gained more than the recommended amount, then expect the weight loss to take longer than a year.
Why Is Postpartum Weight Loss So Hard?
There are so many reasons why postpartum weight loss is so hard. Lack of sleep after just giving birth is a big reason. Being uncomfortable during pregnancy is a common problem along with staying up late trying to get your baby to actually fall asleep. Plus, you try so hard to avoid waking your baby up when lying him down in the crib. Pure exhaustion!
Don’t forget the constant workload that was added on to your lifestyle now that you are a new mom makes postpartum weight loss extremely difficult.
You are learning how to take care of your baby, you’re doing baby’s laundry, breastfeeding, pumping, bottle warming, bottle cleaning, diaper management, stain management to go along with that, and finding time to shower in the middle of all the chaos is what makes weight loss so challenging.
Don’t forget the lack of time, lack of sleep and lack of focus due to brain fog from all the other stuff that’s going on as a new mom. Losing weight takes focus through planning and commitment. It’s hard to stay committed when each day brings on new challenges while taking care of our newborn. Every day is so unpredictable.
And to add to that, our bodies need energy to take care of our new baby, whether we are nursing or not, so those extra calories are needed. It’s hard to find a balance between too many calories and too few calories for weight loss. The number is hard to determine.
How Can I Reduce My Tummy After Delivery?
Why Do I Still Look Pregnant After 4 Months Postpartum?
It’s extremely common to look pregnant after 4 months postpartum due to the expansion of your uterus during pregnancy, increased fluids and the body retaining extra fat stores to aid in milk production.
Statistics state that 75% of women weigh more one year postpartum then they did pre-pregnancy. It can be concluded that this excess weight gain is extra fat that remains from poor food choices during pregnancy.
But aside from that, the reason why most women look pregnant after 4 months postpartum is due to the change in shape of your stomach after pregnancy, particularly your stomach muscles.
One of the main reasons that so many women have a “mommy tummy” after giving birth that lingers for months on end is due to diastasis recti. Diastasis recti is the separation of the line between the right and left side of your rectus abdominis muscle which forms a gap in the middle of your stomach. This gap protrudes and makes your stomach look bigger or appears to still look pregnant.
Another reason you still may look pregnant 4 months after giving birth is because your body swells during pregnancy. After delivery, your body begins to release the extra fluid through urine, vaginal secretion and sweat.
Plus don’t forget the extra fat you put on during pregnancy to nourish your baby. That extra fat does begin to burn off through nursing and exercise, but it takes weeks to notice any change.
What Is Normal Weight Loss After Pregnancy?
It took nine months for your abdomen to stretch to accommodate a full-term baby. So it makes sense that it would take at least that long to tighten back up.
There are many factors that contribute to the speed in which your weight loss occurs after pregnancy. Some of the most common factors are your normal body size, how active you are, how much weight you gained during pregnancy and genetics.
Women who gained less than 30 pounds and exercised regularly during pregnancy, who breastfeed, and who have had only one child are more likely to slim down quickly.
What Is The Fastest Way To Lose Weight After Pregnancy?
Don’t gain too much weight above the recommended amount during pregnancy (25-35 lbs). Focus on healthy eating, exercise and breastfeeding after childbirth. This by far is the fastest way to lose weight after having a baby. But there’s one more catch. You have to be consistent, you have to stay accountable to yourself and you can’t give up. Those moms who have the best self-discipline have the best results.
If you want to learn more about postpartum weight loss, continue reading about 21 tips on how to lose weight after pregnancy.
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