Pregnancy is exciting but alters your body and mind. Weight gain from the growing baby is obvious. While gaining weight during pregnancy is healthy, many women question how to lose it after giving birth.
Safe and progressive pregnancy weight loss benefits your health. Rapid weight loss might slow recovery and impede nursing. It can also cause postpartum depression, tiredness, and nutritional inadequacies.
This article will discuss safe weight loss after pregnancy, how much to expect, and how to lose weight.
When Is Weight Loss After Pregnancy Safe?
The answer depends on your pre-pregnancy weight, how much weight you acquired during pregnancy, how you delivered your kid, whether you are breastfeeding, and your health and medical history.
However, some general guidelines are:
- Before dieting, obtain a postpartum checkup. This checkup occurs 6–8 weeks after birth and 8–12 weeks after a cesarean. Your doctor will evaluate your recovery at this visit. When and how to reduce weight safely.
- Try to lose 1–2 pounds per week slowly. This pace is healthful and won't hinder healing or milk production. Faster weight reduction might cause muscle loss, dehydration, gallstones, and other health issues.
- Balanced, nutritious food fits your calorie and nutrient needs. You need calories for healing and breastfeeding. The ACOG advises breastfeeding women to eat 450–500 more calories each day. To feed yourself and your baby, you need protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Avoid fasting, skipping meals, and restrictive or fad diets that impair milk quality and health.
- Start exercising when you're ready. Physical activity burns calories, tones muscles, boosts mood, and lowers chronic disease risk. However, do not overdo it or undertake vigorous activity without your doctor's approval. Start with mild walking, stretching, or pelvic floor exercises. Increase workout intensity and duration as you get stronger and more comfortable.
- Rest and sleep enough. Sleep deprivation affects hormones, hunger, metabolism, mood, and vitality. It can also hinder postpartum weight loss. Get 7–9 hours of quality sleep per night and nap when you can. While you rest, ask your partner, relatives, or friends to watch the infant.
- Manage stress and get help. Stress releases cortisol and adrenaline, which raise blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol. It can also boost unhealthy food cravings and hinder weight reduction. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and massage can reduce stress. If you're overwhelmed or depressed, join a postpartum support group or see a therapist.
How Much Weight Can You Expect to Lose After Pregnancy?
The amount of weight you can expect to lose after pregnancy depends on several factors, such as:
- Your pre-pregnancy weight
- How much weight you gained during pregnancy
- How much fluid you retained during pregnancy
- How big your baby was at birth
- Whether you had a vaginal or cesarean delivery
- Whether you are breastfeeding or not
- Your diet and exercise habits
However, some general estimates are:
- You lose 10–12 pounds immediately after delivery. This contains the infant (7–8 pounds), placenta (1–2 pounds), and amniotic fluid (2 pounds).
- You will lose another 5 to 10 pounds in the first week after delivery. This is mostly water weight that you accumulated during pregnancy due to increased blood volume and hormonal changes.
- Following a healthy diet and exercise program will help you lose 1–2 pounds per week for weeks and months.
- Reaching pre-pregnancy weight may take 6–12 months. Your goals and circumstances may vary. Women may lose more, less, or never achieve their pre-pregnancy weight. Avoid the scale and focus on your health.
Weight reduction after pregnancy is safe and healthy if done gradually and sensibly. Before starting a weight loss program, wait until your postpartum visit and aim for 1–2 pounds per week. Eat a balanced diet, exercise, get adequate sleep, handle stress, and get assistance.
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