Losing the Baby Weight after Pregnancy

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Throughout pregnancy, you watch the pounds add up with dread. How in the world will you be losing twenty-five or thirty pounds in a matter of months? Sometimes your body gains more weight than is recommended and you’re faced with even greater struggles. Losing the baby weight can be tough, but it is possible.

Start by Paying Attention While Pregnant

You don’t need to diet while pregnant, but you should be using common sense. It’s easy to indulge yourself while pregnant and you should on occasion, but for many women pregnancy wreaks havoc on their metabolism making weight stick more easily. “Eating for Two” doesn’t even start until the second trimester and only requires about three hundred extra calories a day. That’s slightly more than one candy bar, and you want every calorie to be nourishment for your baby anyway. Regardless of how much weight you gain during pregnancy, if you’re eating a reasonable amount of calories and exercising on occasion, it should fall off fairly easily.

The First Six Weeks

After your baby comes out, you’ll feel thin until you roll to your side. Then, that now flatter belly falls off and puddles next to you. Don’t panic – this is only a temporary condition. When the baby is inside the belly, the uterus and all its fluids help to push that skin out into a tight ball. Then the water balloon and baby are no longer inside the ball, the tummy deflates and it takes months for the skin to get itself back to its former elasticity again.

If you gained the recommended twenty-five or thirty pounds, you should be within five or ten pounds of your prepregnancy weight within six weeks. You might actually be at or below your old weight, but only nature will tell. You can do very little to control your weight loss during this time. You shouldn’t be doing any intense exercise and you’ll want to be eating reasonably of course. So while you’re getting adjusted to motherhood, just sit back and watch the scale fall.

During delivery you’ll immediately loose about nine pounds of baby and placenta. You’ll lose a few pounds of amniotic fluid as well, but that water weight might be replaced by IV fluids accumulating in your body if you’re still hooked up to an IV. Over the course of the first week, you’ll likely drop another five to ten pounds of water as you release the rest of the stored water and then another pound or two of blood will disappear over the first month since you don’t need so much any more. Your uterus will shrink during these six weeks also helping to reduce the pouch you’ll have on your belly.

The First Three Months

Most new mums begin some sort of exercise and diet program when they are given permission at six weeks. If your diet plan involves breastfeeding, you can’t actually diet, but the feeding should burn an extra five hundred calories a day helping to cut down on excess fat. But many breastfeeding mums hang on to that last five or ten pounds of fat to ensure a healthy milk supply whether they want it or not – the fat, not the milk supply.

You will likely continue to loose weight at a steady pace regardless of how intensely you diet or exercise. In fact, you’ll probably lose the weight whether you diet or not. Your body takes a few months to finish purging water and stabilizing hormones. You may not be able to budge the scale at all for up to four or six months following delivery if your body decides to be stubborn.

The First Year

But at some point, the scale will start moving again. A steady diet and exercise routine will help to shave pounds off. Even after the last of the pounds are gone, you’ll still need to wait nine months to a year for your hips to go back into position and some never make it all the way back meaning your pants might not fit correctly anymore. The skin on your stomach will tighten up, but the muscles won’t get tighter unless you help them. Abdominal exercises combined with cardio and a healthy diet will bring your body back to a reasonable representation of itself by the time your baby is a year old. Remember, it took nine months to gain, and it will probably take just as long to lose.

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