Be realistic! That’s the first thing to do when your focus has changed from having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby to your post pregnancy weight loss plan. To put your pregnancy weight gain in perspective, let’s just take a quick look what comprises your weight gain during pregnancy. On average:
- The baby will be 6 to 8 pounds
- The placenta will be 2 to 3 pounds
- The increased blood supply will be about 4 pounds
- The increase in breast tissue will be 2 to 3 pounds
- The amniotic fluid will be about 2 to 3 pounds
- Extra fat stores for delivery and production of milk will be 5 to 9 pounds
- The increase in the size of your uterus comprises about 2 to 5 pounds
- The total weight gain being between 23 and 35 pounds
Immediate Post Pregnancy Weight Loss
Of the total, the baby, the placenta and the amniotic fluid are the only weight loss you will experience immediately. That’s just 10 to 14 pounds. The rest will be lost over time. Chances are that if you had good eating habits, were of normal and healthy weight and in good physical shape before you got pregnant, the weight loss will happen of its own accord as you return to your pre-pregnancy diet and fitness routine. All the more reason to establish these good habits before pregnancy.
Establishing a Post Pregnancy Weight Loss Plan
If, on the other hand, you need some help in establishing a good weight loss plan, don’t despair. Now is an excellent time to establish good eating habits and a regular fitness program for yourself. You’ll not only be helping yourself, but influencing your child to maintain a healthy lifestyle as he or she grows into a teenager and adult.
Losing weight safely and permanently should be the overriding goal. It may take as long as a year… possibly more. Your health should always be the number one priority.
Exercise and Diet
After you have recovered from childbirth, you should be doing some form of physical exercise every day, even if its just walking. There are great baby strollers now that you can jog behind if you’re into running. That way you can get out with your baby AND exercise. You need to continue eating fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, and only occasionally indulge with your favorite food.
If you are able to breastfeed your baby, this will help you to lose your pregnancy weight faster. When you are pregnant, your body builds extra fatty tissue so you will have enough stored to support breastfeeding. After your baby is born, breastfeeding can help you lose your pregnancy weight, as you naturally burn calories by making more breast milk each time you nurse.
You can safely lose weight after pregnancy by following a common sense program of eating a nutrient-dense diet, and establishing (or continuing) a good exercise routine that combines strength building, stretching, and aerobic activities. Don’t get discouraged; it may take a while. Just be persistent and patient. Most importantly…enjoy your baby!