For most women, that joyful time when their warm and snuggly newborn has arrived is mixed with emotions about changes in their own bodies. Many women have doubts swarming in their heads about how they can lose the weight they put on over the nine-plus months. It is known that an average newborn weighs about 7.5 pounds. How many pounds will you weight when you walk out of the delivery room with your bundle of joy in your arms? How long will it take for you to get your pre-baby body back?
The timeline of losing weight post pregnancy varies with each woman and is based on a number of factors. How much weight you gained during pregnancy, whether you breastfeed or not, your diet and exercise habits. Here is a timeline of weight loss for an average woman post pregnancy.
24 hours after birth
On average women lose around 12 pounds almost immediately after giving birth. You have the baby, lose body fluids, amniotic fluid which helps you to immediately lose a few pounds. In this 24-hour period, your postpartum belly bulge is already beginning to go down. You’d be happy to know a lot of your weight during your pregnancy was….your baby.
One week later
You”re still peeing out a lot of fluids, especially if you were on IV/epidural, so you’re still shedding some pounds there. Also, breastfeeding plays a major role in weight loss. Though doctors advise you to consume an additional 500 calories a day if you are nursing, you often lose weight after giving birth. Studies have shown you lose more weight after birth if you breastfeed because breastfeeding burns more calories.
Two weeks later
Warning for all you new moms out there. The scale is not your friend for now. Seriously, do not get on the scale for the first two weeks after you give birth to your angel. This is because, during your first few weeks, you’re still in the baby blues period where you are establishing breastfeeding. Also, your hormones begin to come down during these initial weeks. If anything, the number on the scale is usually not reflective of body fat, so don’t discourage yourself. One good way would be to measure your waist with a measuring tape once a month to track inches instead of pounds.
One month later
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), it’s common for new moms to lose as many as 20 pounds in the first month after delivery. Since most of you are advised to gain 25-35 pounds while pregnant, one month later, you might be almost back to your pre-baby size. Wait it out for a month and let your body work the wonders.
Six weeks later
The uterus returns to the pelvis around this time, so your belly looks flatter and smaller. It’s quite a big change as far as the belly goes. Sometimes, you may even get to flaunt yourself in your favorite bikini.
A few months later
According to ACOG, if you maintain healthy eating habits you began during your pregnancy, you’ll be close to your normal weight within a few months postpartum. Furthermore, getting some exercise can help you get fitter faster.
Nine months later
Nine months later you become your pre-baby self. How relaxing is that to hear? The bottom line is each woman loses postpartum weight at her own pace. But yes, you do lose that flab and become fab once more.
Keep track of how much and what foods you eat the most (whole grains, lean protein, lots of water, fruits and veggies) so you will lose weight faster. Avoid fad diets which will not promote long-term weight loss. And don’t deny your body of nutrients and calories as your baby would need them if you’re breastfeeding.