This weight gain consists of the baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, more blood, uterus enlargement, breast tissue and extra fat stores. The extra fat acts as an energy reserve for the birth and breastfeeding.
If you’re like most new mothers, you want to quickly pack away your maternity clothes and fit back into your old pants. However, it’s important to approach postpartum weight loss in a smart and healthy way. Experts recommend that women should gradually lose the weight they gained during pregnancy over the course of six months to a year.
Losing the pregnancy weight is important not just for the new mothers, but for their babies too. Women who enter the next pregnancy overweight or obese can put themselves and their babies at risk for several medical complications, such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
A new mother will shed some weight immediately after giving birth. This initial weight loss is due to the weight of the newborn baby, the placenta and the amniotic fluid that leaves her body during childbirth (approximately 13 lbs). Over the next few weeks, she will shed more weight as she loses the extra fluid built up in her body during pregnancy. After that, she is left with the extra fat she gained. Losing this extra weight will require some effort. It is recommended that new mothers be realistic in their weight loss goals and aim to lose 1 lb per week through healthy diet and exercise.
Breastfeeding is the gold standard for infant nutrition and provides the baby with all the required nutrients for optimal growth and development, as well as many other health benefits. If these reasons weren’t enough to encourage mothers to breastfeed exclusively, breastfeeding also helps accelerate postpartum weight loss. New mother’s use up their body’s fat stores to fuel the production of breastmilk. This burns an additional 500 calories per day.
Follow these top 8 tips for healthy postpartum weight loss: