31 answers

Weight Loss Immediately After Giving Birth

I am a first-time Mom, 28 weeks along. Im having a hard time adjusting to my new body and want to know what it will be like after I give birth. Im curious to find out how much weight women have lost immediately after giving birth, and how long did it take to lose all of the weight. Thanks!

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So What Happened?™

I got a lot of great responses to this and I thought I would follow up on what happened. I dont know how much weight I gained EXACTLY but I think it was between 30-35 lbs during my pregnancy. A couple days after I delivered, I wore "a belly bandit"-one of those bands on my stomach. About 3 weeks later I fit into my old jeans, but didnt look as good as before! My sons about 7 weeks old now and I have been exclusively breastfeeding. I eat really good and drink a lot of water...I didnt exercise right away because I could barely walk or use my abdominal muscles to stand up for a while! I would like to lose about 5 more lbs but Im pretty happy my body. I owe it to breastfeeding-drinking a lot of water-the belly bandit- and not eating any sweets, fast food, or fried food. Thanks for all the feedback

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I lost 15 pounds right away and it took me about 7 months to lose the other 10. Ugh. Since the weather is getting nice, just take a brisk stroll around the neighborhood a few times a week to start!

I think it varies from person to person. I understand adjusting while pregnant. I hated the fact that I was not in control. I was so use to running 3 miles everyday and doing weights. I did continue doing some lite running and weight lifting but the bigger I got the harder it was to keep up.

After my csection, I woke up and everything was still there. I thought everything would be gone. I was wrong. I walked EVERY day at the same time for 30 minutes with my daughter in tow. It was nice to get out of the house. In 3 months, I had lost all but 5 lbs. Also, by 3 months, I had just gotten back to running. I was pretty hard core but that is not saying my body was back to what it was.

I got everything back to what it was at 9 months except for my stomach. My daughter is now 15 months old and I am still working on getting my stomach tight. I work out every morning at 5:00 a.m.

hi, S., i am a thin type and weighed 105 lbs. and was 5'7" when i got pregnant. i gained 55 pounds! i loved the extra weight and finally had perfect legs! anyway, i lost a lot of weight after delivering and i think it was from breast feeding. after one year of breast feeding i had to stop because i was getting too skinny again. many probably dont breast feed for a whole year but i am guessing that that is the best way to lose weight. :-)

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Well, #1.) ignore all the Hollywood pictures of celebrities dropping down to a size 2 two weeks after giving birth. I have no idea what kind of prescription drug & enema combination they're doing to get that... Definitely unrealistic... Forget about that... We don't have personal trainers, and chefs to cook our zero-fat meals, and nannies to watch the baby, while we do marathon 3 hour workouts--thank goodness, because no one is taking our picture when we venture out to the grocery store 3 weeks after giving birth!

My doctor told me that I should not even consider dieting or weight loss until 12 months after giving birth. Your body needs a year to adjust its hormones and functions back to normal, without putting it in a starvation mode due to dieting.

I have a friend who lost her pregnancy weight 6 months after birth. She regrets it because she says the weight was lost in "all the wrong places" but not necessarily in her middle/tummy (aka: she says she lost the curves of her boobs and butt).

For me, I did not diet but I absolutely avoided all fast food/junk food and anything made with corn syrup. And that was a hard line to tow, because when you're tired and sleep deprived, quick food sources look like the best idea. But I really didn't want that type of food in my body or in my breastmilk. I also breast feed for as long as I could (10 months) and would have gone longer but my daughter self-weened... (Breast feeding is a great way to lose the pregnancy weight!) I weighed 126 before pregnancy; right before birth, I weighed 176 (that includes the baby, the water retention, and all the midnight pregnancy ice cream cravings). I dropped to 155-ish in the weeks after birth but was around a size 16 (still was wearing my pregnancy jeans); and then over the next 12 to 14 months, I went through a size 14, size 12, size 10... size 8, size 6... (those were a little longer to get to than the first few sizes). I am now 127. I know I went through those sizes about every 8-10 weeks-- because I was working and every 2.5 months I hit Target for cheap work clothes because my job required me to keep my wardrobe towards a certain appearance (otherwise I would have stayed in baggy sweat pants the whole time! lol!). (And no, I didn't exercise; I would have liked to, but honestly I was too busy juggling a baby, FT work, my husband and sleep deprivation!)

Also, I was mentally motivated to lose the extra weight, not because of body image but because my physical frame had a hard time carrying it. I don't have great knees and ankles, and carrying those additional 20-30 lbs were really hard on my joints, especially when repeatedly walking up the stairs in our house. ugh!

You will lose weight (assuming you eat well and avoid alcohol). However keep in mind that it took your body 10 months to build a baby and accumulate all the calorie resources it needed to do that AND to support your initial breast feeding needs. You should give your body at least the same amount of time to let the weight go.

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Hi S., don't worry about the weight at this time. You need to make sure you eat healthy during the pregnancy and think about the weight later. I am in my late 30's and have a 16 month old. I was also concerned about the weight, especially since I was having a child later in life and do not have the metabolism I once had. I put over 50 pounds on during the pregnacy and lost 20 pounds immediately and then a little extra every month. I actually lost 60 pounds and lost several sizes in the year. I am smaller now than before I got pregnant - I know every one is different, but I believe one thing that helped me tremendously was nursing my son. Moreover, I exercised a little - mostly walking and of course waiting the 6 weeks after birth. Good luck

Every body system is different. Don't judge your body by what someone else's body does. Some persons leave the hospital looking like they did when they entered and some leave looking like they did before they got pregnant. Having just gotten out of the Army, your body is most likely in pretty good shape with good muscle tone. Just do what the doctor recommends and don't rush anything because you could mess up something inside. If you've been on a restricted diet, don't go crazy eating all the things you've had to avoid. Good diet and proper exercise will get you back in shape.

I think this is something that most women struggle with.
Each woman's body is different. Just out of the Army, you likely are in much better shape than the vast majority of pregnant women. Just a guess.
As another mom said, your body is working for months to nourish this life inside you. Give yourself at least that long to get it off again.
I was 23 when #1 was born...30lbs gained, 15 lost at birth, the last 15 came off over the course of about 11mos. Thanksgiving and Christmas were in there :-) I breastfed her for 2.5yrs
I was 26 when #2 was born...32lbs gained, 17 lost at birth, remaining lost over the course of a year. He is still nursing.
I am now 28yrs old and expecting #3. I figure it will be about the same this go around.
Has my stomach every looked the same as it did before? Absolutely not. How could it? But I (did) fit into my pre-pg clothes comfortably in the time I said.

Certainly not the best reason to nurse, but nursing does help a lot of women lose weight after giving birth. It does use up calories. However, a nursing mom of a newborn should remember that she is still eating for TWO. This little person is totally reliant on you to provide nourishment. Breast milk is the absolute best way to do this - and no organization disputes this (even the formula companies).
Eat healthful - now and after the baby is born.
Exercise.
It will come off.

HTH -- and if you have any questions for me about what I said, or about breastfeeding, please email me

K., mama to
Catherine, 5y
Samuel, 2y
EDD Sept '09

I lost 15 pounds right away and it took me about 7 months to lose the other 10. Ugh. Since the weather is getting nice, just take a brisk stroll around the neighborhood a few times a week to start!

S.,

I too had body Issues and weight gain during pregnecy. Just remember you are eating for 1 & 1/4 not 2. Maintain an exercise routine, I walked like a feend. I lost about 10 lbs right after baby (He weighed 6lbs 10 oz) but he rest of the weight came off pretty qickly (I only gained 25 lbs). But your whole hip structure changes to accomidate baby and that takes a while to go back. What I mean is the weight will come off but the same cloths may not fit for 6mo-1yr. I was quite a bit older then you (28) when I had my 1st so you may bounce back quicker. My only advice is take good care of yourself while you are carring that precious little one. Being pregnant is not a licence to over eat!!!

Best of luck

A. M

Good morning Stacey,

I am sadden that you are going through this during such a precious moment in life. I know all the changes are overwelming. I became pregnant at 23 and had my son at 24. I did only gain about 25lbs and within 4-6 months I have to say I was smaller than before I was pregnant with no exercise and I could of sworn the weight was going to "stick" I would say I averaged 125-130 prior to pregnancy however I was a single mom and believe the role of that helped me to loose more...breast feeding is a HUGE factor, it helps your stomach to retract down to it's normal size, I strongly advise more so for God's purpose (health of your baby)
I had a second child at 26 and gained around 50lbs and yes, that was more of a struggle...it took closer to a year for that to shed again I didn't work out really but eventually it came off, not all..I mean I wasn't a size 2 like after Styhlor however I had gotten down to a size 5/6 as I was prior to my first pregancy. To be honest, I don't know if you are spiritual but God didn't put us on the eart for mirrors... there is so much more to life than that and should you have a loving husband, he will love you regardless, not to say let yourself go and I know you wouldn't due to your harsh concerns however don't stress so much when the baby comes, take it all in, the miracle of life. You will be so busy with your new duties as a mom it is really easy to fall into depression expecially if you are so concerned about your weight first and formost. Place priorities on your life...what is REALLY important, get outside with your new little life and walk the neighborhood...there are many ways you can take your child to explore the world while being active yourself. I'm not sure if this was inspiring at all...I just really hope you thoroughly embrace life...it will go by SO fast as they all say and the newborn may not allow much sleep but I tell you...you will want those "simple" moments back when your chasing your 1 year old around...discipling your 2 year old, trying to convince your 3 year that they don't rule the world, etc. In every one of the trying times, always remember they are precious and should be treated as so... I am guilty of not treating my child mainly my first the way he deserved. I was too harsh, he was challenging, however I know today is the first day of the rest of my life and it is never too late to change and whatever you do .... DO IT FOR THE LORD OUR GOD. Rest in Christ! it's the only way :)

Lord Bless
M.

Hi S.,
I hear that every woman is different. With all 3 of my children, I lost 30 pounds in the first month. It didn't come off all at once, but throughout the 4 weeks following the birth of each of my children. I breast fed all 3 of my kids, at least for the first 2 months. It helps to drink a lot of water, especially if you're breastfeeding. Of course, that first 30 pounds was due to baby, baby fat, water, etc (from pregnancy). I alsohad some fat to lose just from eating more than I should have. That took a little longer to lose. With my second baby, my mother in law gave me some literature from Weight Watchers, that helped me lose weight. It showed the point allowances for a nursing mother, under the weight category I was in. It also came with information on point values for most foods. I highly suggest the Weight Watchers program. I am on it right now, 11 weeks after giving birth to my third baby. I lost the initial 30 pounds within the first month after he was born, and I have already lost almost 15 pounds after that. I am trying to take the weight loss slow -- no more than 2 pounds per week. You don't want to go too fast, if you're also breastfeeding. I could lose more weight each week, but I'd lose the quality and quantity of my milk supply. If you are breastfeeding, aim at losing the weight slowly - - only up to 2 pounds a week. It's worth it go slow with the weight loss for so many reasons: 1 - you want to keep your milk supply (if you're breastfeeding), 2 -it seems much easier to lose the weight (slowly) while breastfeeding (you have a higher point allowance). I don't follow the point targets religiously, but I use them as a guideline. If I followed them closely, I might lose too much each week. Good luck, and it sounds like you're already pretty motivated!

This will vary with each woman as to her ability to use exercise. You will loose the weight of the baby along with the weight of the fluids of water and after birth. If you take care of your self watch the weight gain you most likely will end up with only a small amount more than what you weighted before hand. Having a child is one of the best things that can happen to a woman, she get love and can give love and attention to this lovely gift. There are classes for exercise's that can be done while pregnant along with classes that can be taken take them, meet new people that aree going through the same thing you can both learn together.

I was 21 when my first daughter was born. I am 5'8" and gained about 30 pounds. I was back in my regular jeans within a week or two and was back in all my size 6 work clothes within six weeks. I would imagine you are fairly in shape from being in the Army so I would think you won't really have a problem getting your pre-baby body back.

Same here....gave birth 1st time to a 6.5 lb baby and weighed 2 lbs less the next day. So don't weigh yourself right away. Enjoy your baby and your new family.
Breastfeeding and moderate exercise helps take weight off gradually. A friend o mine had a baby last October. She was too obsessed with the weight and worked out very hard every day to lose the weight. Both her and the baby were very sick with bad colds, lots of flu, etc.....all winter long. That poor baby is finally getting better. DON'T DO THAT!

I was 27 when I had my son (5 years ago). I gained 41 lbs. I can't remember how much I weighed right after because I had a c-section. It took about a year (and I wasn't really working out regularly) for me to loose the weight. Before I got pregnant with him I weighed 98 lbs. (I'm very petite.) A year later I weighed 102.

I just had my daughter 9 months ago. I'm now 32. I weighed 102 when I got pregnant with her, gained 44 lbs. Right now I weigh about 116. I had a natural birth with my daughter and right away the weight seemed to be coming off quickly, then it slowed for a little while. Now I notice weight lose each month with my cycle. Again, I'm not really working out regularly.

I know it can feel frustrating. Just give your body some time. Like others have said, eat healthy to make sure your milk supply is good quality for the baby. Good luck and congratulations.

I think it varies from person to person. I understand adjusting while pregnant. I hated the fact that I was not in control. I was so use to running 3 miles everyday and doing weights. I did continue doing some lite running and weight lifting but the bigger I got the harder it was to keep up.

After my csection, I woke up and everything was still there. I thought everything would be gone. I was wrong. I walked EVERY day at the same time for 30 minutes with my daughter in tow. It was nice to get out of the house. In 3 months, I had lost all but 5 lbs. Also, by 3 months, I had just gotten back to running. I was pretty hard core but that is not saying my body was back to what it was.

I got everything back to what it was at 9 months except for my stomach. My daughter is now 15 months old and I am still working on getting my stomach tight. I work out every morning at 5:00 a.m.

I along with other mommas I have talked to lost ten lbs right after...that month or before. As for the rest of it well that is slower. If you can get out there and work you body then it will come off faster. If you are like me and were exausted for the first year then the weight will have to wait. Har har. Diet and exersize even now. Lay off the junk food and everything will work itself out. Oh and dont worry too much about how your body looks after birth. Everything slowly comes back. What is important right now is to give your baby healthy nutrience and exersize. Congrats.

I had my first when I was 27. I gained something like 35 pounds, and I lost it all very quickly (within 6 months). I breastfed, which I think has a lot to do with it (it burns between 300 and 800 extra calories a day). I also took lots of walks while wearing my baby in a Moby wrap. I think wearing my baby rather than pushing him helped me to get more exercise because I was lugging around an extra 8 then 10, then 15, then 20 pounds.

I am now pregnant again, and I'm really struggling with how much weight I've gained. It is scary, but I'm trying to just have faith that like last time, my body knows what it's doing, and I will lose all the weight after the baby is born. With my last one, I actually ended up 6 pounds under my pre-baby weight (122 pounds at 5'7"), so hopefully my body will work a similar miracle this time.

Hi! I gained about 45-50 pounds with my son. After the scale hit a certain number I just stopped counting. I would watch what I ate but didn't limit myself because I wanted him to be big and healthy. He was 8.5lbs. I ended up having a c-section with him not because he was big but because he was positioned crooked. Which sucked because the recovery time is longer. The first week after I lost 25 pounds. It seemed like I just sweat it all out. After 2 months I was allowed to start working out and tried but haven't kept up a good schedule. It's been six months and I have about 7 more pounds to lose and it feels great to watch the numbers come off. It's been kind of slow but it's happening.

It may go very quickly for you since you are in great shape but try not to get to worried about it. Enjoy this time because even though you may put on weight the reason you are is wonderful!!!

I lost weight to fast. The stress of my new baby got to me. Losing weight to fast effects your breast milk. Go slow.

I breast fed and lost all or most of my weight at around 9-10months. BTW I gained way more than the recommended 30 pounds. I weighted 200lbs when I had my son. I am back to 135.

My tummy is still flabby but I haven't worked on it.

I know how you feel. I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 month old and worried about the same thing but was fortunate enough to lose the weight easily after both pregnancies. Of course part of it is genetics but it's also about how much weight you gain during pregnancy. The key for me was eating healthy during pregnancy and maintaining my weight and breastfeeding. Good luck and congrats on the new baby.

For me, the weight came off within just 3 months - but then, I was nursing exclusively. One thing, though - nursing uses a tremendous amount of calories per day (around 500, I seem to remember), and the weight came back after I stopped. This time around, I'm going to try taking in extra calories every day while nursing, and hope I can avoid the post-nursing weight gain.

Also, my hip bones shifted quite a bit, and since that's not weight, but actual bone movement, they never did go back. And, probably because of nursing so long (17 months!), but possibly just hormonal changes, my breasts went from a 34B/C to a full 36C. (Which balances the hips quite nicely, I think.) Anyway, if you're into a particularly slinky look now, you might want to embrace a more curvy self, just in case. Think Marilyn Monroe, instead of Audrey Hepburn. Both beautiful women, just with different body types.

Best wishes to you, mom, and congratulations.

Hi S.. Congratulation on your little blessing. I am sorry you are struggling with body image issues during this precious time in your life. I love Pam H comments.

I, too, gained about 45 lbs. when I was pregnant. I did not try to lose the weight right after my little girl was born, and unfortunately, she did not take to breastfeeding. (I hear that is the fastest way to lose the baby weight.) I was back to my regular size by her 1st birthday, but I have since lost more weight, and I am smaller now than I was prior to becoming pregnant. I think the crawling and walking stages helped with the extra weight loss.

I will be honest...You will definitely have the jelly belly right after delivery. Do not freak out. Embrace it. Be a little like the jolly ole fellow! It will be gone before you know it! But, everything does not go back where it use to be. I would bet exercising would help in that area...still haven't got back on that train.

I believe it is far more important to be healthy, than focus on what your body looks like anyway. You will soon learn life passes by fast. Too fast. Love every second and enjoy it. Don't get wrapped up in self image.

Here is a quote by Erma Bombeck I would like to share with you:

"Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle."

Best of luck to you and your growing family. Be blessed! I will be praying for you.

M.

I breastfed my daughter and was down to my initial weight by the time my 6 week checkup cameup. However, none of it was in the same place. My body shape had changed a lot and it was difficult trying to get back in the same jeans. I think if you eat well and workout, you should be okay.

Your focus needs to be on a healthy body, for your sake now and after delivery, and for your growing baby. Walk, swim, do yoga, salsa dancing, whatever you enjoy. Don't count calories, but look at the nutrients in the food you eat and make sure it all counts.
I gained too much weight during my first pregnancy (40+ pounds) and it took a full year to get rid of it, although I didn't really try and just let a busy life take it's course. Healthy eating, walking with the stroller and breastfeeding. You are much younger than me (I was 30) and if it's important to you, then as long as you feel good and are fueling your body with healthy food (no starvation!) you can resume exercise as soon as your bleeding stops. Your body will likely bounce back, but just remember that you are also facing hormones and sleep deprivation, so be kind to yourself. I now have 3 kids and joined a gym 9 months ago. I should have done that years ago! It's fun, motivating, and gets you out of the house and the daycare on site is the biggest advantage for me.

Girl, you won't any problems at all. I'm 24 , had my baby a year ago...and I'm trying to put more weight back on. Genetics have some to do with it, but every women I know that stayed active (and w/your age & military training) won't be hard for you, during and after the pregnancy, you will have no trouble at all losing the weight. Stay active and healthy and you will be well in mind and body. I gained 40 pounds and lost it in about 7 months of having my daughter.
Good Luck and God Bless!

With my first (and a 28-pound weight-gain), I lost all my weight about 5 months after. With my 2nd and 3rd (both at 35-pound gains), it took about 8 months. And though I felt pretty good about my body after my first one pretty quickly, it took close to a year with my others before I felt really comfortable with my body. I also nursed, which I really believe helped me take off the weight, but I've also had friends who didn't lose the last 5 pounds until after they stopped nursing. But several things you should keep in mind: it can take about a year for your body to return to "normal." Even then, it's never going to be exactly the way it was before--more "hippy," poochy tummy, saggy breasts (which will be bigger in the beginning, but could be smaller in the long-run!) Just be patient with yourself and don't expect to be back in your regular clothes in the first week or two (or even month). It could happen, but don't be upset or hard on yourself if it doesn't.
Also, I distinctly remember insisting while I was pregnant with my first that I was going to be at the gym all the time, determined to lose all the baby weight and get my old body back. And while it worked out for me that I did lose all the weight, it wasn't because I was working out like crazy. After my first was born, getting to the gym was rather low on the list of priorities. Most of my weight came off just by nursing. When I did lose the last 5 pounds (plus an additional 7), it was because I went back to school and would push him in the stroller around campus (especially to the library with a bunch of books in the bottom of the stroller). THAT was my only work-out, but it was a pretty good one!

Hi S.,

I gained 27 pounds when I was pregnant with my little one and had lost it all by my 6 week check up. The only thing I know helped me get the weight off was breastfeeding. I did not exercise or diet, but when you breastfeed you burn something like 500 extra calories a day. HTH! Congratulations!

You're pretty young so your body may bounce back quickly. My mom had me when she was 20 and less than 2 weeks later she was at the beach in a bikini looking hot! I hoped this would happen to me (I used that pic of her as inspiration) but it totally did not. It took me a year to get all the weight off with my first pregnancy. When I had twins; however, it only took 6 months. Take your maternity clothes when you give birth because you will probably be wearing them home. Furthermore, even though I lost all the weight with all of my pregnancies, my body has never been the same. My stomach is much bigger, my arms have more meat, my boobs are still larger (kinda like the last one). Good luck!

Hi S.,
I know everyone's body's will be different in how they lose weight but I lost 12 pounds immediately after birth and after 2 and a half months I was 10 pounds away from my old weight. It took about another couple of months to drop the last 10 pounds. I breast fed and that's suppose to burn like 300 calories a day. hope this helps:)
p.s. I didn't diet but I didn't eat fastfood either. I breastfed for a year.

With my son I lost the weight in about a week. It took about 5 months for my jeans to fit again though. I think, with me anyway, your bone structure changes a little and it takes a little while for the stomach to not be so flabby/soft. I also looked a little puffy. With my daughter, I lost the weight within two weeks but I am now up 7 lbs that I just cannot lose. Then again I don't really try. I didn't do anything to lose weight but I did/do nurse and I am active. Don't worry about the weight gain, with my son I was scared of getting big so I was careful in what I ate. My daughter I ate everything that wasn't tied down and there was only a 4 lbs difference. You'll bounce right back specially if you don't tend to have to battle weight issues(and cause your young, I was 22 n 23 w/ mine), make sure your healthy and eat a lot of good food. My daughter was born below average weight and that is super scary so take care of yourself.

Ok, S...something I wish people would have told me....Immediately after birth I weighed myself....NO weight loss. I was shocked, how can you push out 8.4 ponds and not lose at least that? My advice to all new moms is dont weigh yourself immediately. You sound like you are thin and in shape already. Make sure you eat right, breastfeed, and work out...work out even while you are pregnant.You, unlike me, will likely lose weight quickly. Good Luck and congratulations...

hi, S., i am a thin type and weighed 105 lbs. and was 5'7" when i got pregnant. i gained 55 pounds! i loved the extra weight and finally had perfect legs! anyway, i lost a lot of weight after delivering and i think it was from breast feeding. after one year of breast feeding i had to stop because i was getting too skinny again. many probably dont breast feed for a whole year but i am guessing that that is the best way to lose weight. :-)

You should not try to lose weight after giving birth; especially if you are going to nurse. I am a mom of 3, ages 6 to 20 months. I started doing light exercise after my 6 week check up. by 4 months i was going to the gym 3x a week and slowly increasing the intensity. after about 6 months i was back into my pre pregnancy size. please remember your body will be changed after a child. but, you can lose the weight. try to remember that it has taken 9 months to gain, try to lose in the same time frame.

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