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Losing weight postpartum

February 1, 2024
5 min 20 sec
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So, you’re a new Mommy, overwhelmed with the ups and downs of having a new baby, and wondering when (and how) you’re going to lose all those extra pregnancy pounds

Baby weight isn’t here to stay if you don’t let it, and if you’re consistent with yourself you should have no problem losing the pounds in under a year. 

That being said, you should be aware that you may never regain your old body. While some women go back to their previous size and shape, many find that the shape of their hips, thighs and breasts are not quite the same as before the pregnancy. It’s normal! Your body has gone through a whole lot of change in very little time, and has adapted to the situation wonderfully.  

Anyway, while the actual baby weight (about half of the total pregnancy, in most cases) should be gone within the first two months, the rest of the pregnancy weight (usually settled in the belly, arms and thighs) can linger a little longer if you don’t take the situation under control. 

This blog post will provide useful tips on losing weight postpartum.

What actually is baby weight?

A lot happens to your body during pregnancy, a lot more than most people are actually aware of. In general during pregnancy you should aim to gain 2-3 pounds per month, totalling about 20 pounds. But your baby is obviously not going to weigh 20 pounds, right?

While the baby makes up a big part of the pregnancy weight gain (about 6.6-9 lbs approximately), the rest is distributed as such:

  • The baby’s “accessories”: placenta, amniotic fluid and of course, uterus. They usually represent 3-4 pounds.
  • Breast tissue and blood volume, totalling about 2-3 pounds. 
  • Fluid retention (2-3 pounds)
  • Fat stores (5-9 pounds)

Why do we store so much fat, you ask? First of all, it’s essential to compensate for the increase of energy needed to grow a fetus from scratch, all the while letting Mommy live a fairly normal life. It also provides extra warmth and protection for the fetus. Finally, it’s there to prepare for breastfeeding, a time when Mommy will be burning up to 3000 calories a day just by feeding their baby, and needs the extra energy storage to keep it up. 

But while all that is nice and well, you might feel that the pregnancy weight is lingering a little too long, and want to help it along. 

Let’s look at what we can do to speed along the process of losing weight postpartum

Low-impact exercises

Now, don’t go overboard. You just gave birth and your body is flowing with pregnancy hormones that can make heavy exercising painful and even dangerous. 

One in particular, Relaxin, can be a real bummer when exercising. Relaxin is a hormone that appears at the very beginning of pregnancy and which helps loosen the ligaments in the body to prepare for childbirth. While this is awesome for labor and delivery, it can also affect joint stability and increase the risk of injury during exercise.

The loosening of ligaments can make postpartum women more prone to joint and muscle injuries. It's important to listen to your body and exercise with caution, avoiding high-impact activities or exercises that put excessive stress on the joints. Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, yoga, and stationary cycling are generally safer options during pregnancy.

Aim to exercise at least 3 times a week, although daily is of course best. Take it slow at first and increase the cadence little by little, until you reach your pregnancy weight loss goal, and of course afterwards. 

Self-hypnosis can help you stay motivated to exercise daily and lose weight postpartum.  

Maintain a healthy diet

There is no secret to weight loss, it always comes down to exercising and eating properly. However in this case, you should take into consideration whether you’re breastfeeding or not. 

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For breastfeeding mothers

Breastfeeding mothers need more energy to keep up the milk production. Also, the quality of the food you eat while breastfeeding is important as it is transferred to your child as they feed. 

As such, you should focus on healthy but nutritious foods when trying to lose weight postpartum while breastfeeding, foods that will boost your energy stores without actually storing energy. 

Some examples are: 

  • Cashews and nuts
  • Legumes 
  • Red meat and poultry
  • Leafy greens

A combination of these highly nutritious foods can help you lose weight postpartum all the while creating nutritious-packed milk for your little one. 

Try to eat smaller meals more often in the day to keep the energy intake coming and reduce sugar spikes (and drops). Remember that a breastfeeding mother needs 300-500 extra calories per day compared to what you were ingesting before the pregnancy, so now is not the time to go on a low-calorie diet. 

By eating nutritious foods, reducing sweets and eating at regular intervals, you should be able to maintain your milk production all the while losing the extra pregnancy pounds

Self-hypnosis for weight loss is a healthy way to choose the right foods while losing weight postpartum. By acting directly on your subconscious brain, self-hypnosis allows you to make the right choices instinctively without having to load around a calorie journal. 

If you’re not breastfeeding

If you’re not breastfeeding, you no longer have to maintain a higher calorie intake to remain healthy, so you can turn to lower calorie (yet still healthy and nutritious) foods. Look towards light salads, lean meats and healthy smoothies to lose your postpartum weight. Try to go in a very little calorie deficit, in order burn more calories than you take in but without starving yourself. 

Self-hypnosis for weight loss is a great ally in losing weight postpartum as it acts directly on your subconscious brain and helps you make the right decisions for your particular situation at any given moment. 

Losing weight postpartum can seem like an uphill battle, but it’s just a question of months. Your body took 9 months to put on all that weight and create your wonderful bundle of joy, give yourself at least the same amount of time to lose the pregnancy weight

It’s not a race, enjoy your baby and your body, everything will go back to where it should be in time, if you put in the work and practice self-hypnosis daily

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