For many new moms, one of their biggest personal goals after delivery is getting back to their pre-pregnancy weight.  While this is normal, it’s important to have realistic expectations when it comes to postpartum weight loss.  Trying to rush the process could end up doing more damage than good to your body.  Some new moms may resort to poor diets or even eating disorders to shed the weight more quickly.  Others may adopt rigorous workout routines during a time when their body is still in recovery.  Doing any of these can be detrimental to your health, and could even affect the health of your baby if you’re breastfeeding.  

How Long Does It Take Before I Lose Weight Gained During Pregnancy?

Many new moms are surprised to hear that it usually takes 6 months to a year before most women return to their pre-pregnancy weight.  It’s different for everybody as it depends on many factors both within and out of your control.  Usually women will lose 10-14 pounds immediately after childbirth.  They will typically lose an additional 5-15 pounds over the first 2 months of the postpartum period.  It usually takes 6-12 months to lose the rest of the weight.

When Can I Get Back To Exercising?

Women who had a vaginal delivery can typically get back to doing light exercise more quickly than women who underwent a c-section.  For women who had a vaginal birth, they can usually begin light walking within a few days after childbirth. Let your body dictate when the time is right. Cesarean deliveries require a much longer timeline for physical recovery.  Consult with your physician if that is the case, but most women can resume light workouts in 6-12 weeks after a c-section.  

It’s important to not overdo it when you start your exercise routine again.  Start with light cardio and try to build yourself up from there.  Intense workout routines can do more harm than good for postpartum women.  It’s recommended that you create a postpartum health plan that includes a diet plan and workout routine.  By eating well and staying active, you will be able to return to your normal self more quickly and feel great while you do it!