Lose Your Postpartum Weight

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Eng, Lynn

Giving birth to your precious bundle of joy is a wonderful, life changing experience. However, the effect is not as wonderful when you look at your body and see that you seem to be still heavy with child. Getting back to your pre-pregnancy shape can be difficult because, for nine months, the muscles in your stomach have weakened from being stretched to the extreme to make room for the baby. It will take time, lots of exercise and the right diet to get rid of postpartum stomach. But, apart from these traditional approaches, there are other ways how to help lose your postpartum weight.

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As a new mother, the primary thing to have if you want to look like your old self again is enough patience with yourself. Losing postpartum weight doesn't happen overnight. It took you nine months to gain about 20-25 pounds, and in most likelihood, it may take the same length of time to lose the excess weight. After childbirth, a woman does not need so much fat. More than altering the shape and size of the body, having excess fat can lead to obesity, depression, and lack of self-confidence.

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Admittedly, postpartum weight loss cannot be considered a dream undertaking. But the truth is, this almost near-to-impossible process should not be rapidly done so as not to severely affect your health as well as your baby's. Being a new mom, you are into various roles to play. These require you to eat sufficiently in order to supply the body with nutrients for breastfeeding and energy for attending to the needs of the infant. By taking it slowly and properly, you can reduce your body size and look great in your old shape once again.

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Here are Ways to Help Along in Losing Your Postpartum Weight

  1. 1
    Breastfeed the Baby
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    Feeding an infant by breastfeeding holds a lot of advantages other than providing nourishment. To produce milk requires lots of energy, which means you burn up to 500 calories a day when you continue to nurse your baby for as long as possible. Most of the extra fat stored around the abdomen is burned, flattening the tummy as you breastfeed the baby. In the process, the uterus is helped to shrink back to its previous size of three inches across.
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  2. 2
    Bind the Belly
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    For hundreds of years throughout different cultures around the world, belly binding has been used by women after giving birth. Wrapping the stomach around with a tight bandage does its job in holding the internal organs and abdominal muscles in place.
    1. If you start binding immediately after delivering the child, the skin will slowly conform to fit the binder as you continue to wear it for at least six weeks.
    2. However, some women are prone to suffer from constipation due to the constriction of the digestive system. In such event, add more fiber to your diet and loosen the binder a bit to relax the stomach.
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  3. 3
    Engage in Exercise
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    Consult your doctor about when you can already begin to work out. It usually takes between six and 12 weeks, and more for caesarean section, for the body to heal before you can get active on the exercise floor.  
    1. Lugging the baby around is in itself a workout, but you need to have some strength training.
    2. Start slowly, then gradually work your way up to a regimen. Initially, you may engage in mild, low impact exercises that are easy to perform and do not require special equipment.
    3. A walk with the baby in the stroller is a safe option.
    4. Yoga is another stress-free effective postpartum exercise for the body and mind.
    5. Later you may incorporate aerobics and cardiovascular exercises to burn calories and keep both muscles and bones strong.
    6. Exercising promotes sleep, relieves stress, and fights depression.
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  4. 4
    Consume the Right Diet
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    Divide your three daily large meals every day. Consume only half of each meal so that you create six smaller meals throughout the day. This way, you will have a steady supply of nourishment to keep you energetic and aid your metabolism to work efficiently. Substitute unhealthy fats with unsaturated fats such as olive oil and fruits. Eat plenty of food high in fiber and protein to get the energy you need to care for the baby while helping you lose weight. Super Foods for New Mothers:
    1. Fish
    2. Low-fat dairy products
    3. Lean beef
    4. Legumes
    5. Blueberries
    6. Brown rice
    7. Oranges
    8. Eggs
    9. Whole-grain breads and cereals
    10. Leafy green vegetables
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  5. 5
    Practice Proper Posture
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    The weight you carried during pregnancy may have taken its toll on your posture. As a result, your shoulders may tend to slump forward while your back protrudes, pooching your stomach into one ugly mass of muscles.  
    1. Improve your posture by being conscious of how you sit, walk, and stand.
    2. Perform basic exercises intended to strengthen the back and core muscles.
    3. Engage in Yoga or Pilates - both of them employ slow, deliberate movements that can help you keep good body posture.
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  6. 6
    Hydrate with Water
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    The benefits of water can't be undermined in any situation. But, when it comes to losing postpartum weight, water does its best in filling you up to stop your craving to eat, especially foods that are on the unhealthy side of your diet. Drinking eight glasses of water every day is an ideal goal to set, and it's still definitely healthy if you can drink more to keep you hydrated.
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  7. 7
    Get Enough Rest
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    With a baby that is hungry for attention every minute, it seems rest is a luxury for new moms. But don't have second thoughts about asking help from partner, family, or a trusted hand. Take advantage of the time when the baby is asleep to do your own sleeping. Based on research, women with at least seven hours of sleep are not as likely to coddle postpartum weight compared to their counterparts with less attachment to their bed and pillows.
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Tips, Tricks and Warnings:

  • For a firmer rear, squeeze the buttocks when you extend your back leg when walking.
  • Focus on giving pressure to the waist while rocking the baby. This is a simple exercise to trim down the waist line.
  • Wear ankle weights to strengthen the legs while performing some housework.
  • Consult with the pediatrician about the right time when the baby can exercise with you. Normally, the baby has to be at least 3-4 months old to be able to cope with your routine.
  • Set a goal in your postpartum weight loss program. Establishing a target helps you to be more determined to meet the challenges you've set for yourself.
  • Take it easy to get back on track. Be gentle and don't rush the weight loss because you may suffer a setback if you're too hard on yourself.
  • Embarking on your weight loss program alone may trigger you to use loneliness as an excuse to be noncommittal. Join a class or group of new moms with the same goal as yours. In effect, signing up to join will invigorate your interest and effort to be serious with your decision to lose your postpartum weight.

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Article Info

Categories : Weight Loss | Beauty & Aesthetics

Recent edits by: Eng, Nerissa Avisado

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