Weight Loss You probably will not return to your pre-pregnancy weight for some time, but you will lose some weight after giving birth. Between the weight of the baby, placenta and amniotic fluid, most people are about 12 pounds lighter after having their baby. More weight loss should occur during the postpartum period as your body’s fluid levels return to normal. If you need to lose more weight, talk to your healthcare provider about healthy exercises and nutritious eating programs. Do not make drastic changes in your diet the first couple of months after the baby is born. You want to make sure your milk supply is well-established. It is a known fact that you burn calories and can lose the weight you gained if you breastfeed. Breastfeeding on average burns 200 to 500 calories per day. Even without a weight loss program, you are burning extra calories. Exercise Talk to your healthcare provider for ideas about when to start exercising and what is safe. Begin slowly and don’t push yourself too hard. Taking the time to exercise will: • Boost your energy. • Promote better sleep. • Relieve stress. • Help prevent postpartum depression. • Help your body get back to its pre-pregnancy shape. Guidelines: • Try to stay active for 20 to 30 minutes a day. • Try simple strengthening exercises that include abdominal and back muscles. • Walking is a great way to start. • Drink plenty of water. Most people think their abdominal muscles will go back to normal after childbirth. That’s not usually the case. The abdominal muscles may actually separate and have a bulge between them. Ask your healthcare provider about an exercise program that can help you tone these muscles and when you can begin working out.
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