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Taking Off that Baby Weight

pregnant woman sitting on a sofa
Check out these helpful tips on how you can take control of your postpartum weight loss!

Taking off that baby weight is challenging and frustrating, especially while taking care of a newborn and adjusting to a new routine, but it isn’t impossible. Check out these helpful tips on how you can take control of your postpartum weight loss!

Causes of Baby Weight

The causes of baby weight vary depending on multiple factors, including age, medical history, and genetics. The weight of the mother pre-pregnancy, the weight of the baby, and fluid retention also have a part to play. It is important to establish healthy habits to prevent unhealthy weight gain prior to becoming pregnant.

The Main Reasons for Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Healthy weight gain is necessary for both you and your growing baby, as long as it is monitored by your healthcare provider. Storing fat to prepare for breastfeeding and delivery as well as an increase in blood and fluid volume are the main reasons for weight gain during pregnancy.

Why Your Body Starts Storing Extra Fat During Pregnancy

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Throughout the early stages of pregnancy, your body stores extra fat for energy. The reason for the extra calories is to make sure you and your baby have the necessary energy for delivery and breastfeeding. According to experts, you can expect to gain roughly six to eight pounds of fat during pregnancy.

Where You Gain Weight When You are Pregnant

Experts from the Mayo Clinic report that women gain weight in their breasts and uterus, as well as in the additional fat storages. New weight is created through the formation of the placenta and amniotic fluid, and the fluid and blood volume increase. These new additions to your body will increase your average weight by 35–50 pounds.

Factors that Impact How Much Baby Weight You Carry

There are multiple factors that can impact gestational weight gain (GWG), and some of them are out of your control. Medical history, genetics, and pre-pregnancy weight all play a significant part.

The Role Genetics Play in How Much Baby Weight You Carry

There are multiple determinants of gestational weight gain. These determinants can be behavioral, social, environmental, and genetic. Studies show that the chromosomes inherited from both the mother and the father have a large impact on the growth of your baby. This in turn impacts overall GWG, which can cause both weight gain and weight loss.

How Your Age Affects the Amount of Baby Weight You Carry

Science proves that as both men and women age, there are increased complications and health factors to be aware of. Unfortunately, age also affects how fast we gain weight and how slow we lose weight. The same can be applied to carrying around extra weight after delivering a baby. The faster your metabolism is, the faster you will lose those lingering pounds.

How Diet and Level of Physical Activity Affect How Much Baby Weight You Carry

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A healthy prenatal weight, postpartum exercise, and maintaining healthy levels of physical activity during pregnancy are recommended by the medical community. Additionally, clinical nutrition and working with your doctor to determine a healthy diet will impact how much you lose weight.

The levels of physical activity do not have to be extreme, and simple at-home workouts can help you maintain a healthy weight and help get rid of excess weight.

How Long it Can Take to Lose Baby Weight After Giving Birth

Similar to the causes of baby weight, there are multiple factors that contribute to the time it takes to reduce postpartum weight retention after giving birth. As you embark on your postpartum weight loss journey, it is important to avoid common dieting myths.

How Long it can Take to Return to Your Prepartum Weight

Your pre-pregnancy eating habits and levels of physical activity will set the foundation for your pregnancy. If you were physically active and eating healthy prior to becoming pregnant, it is easier to get back to your prepartum weight. Conversely, if you did not have an established healthy lifestyle before pregnancy, it can take longer to get to your desired prepartum weight.

Factors that Affect How Long It Takes You to Return to Your Prepartum Weight

The two biggest factors contributing to postpartum weight loss happen within the first few months after giving birth: delivery and breastfeeding. As soon as you deliver your baby, you automatically lose roughly 15–17 pounds of fluid, placenta, and your baby’s birth weight. Similarly, the production of breast milk creates a natural weight loss, safely restoring you back to your prenatal weight.

How You Should Track Your Weight After You Give Birth

Consistent physical activity and consuming the right number of calories, depending on whether you are breastfeeding, will help you lose weight. Make sure, however, that your goals are realistic to your lifestyle with a new baby.

Tips for Losing Baby Weight Safely

It is important to consult your healthcare provider and other professionals when establishing a safe and healthy postpartum weight loss plan. It is also important to be patient and gentle with your new body and not pressure yourself to “bounce back.”

How Breastfeeding Can Help You Lose Baby Weight

Moms who are able to breastfeed can safely and steadily lose excess weight. Breastfeeding helps contract your uterus back to its original size and uses the fat stored in your body for milk production.

The Most Important Elements of a Postpregnancy Diet

Exercise after pregnancy and consistent, healthy eating are some of the most important elements to incorporate in postnatal weight loss.

What You Should Avoid in Order to Lose Baby Weight Safely

It is important for moms to avoid overeating after giving birth. Clinical nutritionists recommend high water consumption, portion control, and vegetables to help stave off cravings. This also helps reduce the prevalence of high blood pressure and postpartum depression. It is also important, specifically for a breastfeeding woman, that you don’t undereat as additional calories are needed for milk production.