Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Postpartum Nutrition Guidelines

        Health | Postpartum Care

Weight Loss After Pregnancy
Breast-feeding may help you loose some weight after the delivery.
Breast-feeding may help you loose some weight after the delivery.
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.

The pattern of weight loss after pregnancy varies with each mother. Many factors affect your return to your usual weight. If you were overweight before pregnancy, reaching a more desirable postpartum weight may take additional effort.

If you breast-feed, the calories you use to manufacture milk may help you lose some weight, but you still need to consume more calories than you did before pregnancy. Each woman's body responds differently, so be patient. It is much more important to get adequate nutrition and calories for breast-feeding than to skimp to lose weight faster.

If you bottle-feed or you have weaned your baby from the breast, you can begin your weight-loss efforts by assessing your prepregnancy diet. If you found yourself eating better during pregnancy, try to continue those good habits by eating regular, balanced meals and including all major food groups daily. Drink plenty of fluids. And avoid sugar, high-fat foods, and alcohol; they provide empty calories.

To lose the baby weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. You achieve this by increasing your activity, not by drastically reducing your calorie intake. To only reduce your calorie intake invites your metabolism to slow down, defeating your purposes. Regular exercise, even if only dancing with your baby to music or taking her out for walks, is the best approach.

Of course child's diet is also of immense importance after delivery. We'll cover your infant's diet in the next section.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.


More to Explore