Maternal and Infant Health Program Maternal and Infant Health Program

Phone:
  SLC area: (801) 538-9970

FAX:
  SLC area: (801) 538-9409

Mail:
  Maternal and Infant Health Program
  P.O. Box 142001
  Salt Lake City UT
  84112-2001




How Can I Get Back to My Pre-Pregnancy Weight?
Courtesy of the Utah WIC Program

The How To's of Weight Loss After Delivery

Breastfeeding
For most women, breastfeeding helps to lose pregnancy weight faster. Why? Breastfeeding burns 400 - 600 extra calories per day. The longer you breastfeed, the less likely your baby will be overweight as an adult.

Child Spacing
Having babies close together doesn't give your body the time it needs to recover and return to your pre-pregnancy weight. Try to space your children at least 2 years apart.

Eating for One
How to lose weight and keep it off:

  • Avoid fad diets
  • Stock your cupboards with healthy foods
  • Eat small frequent meals
  • Reduce portion sizes by using a smaller plate at each meal
  • Eat according to MyPyramid
  • Choose low-fat dairy products, lean meats
  • Broil, bake, or grill (limit fried and processed foods)
  • Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Weigh yourself weekly (and at the same time of day)
  • Eat only when you're hungry and stop when you're full
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks like soda
  • Keep a food diary
  • Avoid skipping meals

Exercising
Working out an eating healthy are both important for weight loss. Talk to your health care provider about how soon after delivery you can start exercising. For the best results, work out on all or most days of the week and limit sedentary time.

  • Begin with light activity such as walking or swimming
  • Breastfeed before you exercise
  • Wear a supportive bra
  • Include your baby (ex. go on a walk with the baby in a sling or stroller)

Try to fit exercise into your daily routine. Take the stairs, park farther away from the store, walk the kids to school or to the park or run in place while watching TV. Stop exercising if you feel pain, dizzy, have blurred vision or an increase in vaginal bleeding.

Other weight loss tips

Studies have found that women who limit trans fats, watch less than 2 hours of TV a day and exercise for 30 minutes or more a day lose more weight after having a baby than those who do not.

Be Patient!

It took 9 months for you to gain the weight and it will take some time for it to come off. The fastest weight loss occurs in the first 6 months after your baby's birth, but for most women it takes a full year to return to their normal weight. A healthy rate of weight loss is 1 -2 pounds per week.

References:

Weight Loss after Pregnancy: Reclaiming your Body
Postpartum Body Image and Weight Loss
Simple Solutions to Postpartum Weight Retention

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