Postpartum Weight Loss

By: Katie Brandon


Take a look at that picture above - here I'm two weeks postpartum with baby #2. Let's say I know a thing or two about getting back to your pre-pregnancy body. I’ve been pregnant three times and have learned something different in each pregnancy about weight gain and loss. Let me first say – there is no such thing as a perfect pregnancy! No one is going to get it just right. Your body is sharing space with a growing human for 9 months - you will experience a roller coaster of hormones, emotions, and loss of control. Give yourself grace during pregnancy and don’t give up on yourself postpartum. Your health matters and you are worth it. Here are three tips I found helpful in losing weight after pregnancy.

1. Use breastfeeding to your advantage. Breastfeeding can help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight when used strategically. Mothers need to consume about 300-500 calories above what was consumed pre-pregnancy to ensure adequate milk supply after giving birth. If you notice you are hungrier after having your baby, you’re not mistaken. You need to be eating MORE calories postpartum than when you were pregnant if you’re breastfeeding! Eat unprocessed foods that leave you feeling satiated and avoid junk food while drinking plenty of water. Harness this significant metabolic expenditure of milk production to gradually lose weight. Did you know one of the best gifts you can give your child is the gift of breastmilk? And one of the best gifts you can give your body is to breastfeed? Breastfeeding can lower risk of reproductive cancer, type II diabetes, and high blood pressure in mothers. Babies have lower risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It’s a win-win all around. 

2. Don’t eat in the middle of the night when you’re up with the baby. My babies slept through the night after they were 6 months old. Until then, sometimes they woke up every 2-3 hours to feed on a good night. It is tempting when you’re tired, hungry, stressed, and half-awake to stumble into the kitchen and grab a snack. Avoid doing this! Grab a drink of water and head back to bed instead. Your body needs sleep more than a snack. And let’s be honest – no one makes wise food choices at 2:30 am.

3. At the very least, get back to your pregnancy weight before becoming pregnant again. Lose that baby weight, friend! Timeline is not specific. The return to my pre-pregnancy weight ranged between 4-10 months. For some moms, it could take over a year and that’s ok! Making the effort will help you immensely in your energy and endurance in motherhood because having kids is a workout all in itself! If you know, you know. Take care of your body and physically prepare it for the next undertaking. If you plan to become pregnant for the first time, ensure your weight is within a healthy range for you before you start trying to conceive. Overweight and obese women have a more difficult time becoming pregnant and are at risk for complications during pregnancy. Also, babies born to obese mothers have greater risk of health problems in infancy and later in life. Your pre-pregnancy health matters for you and your baby, so make it a priority.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.