Posts Tagged ‘postpartum weight loss’

What you need to know AFTER your baby is born

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

mom and newbornIt takes at least 6-8 weeks for your body to recover from pregnancy. Here are some important things to know.

Emotions

You may experience a wide range of emotions during the postpartum period. You’ll feel joy and happiness that your little one has finally arrived. But many new moms experience the “baby blues.” You may cry more easily, be more irritable, and have feelings of sadness. This is most likely due to changes in hormones after delivery.

The baby blues usually peak 3-5 days after delivery and end by about the 10th day after your baby’s birth. If your symptoms do not go away or if they get worse, you may be experiencing postpartum depression. Make sure you talk to your health care provider.

Vaginal bleeding and discharge

After you give birth you will have vaginal bleeding and discharge. This is called lochia. After your baby is born, your body gets rid of the blood and tissue that was inside of the uterus. For the first four or five days, it’s heavy, bright red and will probably contain blood clots.

Over time, the amount of blood lessens and the color changes from bright red to pink to brown to yellow. It is normal to have discharge for up to 6 weeks after birth. You’ll experience this discharge even if you had a C-section. Use sanitary pads (not tampons) until the discharge stops.

Weight loss

You may be surprised (and disappointed) to learn that the weight you gained during pregnancy doesn’t magically disappear at birth. It takes a while for your uterus to shrink down after it expanded to accommodate your baby. So you may still look pregnant after you give birth. This is completely normal.

With your provider’s OK, you can start light exercises as soon as you feel up to it. Be patient and take things slowly. It can take several months or longer to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight. Walking is a great activity for new moms. You’ll also want to make sure you’re eating healthy foods and drinking lots of water. Both of these things will make you feel better overall and help your postpartum recovery.

Getting pregnant again

It is possible to conceive during the postpartum period. If you are not breastfeeding, your period may return 6-8 weeks after giving birth. If you are breastfeeding, it may take longer.

You may ovulate (release an egg) before you get your period. This means you could get pregnant, whether you’re breastfeeding or not. It’s best to wait at least 18 months between giving birth and getting pregnant again to give your body the time it needs to heal and recover. Getting pregnant again too soon increases your next baby’s chances of being born premature or at a low birthweight. Talk to your provider about when it is best for you to try to get pregnant again.

Complications

While most women are healthy after birth, some do experience complications. You can read about postpartum warning signs here. Trust your instincts—if you feel like something is wrong, call your provider. Most postpartum problems can be easily treated if identified early.

These are just a few of the changes that your body goes through after your baby is born. You can read more on our website.

Have questions? Text or email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Losing the baby weight

Friday, June 10th, 2011

weight-lossI remember being incredibly relieved to finally have my baby “on the outside.”  I had been so done with pregnancy (my son was 14 days overdue) and it was going to be great to get my figure back and feel like a normal human being again… So why was I so surprised to feel like I still looked pregnant after a couple of weeks?

Some women snap right back into shape in no time. (Don’t you just hate that?!)  BTW, if you’re flipping through a magazine while waiting at your doc’s office and you see an article on how one movie star or another looks fabulous just weeks after her twins were born, don’t forget she has a personal trainer and pays her publicist a bundle to show only the most flattering photos. That’s pretty much LaLa Land ladies.

For those of us living in the real world, some of us look like a pudgy deflated balloon for a long time. Part of this is genetics, part is lack of exercise, and part of it is just time.  It takes us nine months to pack on the baby weight (which, by the way, was a good thing), it’s going to take months to get rid of it, too. You may never get back into your pre-pregnancy skinny jeans, but you can get back into that general neighborhood.

Breastfeeding is best for your baby. It supplies all the nutrients your baby needs. It’s also best for your waistline. Breastfeeding burns about 500 calories a day, so if you watch what you eat, you’ll lose about a pound a week. It’s very important to watch what you eat and not go on a strict diet, at least for the first couple of months.  Your body will be stressed from all the changes it’s undergoing, you’ll be tired from lack of sleep, you’ll want to ensure you’ve built up a good milk supply.  You’ll need to eat as well now as you did when you were pregnant. (Here are some dietary suggestions.) Focus on lean meats and plenty of veggies and fruit. You’ll need to keep up your strength and energy, so be sure to continue with your prenatal vitamins.

After pregnancy, most women can start exercising as soon as they feel ready and their health provider says it’s OK. With regular exercise, you’ll start to see healthy results. You’ll also have more energy, which will help you keep up with caring for your newborn. Getting exercise doesn’t mean you need a pricey gym membership. Walking is great and will get you and Junior out and about and won’t require a babysitter. If exercising makes you hungry, reach for healthy snacks like a handful of nuts, an apple, a protein shake. And be sure to drink lots and lots of water. You’ll need it to help produce breastmilk and to help wash away the baby weight.