Returning to pre-pregnancy weight is a common concern and goal for women. Combining a healthy diet with exercise will help most women lose weight gradually during the months after delivery.
Focus on losing weight gradually
Make exercise a part of daily life
- Aim for losing four to five pounds a month, starting one month after delivery
- Be patient
- If breastfeeding, consume a minimum of 1,800 calories per day
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water
Eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet
- Strengthen the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles; reducing the risk of urinary stress incontinence
- Ask your doctor or nurse about performing kegel exercises
- Keep your bones strong; tone and shape your body
- Do weight-bearing exercises like walking or cycling to maintain strong, dense bones
- If lactating, breastfeed before exercising to minimize discomfort
- Consume 1,200-1,500 milligrams of calcium daily
- Food sources include low-fat and fat-free dairy products and green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale and salad.
- Eat 15-18 milligrams of iron daily
- Food sources with high iron include lean beef, dried fruits, figs, tofu and spinach
- Take vitamin and mineral supplements, to ensure proper nutrient intake
Before you start a weight-loss regimen or begin taking new supplements, be sure to consult your health care provider.