When Will I Lose Weight After Delivery

by Daisy

Postpartum weight loss refers to the process of losing the weight gained during pregnancy after giving birth. It’s important to approach this process with patience and realistic expectations, as every woman’s body is different and will respond differently to weight loss efforts.

The Initial Weight Loss After Delivery

Immediate Weight Loss

Immediately after delivery, you will lose some weight. This initial weight loss is due to the birth of your baby, the placenta, and amniotic fluid. On average, this can amount to about 10-12 pounds.


Postpartum Fluid Loss

In the first few weeks postpartum, your body will shed the extra fluids accumulated during pregnancy. This can lead to additional weight loss. Breastfeeding can also contribute to fluid loss as it stimulates uterine contractions and helps the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size.


Factors Affecting Postpartum Weight Loss

Pre-Pregnancy Weight

Your pre-pregnancy weight can influence how quickly you lose weight postpartum. Women who were within a healthy weight range before pregnancy may find it easier to return to their pre-pregnancy weight compared to those who were overweight or obese.


Weight Gain During Pregnancy

The amount of weight you gained during pregnancy also plays a role. Gaining the recommended amount of weight (25-35 pounds for women with a normal BMI) can make it easier to lose weight postpartum.

Lifestyle and Diet

Your lifestyle and dietary habits will significantly impact your postpartum weight loss journey. Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and maintaining an active lifestyle are crucial.

Realistic Timelines for Postpartum Weight Loss

The First Six Weeks

The first six weeks postpartum, also known as the “fourth trimester,” are primarily about recovery. Focus on healing and bonding with your baby rather than stressing about weight loss. You may naturally lose some weight during this period through fluid loss and the energy demands of breastfeeding.

Six Weeks to Six Months

From six weeks to six months postpartum, you can gradually introduce a structured diet and exercise plan. Aim for a slow and steady weight loss of about 1-2 pounds per week. This gradual approach is healthier and more sustainable.

Six Months to One Year

By six months, many women find they have lost a significant portion of their pregnancy weight. However, it can take up to a year or more to return to your pre-pregnancy weight, especially if you gained more weight than recommended during pregnancy.

Effective Strategies for Postpartum Weight Loss


Breastfeeding can aid in postpartum weight loss as it burns extra calories. Exclusive breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories per day.

Balanced Diet

Consume a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid fad diets and focus on nourishing your body.

Regular Exercise

Incorporate regular exercise into your routine. Start with gentle activities like walking or postpartum yoga and gradually increase the intensity as your body recovers.

The Role of Diet in Postpartum Weight Loss

Nutrient-Rich Foods

Focus on nutrient-rich foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals. These include fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.


Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Proper hydration supports metabolism and overall health.

Portion Control

Practice portion control to avoid overeating. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help regulate your appetite and energy levels.

Importance of Exercise in Postpartum Weight Loss

Gentle Exercises

Start with gentle exercises like walking, postpartum yoga, and pelvic floor exercises. These activities can help strengthen your muscles and improve your overall fitness.

Gradual Progression

Gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as your body recovers. Incorporate strength training and cardio exercises to burn calories and build muscle.


Consistency is key to successful postpartum weight loss. Aim to exercise regularly, even if it’s just a short session each day.

Managing Expectations and Staying Motivated

Set Realistic Goals

Set realistic weight loss goals and be patient with yourself. Understand that it took nine months to gain the weight, and it may take a similar amount of time to lose it.

Celebrate Small Wins

Celebrate small milestones and progress along the way. This can help keep you motivated and focused on your long-term goals.

Seek Support

Seek support from family, friends, or a postpartum support group. Having a support system can provide encouragement and accountability.

See Also: Does Expressing Milk Help You Lose Weight

Common Challenges in Postpartum Weight Loss

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is common in the postpartum period and can impact weight loss. Aim for as much rest as possible and seek help when needed.

Stress and Emotional Eating

Stress and emotional eating can hinder weight loss efforts. Practice stress management techniques and find healthy ways to cope with emotions.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes postpartum can affect weight loss. Be patient and give your body time to adjust.

FAQs About Postpartum Weight Loss

How soon can I start exercising after delivery?

Consult your healthcare provider before starting any exercise routine. Generally, you can begin gentle exercises a few weeks postpartum, but it’s important to listen to your body and avoid overexertion.

Can I diet while breastfeeding?

Yes, you can diet while breastfeeding, but it’s important to do so in a healthy and balanced way. Focus on nutrient-rich foods and avoid extreme calorie restrictions.

What if I’m not losing weight despite my efforts?

If you’re not losing weight despite your efforts, consult your healthcare provider. There may be underlying factors that need to be addressed.


Postpartum weight loss is a gradual process that requires patience, consistency, and a healthy lifestyle. Focus on nourishing your body, staying active, and setting realistic goals. Remember that every woman’s body is different, and it’s important to give yourself grace and time to recover and lose weight at your own pace.


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