How to Lose Weight After Giving Birth

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Although nature has been kind to a handful of women and they do not gain copious amounts of weight during their pregnancy, the reality is that most will visibly change in size and shape.

Although it may seem appealing to diet in order to reduce the alarming rate at which your weight increases, it would not be advisable to do so. Even if you are overweight, dieting is not a safe option for you or the baby due to the reduced amounts of nutrients and vitamins you would be absorbing.


pregnant woman want to lose weight


Furthermore, as your blood sugar level drops in-between meals, depriving yourself of food will cause you to feel extremely hungry at all times. Moreover, whilst mild exercise is advisable during pregnancy, some forms or exercise are not safe and should be avoided. Although your normal weight gain will depend on a number of factors, such as your BMI, if your weight was healthy prior to the pregnancy, it would be advisable for your to gain between 25 and 35 pounds.

Therefore, although it may be difficult to accept when you are generally body conscious, the best solution is to eat healthily and exercise moderately, and once your baby is born you can concentrate on losing the unwanted kilograms.


How soon should you begin to lose weight?

Although you may be keen to begin an effective weight loss regime shortly after you have had your baby, it is important to give your body time to recover from labour.

You will also need to adapt to the new situation and life with a baby, so it is advisable to wait at least 6 weeks before attempting to lose weight. Eating less and excessive exercise will delay your recovery and is likely to leave you very tired. If you are breastfeeding, dieting can also affect your milk supply. Recovery from labour and looking after a newborn whilst being deprived of sleep will be very demanding physically.

You will need the first few weeks to regain your strength and stamina after the strain of pregnancy and birth. Therefore, it is best if you simply enjoy the first few weeks with your baby and only start considering losing weight following your six-week postnatal appointment.


Losing weight safely

The best way to lose weight is to do it steadily and at a constant rate. It would not be safe to go on a very restrictive diet, especially if you are breastfeeding. This would reduce your milk supply and could release toxins stored in your fat cells, which will enter the milk supply and will be passed onto your baby.

Even when you are not breastfeeding, it is important to eat healthily and without significant restrictions, as you will need to retain your energy at all cost. Losing weight rapidly is, therefore, not a safe or long-term solution and you should aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week in order to keep your energy levels up and to recover from labour and other physical demands of being a new parent.

When nursing, you will need, on average, between 2,000 and 2,700 calories per day, so in order to achieve healthy weight loss you may reduce this by 500 calories without affecting your milk supply.


Recommended types of exercise

It is not advisable to start with strenuous exercise whilst you are still recovering. Begin with a gentle workout, such as walking, swimming or mild aerobics. You could even include your baby in some of the exercise, such as brisk walking with a stroller, or lunges and squats with your baby resting in a sling.


walking with baby stroller to lose weight


This is especially advisable when you are finding it hard to fit exercise into your routine. Make sure that you only exercise if you feel up to it, and stop immediately if you are not well. After six weeks you may attempt more vigorous workouts, or sooner if you feel ready, but it is only recommended if you had an uneventful vaginal delivery. It is best to ensure that you steadily increase the amount of exercise you do and that you do not overdo it, especially if you were not particularly active prior to the pregnancy.

Although it will be difficult to find time for fitness in your daily routine, it is manageable if you are determined and prioritise your time.


Quick tips

The tips below will help you achieve and, more importantly, maintain a healthy weight:

  • · Drink plenty of water. As we often mistake thirst for hunger, it is advisable to drink a glass of water before every meal. You should also make sure that you keep a bottle of water nearby at all times, as it will help you to get into the good habit of drinking it often.
  • · Keep healthy snacks in the house. As you will be spending a lot of time at home, it is a good idea to have access to fresh fruits, nuts and yoghurt to prevent you from reaching for more sugary replacements. However, make sure you do not sacrifice your main meal as a result.
  • · Do not reduce the amounts – change the quality. Rather than depriving yourself of food, which will only leave you hungry and encourage the yo-yo effect, get into the habit of eating nutritious meals five times a day. It is advisable to have three large meals and two healthy snacks, which will provide you with long lasting energy but will decrease your calorie intake.
  • · Do not skip breakfast. Eating breakfast, even when you are not hungry, increases your metabolism, improves your performance and provides you with energy. You should always have something to eat within two hours of waking up.
  • · Avoid alcohol. Alcohol contains what is known as “empty calories” and it impedes your weight loss considerably. It is also not advisable when you are breastfeeding. Although a small amount will not harm your baby, it will enter your milk supply.
  • · Do not count calories. Although counting calories may seem like a simple solution, it is recommended to listen to your body and eat when you are hungry. Replace crisps with a piece of fruit and you will feel full and content for longer.



Breastfeeding has numerous health benefits for both you and your baby. As you will need an extra 330 calories if you are breastfeeding, it could in fact help you lose weight. This is because some of the additional energy needed by your body will be used from your existing body fat. In fact, one of the reasons why you gain weight and store fat during pregnancy is because your body is preparing to begin and support nursing.




Therefore, you do not need excessive exercise or restrictive dieting to lose weight after having a baby. A study has shown that breastfeeding mothers are back to their pre-pregnancy weight after one year. The combination of breastfeeding, eating healthily and exercising regularly should be sufficient to trigger steady weight loss and to maintain it in the long term.


How long will it take?

Although you may feel disheartened when you do not lose weight immediately, remember to set yourself realistic and small goals. Whilst it is possible to lose weight with a healthy lifestyle, it is much harder to get back into your previous figure. This is because your body may have permanently changed shape.

Whilst it is reasonable to aim to lose all the weight within six months, a more realistic goal would be between 8 and 12 months. As it took you 9 months to gradually gain all those kilograms, shedding them will likely last just as long. If you need assistance with losing weight, speak to your GP or a health advisor, who will give you information about suitable exercise and nutrition.


Celebrity mothers

Although it is unrealistic and unadvisable to lose weight rapidly following childbirth, it may be discouraging to hear stories about celebrity mothers losing weight only weeks after giving birth.

Nicole Kidman managed to keep her figure throughout her pregnancy through frequent exercise, and looked slim only 10 days after giving birth to her daughter. Similarly,


nicole kidman pregnant

Nicole Kidman Baby

(Picture Source : Splash News)

Angelina Jolie’s lean body only months after her birth was said to be the result of breastfeeding and entertaining her children. On the other hand, some celebrities claimed to be in no rush to lose weight after having a baby. The former Celebrity Big Brother star,


angelina jolie losing weight after giving birth

Angelina Jolie Baby


Chantelle Houghton, said that her plan for steady weight loss was a combination of healthy eating, exercise and Capsiplex supplements. (Capsiplex is currently one of our Top rated fat burners)


chantelle houghton weight loss


Also Emma Bunton used exercise and healthy eating as an aid to return to her normal weight and achieved her goal after one year.

Many women feel under pressure to lose weight immediately after birth as a result of various success stories and photo shoots from celebrity mothers.

This encourages them to try very restrictive diets and exhaustive exercise. It is, therefore, worth noting that numerous celebrities nowadays decide to enjoy their time with the newborn before engaging in a healthy weight loss regime.

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