Your Body After Baby
Most new moms can’t wait for the day when they can fit into their old jeans. Age and genetics play a part in determining how long it will take to slim down, but the single most important factor is how much weight you gained during pregnancy. If you exceed the recommended 25 to 35 pounds (assuming you started out at a healthy weight), you’re twice as likely to be overweight two years later.
Here’s what’s in store for your body during the first year after giving birth:
Within two weeks: Don’t be surprised if you still look about five months pregnant when you leave the hospital. Let’s say you gained 30 pregnancy pounds. During delivery, you immediately lose 15 to 20 pounds (this includes baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, water and blood), leaving up to 15 more that will take time to burn off. Also, your uterus has been stretched to 25 times its normal size—you’ll have a floppy pouch where your baby used to be. As your breasts begin to produce milk, they also add a couple more pounds.
Within two months: At your six-week checkup, your uterus should be back to its original size, and a few more pounds of water weight will be gone. Now is the time to start monitoring your weight. The good news: Your doctor probably will give you the green light to resume exercising.
Within one year: As long as you’ve been active and eating sensibly, you can expect to be back to your original weight. However, you may find that your shape has shifted. Your breasts’ size and shape may be permanently changed, your hips may be wider and rounder, and there may be pockets of fat in places where there weren’t before. And, alas, the skin on your belly may never be as taut as it was pre-baby. But it’s not the size of your jeans that matters—it’s how healthy and fit you are.
For our favorite workouts designed to shed baby fat, go to fitpregnancy.com/babyweightbusters.