Six weeks later
The uterus returns to the pelvis around this time, so your belly is looking flatter and smaller. “It’s a big change as far as the belly goes,” Krieger says. Maybe you WILL get to wear your bikini again!
A few months later
According to ACOG, if you keep up the healthy eating habits you began during pregnancy, you’ll be close to your normal weight within a few months of giving birth. Getting some exercise when you can will help you get fitter, faster, too.
Nine months later
Krieger says there’s some truth to the saying “nine months on, nine months off.” But if you gained more than the recommended 25-35 pounds, it could take a bit longer to look like “you” again. Hang in there!
“The bottom line is that each woman loses postpartum weight at her own pace,” Krieger says. “ChooseMyPlate.gov has a great section on keeping track of how much and what foods you want to eat the most of (whole grains, lean protein, lots of water, fruits and veggies) so weight loss will come.”
Krieger also warns against fad diets, which will not promote long-term weight loss. Even worse: crash dieting can deny your body of nutrients and delay healing after birth, and deprive your baby of critical calories and nutrients if you’re breastfeeding, ACOG says.
“As long as the mom is eating enough calories from the above-mentioned food groups to ensure she consumes the vitamins and minerals necessary to promote healthy skin and weight loss/maintenance and includes a little fitness each day, she is not only being the healthiest mom, but she is role-modeling a healthy lifestyle for her children,” Krieger says. And she’ll look good doing it, too!
See more: Find your happy weight after baby