One of the things that may often stress a pregnant woman out is the prospect of having to lose weight after your baby is born. The fact of the matter is that only a portion of the weight that you need to gain during pregnancy will be lost during delivery. There will be some weight that you’re going to have to work off later on.

It’s important to understand what exactly your pregnancy weight gain is made up of. A healthy woman will gain somewhere between 25 and 35 pounds while she is pregnant. Your baby only accounts for approximately 7.5 pounds of your pregnancy weight. The placenta, amniotic fluid, and the extra blood and fluids in your body make up an additional 8 to 12 pounds. All of those things will be lost during delivery or in the first six weeks or so. The remainder is just muscle or fat gain that are, in most cases, necessary to provide the kinds of energy that your baby needs and prepare your body for labor and delivery.

It’s that remaining weight – somewhere between 10 and 20 pounds for most women – that it can take time to lose. Keep in mind, first of all, that it took you nine months to gain that weight. You’re not going to lose it overnight.

The best way to get on a track for postpartum weight loss is no secret: it’s all about healthy diet and exercise. Controlling calories and participating in a moderate exercise program is the best way to lose weight and to keep the weight off.

If you’re breastfeeding, keep in mind that you want to approach the situation carefully, especially from the calorie and nutrition side of things. Your baby has nutritional needs that you’re going to try to meet. Don’t cut back on calories if you’re breastfeeding, but instead follow your doctor’s recommendation when it comes to starting to lower your caloric intake. Of course, paying attention to what you eat is key when you’re breastfeeding, so that you can make sure your baby gets what she needs.

If you’re having trouble with postpartum weight loss, talk to your doctor. She may be able to point you in the direction of some helpful resources.

Looking Ahead to Postpartum Weight Loss