If you’ve just given birth and you’re still feeling a little pregnant, don’t stress! This post will lead you through what you can expect as far as postpartum weight loss, an appropriate timeline, and there is a postpartum weight loss chart for you to download for your own personal use. This post isn’t going to tell you how to exercise or what to eat, but it will help you create an optimal weight loss plan for you.
Track Weight Loss After Baby with This Postpartum Weight Loss Chart
Congratulations on the little one! My two babes are absolutely the joy of my life! But of course, I gained a lot of weight with both kids… 30 pounds with my first and 45 pounds with my second.
While you can’t predict exactly what your postpartum weight loss will look like, there are guidelines to follow when working on losing weight after baby.
This post isn’t going to tell you how to exercise or what to eat, but it will help you create an optimal weight loss plan for you. How much weight can you lose after giving birth?
Postpartum Weight Loss Timeline: How much weight can you lose after giving birth?
Weight loss immediately after giving birth
Most women start to get excited about losing the “baby weight” and wonder how much weight do you lose after giving birth.
Birth is a huge trauma to your body. Your body literally contracts and squeezes to push a several pound baby out from between your legs.
All of your organs need to settle back into place and your muscles are often separated or stretched, like in the case of diastasis recti and pelvic floor conditions. Basically, you need time to rest!
Before you get excited about weight loss by giving birth or breastfeeding, there are no hard and fast rules about How you can expect to lose weight. Many women go home from the hospital having dropped 15 pounds from their highest pregnancy weight. Some only lose a couple.
Because I was on an IV and basically immobile for 3 days before giving birth to my first son, I had extra water weight and, even though I gave birth to a 7 lb 6 oz baby plus all the extra water and placenta, I only dropped 2 pounds once we made it home.
This is not uncommon to not lose weight immediately after birth.
However, generally, you can probably expect to lose the baby’s weight plus weight of the placenta and amniotic fluid after coming home from the hospital, so you’re going to be looking at an average of about 10.6 pounds depending on a variety of factors.
Average Weight Loss 6 Weeks Postpartum
There are other weight stores during pregnancy that should decrease after you give birth, like extra fluid (2.6 pounds), blood (2.6), and your uterus shrinking back down. (It’s common to know that our uterus stretches to accommodate baby, but did you know that it actually grows by an additional 2 pounds?!)
You have about 7 more pounds to lose there.
In addition, after making it home from the hospital or birthing center, there are several factors to take into account:
- You can’t exercise –
- You’re probably going to be sitting at home doing nothing but tending to a little one for the next few weeks. –
- You can eat healthy, nutritious foods! +
I thought I could start to exercise again about two weeks after giving birth when I was feeling awesome!
But alas, I should have followed my midwife’s orders.
Typically after giving birth, both vaginally and via Cesarean, you have to wait at least 6 weeks to get the okay to work out. After giving birth, you basically have a football sized scab on the inside of your uterus that needs time to heal! If you don’t wait to exercise, you could start bleeding again or make it worse.
The good news is that you’re actively eating well and doing light exercise like walking, you can probably count on losing an additional 1-2 pounds per week for the first 6 weeks postpartum.
I’ve known women to lose all 30 pounds of their pregnancy weight in the first 4 weeks after giving birth, and I’ve also known women to lose none. This is also very common and dependent on a lot of factors. Make sure you’re eating well, hydrating, and moving slowly but frequently, like taking walks with your little one when you’re ready.
Between tissue that will start to restore to its pre-pregnancy weight and size and potential for eating healthy, you might lose anywhere between 7 and 18 pounds in 6 weeks.
Postpartum Weight Loss After 6 Weeks
Once the doc or midwife gives you the okay to work out, ease into it! They say that much of your fitness ability postpartum depends on what kind of fitness you did while you were pregnant.
If you didn’t exercise much, then definitely take it slow.
If you’re like these women who run a marathon 7 months pregnant… you can probably get back into it pretty quick!
Fitness can really propel your weight loss. Of course, there’s much more to it than calories in, calories out. But building muscle actually increases the rate at which you burn calories, so building muscle through working out actually does double the calorie-burning work! Pretty cool!
Still, weight loss is going to slow down as you get close to your goal weight.
Not only that, but muscle weighs more than fat. As you work out and put on muscle, you may notice your pants fitting looser without the scale budging.
You may want to take to measuring your waist, as it’s often a more accurate representation of our fat loss.
Losing weight slow and steady is the best way to do it, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Think 1-2 pounds of fat per week. It’s all about finding balance between losing fat and maintaining enough caloric intake to stay healthy.
How Breastfeeding Affects Postpartum Weight Loss
Are you breastfeeding? This may help or hinder your weight loss plans. There’s no hard and fast rule for breastfeeding and weight loss. Many women find that their body holds on to fat during breastfeeding and others find that the weight falls right off.
Breastfeeding means that you need to consume extra calories during the day. In fact you need at least 300 extra calories, and even up to 600 extra calories! Breastfeeding mothers should not consume less than 1500 calories a day.
I’m not a big “counting calories” person… I’d rather focus on getting proper nutrition and being healthy and letting my body take care of the rest.
Check out the optimal calorie consumption charts on Parents.
Postpartum Weight Loss Chart
This is a super spiffy version of the postpartum weight loss chart that I used after I gave birth to my second son. It is designed that you can plan how many pounds you’d like to lose per week and then track your weight loss to compare and help you get to your goal weight.
You can make the chart for as many weeks as you’d like, but I’ve included 10 weeks on the chart.
The first part is to plan your weight loss – what do you intend to lose? Fill it out when you come home from the hospital! The second part is to record what your actual weight loss is. Did you meet your goal?!
Here’s what it looks like! (Directions included!)
Want to get your hands on your own copy?!
Just put in your info to get access to our Resource Library!
I hope you LOVE using it and are able to reach all your postpartum weight loss goals!
Using the Old Postpartum Weight Loss Chart?
- There are columns for weight loss by week as well as cumulative weight loss (just add up the previous weeks)
- My sample person had weight that stalled on week 2
- The actual weight loss line might not look anything like the predicted/hopeful weight loss line (that’s okay)
If you want to do it on the computer, you’ll need:
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
- Jennifer Lynne Font
Or you can use the blank PDF, print it, and do it by hand–whichever works for you!
To edit the chart, double-click on the chart, then choose the “Edit in Excel” option. You’ll use the date column, the goal weight column, and the actual weight column to get the descending lines you see.
If you need to change the weight range, click on the vertical axis as in the picture below:
If you run into any other tech difficulties, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help you out!
*Updated August 29, 2020