Pregnancy Poundage

Dr. Lissa Rankin answers a reader's question on how long it will take to lose baby weight.

OB/GYN On-Call

Pregnancy Poundage

Dear Lissa: Is there an average time that it takes for women to lose their pregnancy pounds? And is it true that your body won’t let go of the extra pounds while you’re breastfeeding? If so, how long after you stop breastfeeding will it let go?

–Afraid of Baby Weight

Dear Afraid of Baby Weight: I tell my patients nine months on, nine months off. But in truth, it depends how much weight you gained in pregnancy. As long as you didn’t gain more than the recommended 25-30 lbs, the majority of the weight usually comes off within six weeks, but it may take the full nine months for the last few pounds. If you gained more than that, you may need to watch your diet and exercise more in order to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight. As for breastfeeding, breastfeeding actually speeds weight loss after you give birth. But yes, if you were too thin before your pregnancy, your body may hang onto as many pounds as it needs you to have in order to feed your baby. Keep in mind that your body may never be quite the same after you have a baby – and that’s okay. The price your body pays is SO worth it.

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