Hello and thank you for your question!
It takes your body time to recover from having children and can take 6 to 12 months after delivery to return to your pre-pregnancy weight (1). Breastfeeding along with a balanced eating pattern and regular physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight after pregnancy (1). For physical activity, it is recommended to start slow and build more activity over time (2). Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such a brisk walk or a light bike ride, per week (2).
Pregnancy can cause lasting changes in the body, and there are many other things that influence your weight, such as age, genes, metabolism, and stress (1,3). I encourage you to focus on making positive changes to your lifestyle rather than focus on returning to your pre-pregnancy weight. There's no shame in having the desire to lose weight and feel good in your body, but your health is not defined by your weight.
There are many dimensions of our health that need our care and attention, and there are ways to improve our health regardless of weight loss, such as adopting a healthy eating pattern, being physically active, and getting a good night's sleep. Take a look at our Lifestyle pages and learn tips on how to use MyPlate to help build a balanced diet, sneak in some exercise and set yourself up for a good night's sleep.
Hope this helps!
Anna Ng, RD
1. “Losing weight after pregnancy.” National Institutes of Health U.S. National Library of Medicine. Reviewed February 27, 2017. Accessed January 17, 2019. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000586.htm
2. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at DietaryGuidelines.gov.
3. Institute of Medicine (US) Subcommittee on Military Weight Management. Weight Management: State of the Science and Opportunities for Military Programs. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004. 3, Factors That Influence Body Weight. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK221834/
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