Saturday, 16 January 2016

How Soon Can You Start Losing Weight After Having a Baby?

On Monday I gave birth to my daughter. That’s why I’ve been so quiet. The birth went well, and we’re now back home and settling into a routine.

Of course, as a Weight Watchers leader there have been people who have been following my weight gain throughout pregnancy. I didn’t post much about it here, but shared with some people close to me.

With healthy eating throughout my pregnancy, I gained 37lbs up until last Friday. I didn’t bother weighing the last two days of my pregnancy, and wasn’t exactly watching what I was eating!

Now there’s the question of when I will start losing weight after having a baby. Is there a wrong or right time?

Wait Six Weeks

If you’re joining Weight Watchers or returning after giving birth, you can’t do it until six weeks after the birth of your baby. That’s when I’ll be officially following the plan again.

Midwives recommend waiting until the six week mark because the body has the chance to recover from the birth; whichever method of birth. Weight Watchers has to take this line because of the health recommendations.

Wait Until Your Doctor’s Checkup

Most mothers will have a checkup between six and eight weeks after birth. Some midwives will recommend that you wait until then to start losing weight after the birth of your baby.

This helps to ensure that your body really is ready to lose weight. You get the chance to discuss any health issues that may have come up and your doctor will make sure that various aspects of your body have returned to normal.

Weight Watchers tends to accept that most mothers have had their checkup after six weeks. It is the most common, especially since mothers will likely book this appointment themselves.

Listen to Your Body

I’ll be unofficially getting back to losing weight from next week. There are a few reasons for this, and one of those is that I listen well to my body.

I won’t follow the Weight Watchers Smart Points plan religiously, though. My husband will be doing, and I’ll just follow the No Count option mostly. If I really want that chocolate, sausage roll or other unhealthy option then I’ll weigh up whether it is worth it or not; do I really want or need it? I did this earlier tonight when my husband offered me seconds of tea. I made the decision to turn it down and had a yogurt instead because I didn’t need seconds.

Listening to your body is important. You need your energy after having a baby. Not only will you need to be able to do everything, but your hormones take a slide soon after giving birth. The baby blues are hard enough, and you don’t want to worry about losing weight at the same time.

Chances are if you eat healthily, you will end up losing weight. If you’re breastfeeding, this is even more likely. It all depends on whether you eat the recommended 330 calories extra a day. Your body will take the extra from your fat stores instead.


In short, you shouldn’t lose weight until you really are ready. This isn’t just about your head but also about your overall health. In your mind you may be ready right now, but your body may not quite be ready to take a cut in your calorie intake. It’s also worth listening to medical advice and following the rules of any weight loss plan you intend to follow to start losing weight after having a baby.

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