Lose the Pouch: Strategies for Shedding Postnatal Pounds

By Neena Higgs

While browsing a Hallmark store with my infant son, Nicholas, a 20-something clerk peeked into our stroller and asked me how old the baby was. “Six months,” I said, beaming with pride over my first-born. “He’s so cute,” she added, and I nodded with absolute agreement. Then she dropped the bombshell. “Awwww, and I see you’re pregnant again!”

Pregnancy Pounds in Perspective

How much weight women gain during pregnancy varies greatly. The rate at which you shed those pounds after giving birth also varies quite a bit. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you strive to get back to your old self:

• Women lose approximately half of the weight they gain during pregnancy when they deliver their baby.

• Most of the remaining weight is retained fluid, which women usually lose over the next few weeks through increased urination and perspiration.

• The rest of the weight is stored fat – calories for milk production. How you shed the final pounds depends on how much weight you gained during pregnancy and your postpartum nutrition and exercise program. Most women return to their normal weight before pregnancy within about nine months to a year after giving birth.
I felt nauseous. But it was at that enlighted moment that I realized the pooch around my waist wasn’t going to go away just by nursing or wishing upon a star. I was going to have to start exercising.

Even with a baby in tow, there is an abundance of exercise programs targeting postpartum poundage, whatever your pleasure or pocketbook.

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