Diet and Weight Loss
Pregnancy draws on the body’s stores of protein, iron, and other essential nutrients. Eating well following childbirth will replenish those stores and maintain good health.
Guidelines for a Healthy Diet:
- Eat sensibly. Do not start a weight-loss diet until approved by your physician.
- A healthful daily diet should include plenty of protein foods, fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Limit your fat intake and empty-calorie foods.
- Drink enough fluids to satisfy your thirst and keep your urine light-colored.
- Continue your daily prenatal vitamins until they are gone.
- It is recommended that all women who could become pregnant continue to take 0.4 mg (400 mcg) of folic acid daily. This vitamin, taken three months or more before conception, reduces the incidence of neural tube defects in babies.
You will gradually lose the extra weight gained during pregnancy. Please don’t rush. Approximately 11 to 13 pounds are lost immediately following childbirth, and an additional four to five pounds are typically lost during the next several weeks. Overall, it is typical for women to gain 24 to 30 pounds during pregnancy. Stored fat of five to six pounds is slowly utilized during the first six months of breastfeeding. If you have accumulated more than six pounds over your recommended body weight, you may consider a healthy and gradual weight-loss diet that includes an exercise plan.