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Body Weight


If the excess weight gained during pregnancy is not lost, it may lead to obesity. Appropriate exercise is helpful during pregnancy, but exercise is more appropriate after giving birth.

Reducing body weight

* Of the approximately 20 lb gained during pregnancy, half of it will be lost after the baby and placenta are delivered and bleeding begins. During the few days afterwards, water accumulated in body tissues enters the bloodstream and is urinated, reducing body weight by 4.5 - 6.5 lb. * -For about a week after delivery, water accumulated in the body continues to be excreted. The uterus continues to reduce in size. * Body weight gradually decreases. After 6 months, most mothers are close to their prepregnancy weight, but on average 4.5 lb are gained.

Table. The cause and amount of weight loss during puerperium.

Cause for weight loss
Amount of weight loss
-Delivered baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, blood
-Perspiration and diuresis during first week of puerperium
-Lochia and decrease in uterus size
12 - 13 lb
5.5 - 9 lb
2.2 lb
Total loss
20 - 22 lb

Influential factors

* Women who gained a lot of weight during pregnancy tend to be a lot heavier after pregnancy because the fat remains. * Mothers with a previous birth(s) tend to gain more because there is more residual fat from the previous birth(s). * Returning to work early helps weight reduction; age and breast-feeding have little to do with change in body weight. * The amount of time between pregnancies (the age span between siblings) does not affect a woman's long-term body weight. 


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