Throughout your pregnancy, you watched as your belly grew and your body changed. These big physical changes accommodated a developing life in your womb! Maybe you watched in wonder, or maybe you secretly had some anxiety about the weight gain associated with pregnancy.

The thing is, your body did a truly amazing thing. You know, growing a healthy and thriving human and all. But it’s totally normal to be thinking about how to lose the baby weight after birth. We’re often eager to get back in our pre-pregnancy clothes and feel like ourselves again.

Shedding the weight you gained during pregnancy will look similar no matter where you gave birth. This is especially true for those mommas who had uncomplicated vaginal deliveries.

At a glance, to lose the baby weight after your home birth you should:

  1. Focus on postpartum healing
  2. Have a realistic mindset
  3. Breastfeed
  4. Babywear
  5. Eat enough calories, but make them healthy
  6. Try to get some shut eye
  7. Exercise, once cleared by your midwife

By approaching your postpartum weight loss with an open mind and an approach that integrates all of these tips, you will eventually lose the weight you gained during pregnancy.

But as we’ll discuss below, don’t rush the process! And definitely, don’t let it interrupt the bonding and snuggles you’ve earned with that sweet newborn of yours 😊

7 tips to lose the baby weight after your home birth

Losing the baby weight after your home birth isn’t going to look the same for every woman. Just like we gain weight and show differently in our unique pregnancies, baby weight can come off at varying rates for different mommas.

However, the general rule of thumb when it comes to postpartum weight loss is the same as weight loss for anyone else: a calorie deficit. It’s just more important than ever to achieve this in a slow and safe manner.

How much weight will I lose right after delivery?

Immediately after your home birth, most mommas immediately lose between 10-15 pounds. This is the weight of the baby, placenta, and amniotic fluid.

Additionally, in the first few weeks after birth, you may lose another 5-10 pounds when any swelling, water retention or IV fluids flush out of your system. This number will be on the higher end if you endured significant swelling or water retention in your third trimester.

After that, the remaining weight is fat your body stored during pregnancy that will take time to come off of your body.

1. Focus on postpartum healing

We can’t talk about postpartum weight loss without a reminder to first focus on postpartum healing. Birth is a traumatic event for our bodies and it takes time to recover. It will take up to 6 weeks for your uterus to fully contract back to its non-baby bearing size and for your postpartum bleeding to diminish (and sometimes longer!).

The time after giving birth, often referred to as the fourth trimester, is a time to rest and adjust to life with your baby. Your hormones will be all over the place as your breastmilk comes in and your body returns to a non-pregnant state. Your muscles will need time to recover from birth and your body needs proper nutrition and fluids to heal.

For these reasons, please don’t immediately start obsessing over “getting your body back”—it’s still there! And it just accomplished an amazing feat.

Instead in the first 6-8 weeks after birth, focus on resting, bonding with your baby, and mastering breastfeeding. All three of these things will actually aid you in eventually losing weight.

2. Have a realistic mindset

Once you’ve gotten over the initial 6-week hurdle of postpartum healing, you will likely be cleared for light exercise and activity by your midwife.

At this point, you can safely begin to track your postpartum weight loss, but I want to urge you to do so with a realistic mindset. You want to lose the weight slowly! A good goal is to lose 1-2 pounds per week. This is a 3500-5000 calorie deficit per week (source). We’ll talk more about how to achieve this in the next few tips.

How long will it take for me to lose the baby weight after my home birth?

There’s no real way to say how long it will take you to lose the weight. I wish I could give you a magic number. Many have probably heard the saying that “it took 9 months to put it on and will take 9 months for it to come off”. But it may take longer, especially if you gained more than 35 pounds or if you are breastfeeding.

Yes, breastfeeding will help with weight loss, but many breastfeeding mamas find that the last 5-10 pounds stay on until their baby is completely weaned. In fact, this was true for me. I didn’t lose the final 7 pounds until my daughter weaned at 18 months.

Your body may be changed forever, and that’s okay

When your baby was born, so was a new mother. This is even true for mommas having subsequent babies. And the time it took to grow your baby and grow YOU into a momma may have changed your body in permanent ways.

You might find that even when you hit your weight loss goal, your hips are wider, you’re in need of a larger pant size, your boobs are saggier, or your belly has a ‘pooch’ that just won’t budge.

Let me be the first to tell you, momma, this is more than okay and something you should be proud of! The honor and blessing to carry a baby in your body and become a mother are greater than any other.

So remember to take a deep breath and embrace this new body of yours. Celebrate everything it accomplished. And maybe go get a few new outfits that make you feel great 😉

3. Breastfeed

Breastfeeding is a great way to lose baby weight because maintaining your milk supply will really burn calories and fat. But first and foremost, you want to focus on establishing a good milk supply for baby. This takes around 12 weeks.

The best way to do this is to feed on demand, and never wait more than 2 hours for baby to nurse during the day. Waiting as long as possible to pump or bottle feed baby (even if it is breastmilk) is also monumental in getting your supply well established.

I realize this isn’t possible for every momma and family, but if it is—it’s a great goal. Remember, while you are breastfeeding, you want to eat plenty of calories and drink lots of water to establish and maintain a good supply.

Breastfeeding in the first 12 weeks

During this time frame, many mommas find their weight loss stalls, and that’s because your body is hanging onto weight until your supply is truly established and meeting baby’s needs.

Once your milk supply is well established, which happens around 12 weeks, many mommas start to notice their weight loss ramp up again without any significant changes.

This is you reaping the benefits of the 300-500 calories/day that you burn while breastfeeding. This is because your milk supply is stable and your body begins to let go of excess calories and fat.

Why breastfeeding might make it hard to lose the last of the baby weight

If you choose to breastfeed your baby, it will help you lose some of the baby weight, there is no doubt. But keep in mind what I mentioned above, that it can actually make it more challenging to lose the final 5-10 pounds—but for good reason! Your body hangs on to that extra fat as a “just in case” for milk supply until baby weans.

Many sources say this weight isn’t necessary to continue breastfeeding successfully but to lose it before your baby weans may take greater determination and effort.

4. Babywear and move with your baby

Think of baby as your first source of calorie burning workouts! There are countless benefits to babywearing over stroller use, but for the purpose of this article, strap that baby on you to help burn more calories. Opting to hold and carry your baby as much as possible means your own body is working harder while moving because of the extra weight.

Look for other ways baby can help you move more

Every little bit of extra movement and steps count towards your overall calorie burn for the week. Here are some ideas of how to move more with your baby:

  • To soothe your fussy or sleepless baby, consider bouncing on a yoga ball instead of rocking in a chair. I figured this out accidentally because my daughter only responded to bouncing vs. rocking (insert eye-roll 😉) but maybe I should be thanking her for keeping me more active
  • Some mommas purposely keep a changing space and supplies on the second floor of their home to encourage them to do the stairs more often during the day
  • Get out on walks with your little one. The fresh air is good for you both and you’ll get more steps in. This can be a great bonding activity with dad too.

5. Eat enough calories, but make them healthy

As I mentioned earlier, one key to a good milk supply is eating enough calories. So when you are trying to lose your baby weight, severe calorie restricting isn’t a good idea. In fact, you need up to 2400 calories per day if you’re exercising.

Additionally, nutritionists usually advise against cutting out carbs completely (or any other food group) because a balanced diet is important to milk supply as well.

Instead, focus on the quality of the calories you are taking in. Make sure you are eating meals with real ingredients and lots of healthy fats. Skip anything processed or pre-packaged as much as possible.

I know this might sound difficult to achieve with a newborn around. If you are reading this article before your home birth, take some time to stock your freezer with healthy, real ingredient meals. It will make healthy eating after baby arrives so much more achievable.

Another idea is to ask a friend to organize a meal train as part of your postpartum support systems. Others will love to cook and drop off healthy meals for you to enjoy.

What exactly should I eat to lose the baby weight while breastfeeding?

When I was focusing on losing weight after birth, I didn’t follow a specific plan. I focused on eating lean proteins like chicken, fish, and ground turkey. Lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grain carbs like brown rice, quinoa, and oats. Often this came in the form of soups and stews. I swear we would have never eaten if it weren’t for the crock pot!

For this reason, I love the no pre-cooking crockpot recipes from The Family Freezer. All of the recipes are super healthy and just require combining ingredients into your crockpot and turning it on. Bonus points for prepping a bunch of these meals before baby arrives and storing them in Ziplocs in your freezer!

As for snacks, I ate lots of hard boiled eggs, nuts, and cheese. Oh– and a LOT of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

In short, I ate real food with an emphasis on healthy options– and ate as much as I wanted. By doing this in addition to daily walking, I did lose the weight!

What’s a meal plan I can follow to help with my postpartum weight loss?

I realize that for some women, having a specific meal plan to follow feels easier than trying to make general healthy choices. It can take the guesswork out of the equation, which is especially helpful when you are in the baby fog.

According to an interview with a registered dietician on the site Parenting, breastfeeding mommas should aim for a total of 1800-2000 calories per day if you’re not exercising, and 2400 calories per day if you are.

You should reach this calorie goal in the form of:

  • At least 3 servings of fruit per day
  • At least 4 servings of vegetables per day
  • At least 3 servings of dairy
  • At least 4 servings of whole grains
  • At least 3 servings of lean protein

She recommends including three food groups at each meal and two at each snack in order to hit your daily goal. You can find a 7-day meal plan and general meal and snack suggestions in the article to get you started!

6. Try to get some shut eye

Before you shrug this one off as another annoying reminder to “sleep when the baby sleeps” just hear me out. I know it’s hard to get sleep with a newborn around.

But the more unnecessarily sleep deprived you are, the more likely you’ll be to reach for sugary snacks during the day to give you an energy boost. These sugary snacks are often much higher in calorie and can really undermine your weight loss efforts.

I know it’s not always possible to sleep when the baby sleeps, but challenge yourself to rest a little more and let the laundry or dishes sit. It will help your weight loss efforts in the long run.

7. Exercise once cleared by your midwife

You didn’t think you’d get through a list of tips to lose the baby weight after your home birth without the mention of exercise, right 😉 While all of the other tips to lose your baby weight in this article are crucial, exercising will be an important part of losing the weight and returning to your pre-baby size.

You should never attempt exercising postpartum before you are cleared by your midwife. At that point, look for exercise classes, programs or videos specific to postpartum recovery. Most important during this time is to focus on safely strengthening your core and pelvic floor muscles.

Additionally, incorporating cardio into your day is a healthy way to burn fat. Getting out for brisk walks is an easy way to do this with your baby.

Just be sure that you are eating enough calories to maintain your breastmilk supply. If you are burning too many calories exercising and not eating enough, you will find your body holding onto fat and slowing your metabolism for fear of not being able to provide for baby. Remember breastfeeding mommas that are exercising need 2400 calories per day!

What’s a great postpartum fitness plan to follow?

When I was focusing on losing my baby weight, I didn’t follow a specific postpartum fitness program, but I really wish I had. I now know the importance of slowly and deliberately strengthening your core after birth and how important pelvic floor strength is.

Next time around, I will be more intentional about choosing workouts geared for postpartum women. Some that I have my eye on, and have read great reviews of include:

Hopefully you’ll find these helpful in your weight loss journey.

Celebrate your postpartum body, momma!

At the end of the day, you can trust that you’ll lose the baby weight if you are eating right and moving daily with your baby. Don’t obsess over the number on the scale or the fit of your pants!

By breastfeeding, clean eating, sleeping when you can, and adding postpartum fitness into your routine you will lose the baby weight after your home birth.

In the meantime, celebrate the beautiful human your body grew, and go treat yourself to few outfits that fit your postpartum bod and make you feel like the million bucks that you are 😊

Hey Momma, Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Hey Momma, Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailling list so you don't miss out on our great articles, product reviews, and special offers.  We don't like spam, just like you, so we send only a few emails a month that contain only best stuff.

Boom! Here comes the good stuff Momma!