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    A lot of first time moms think that pregnancy weight will just fall off quickly after delivering their babies. We’ve all heard of those people who say they wore their pre-baby skinny jeans home from the hospital, and you might bring yours, too, thinking that’s normal. However, a lot of people quickly find out that it doesn’t really work like that. Weight loss after pregnancy can be much more complicated than that.

    Woman with her children smiling because she achieved weight loss for stubborn post baby weight

    Post baby weight loss may be hard for many reasons, but there are solutions to help you shed those extra pounds.

    After delivering your baby, there are healthy ways to lose the extra weight while taking care of you and your newborn. Following a good diet and exercise program approved by your doctor is one way to start chipping away at the extra weight you gained during pregnancy. However, what do you do if you’re following these guidelines and still can’t lose those extra pounds? Sometimes, postpartum weight can be incredibly stubborn. If it’s harder to lose baby weight than you expected, there may be several reasons for this, including sleep issues, breastfeeding, and hormone imbalances. Read on to learn why these things can affect your postpartum weight loss and some tips to help you lose weight healthily after pregnancy.

    If you’re struggling with weight management, make an appointment with our team today. We can help identify underlying causes to get you the help you need to live a healthier, happier life.

    Lack of Sleep Hinders Weight Loss

    As a new parent, you’re probably familiar with some level of sleep deprivation. Your bundle of joy is likely keeping you awake at night and throughout the day, cutting into the amount of sleep you get. Keep in mind that sleep and weight loss are linked pretty closely. So, if you’re struggling to get enough sleep, that might be the problem making it hard to lose the post baby weight.

    Lack of sleep isn’t just frustrating, it can also affect your body in many ways, including by making it easier to gain weight and harder to lose weight. Many studies show that poor quality sleep is linked to weight management issues. There are a few reasons for this.

    On one hand, when you’re feeling extremely tired because you’re not sleeping enough, you’re more likely to reach for calorie-dense foods. Your body knows it’s tired and often looks for ways to increase energy through food. That means you might start craving really high calorie foods that aren’t very good for you in high amounts, like refined carbs and sugars. As a result, you might be eating more calories than you really need, leading to your body storing that as extra fat to burn for energy later.

    Also, sleep deprivation can affect your hunger hormones and throw them out of whack. For instance, sleep problems can actually increase ghrelin, a hormone that increases your appetite. So, once again, this can make it really easy to overeat, which makes weight loss hard after pregnancy.

    Finally, there is some evidence that sleep deprivation can affect your metabolism. Your metabolism affects how many calories you burn over time. However, lack of sleep can actually lower your metabolic rate, meaning you burn fewer calories than normal, which can encourage your body to hold onto extra weight.

    Tips for Sleep-Related Weight Issues After Pregnancy

    So, what can you do to help prevent sleep issues from affecting your weight loss goals after pregnancy? Of course, the easy answer is to simply sleep more, but obviously that’s easier said than done with a baby who needs your attention. However, don’t be afraid to get help where you can. Reach out to friends or family to watch the baby while you catch up on some rest. Also, rest whenever you can, even if that means letting some house chores slide a little.

    Other things you can do include splitting up nighttime feeds between you and your partner. Taking it in shifts or alternating duties can allow you both to get some much needed sleep. As your baby grows, they’ll start waking up less at night, but until then try to do what you can to manage sleep health.

    Also, keep in mind that you might need to fight off insomnia after pregnancy. Even when you feel so tired you can barely stand, you might still find it hard to sleep when you have the ability to. If this sounds like you, take some steps to make it easier to sleep. For example, making sure you have a dark and quiet environment and avoiding screens as much as possible before trying to fall asleep.

    With these tips, you can start getting more sleep to give your body the rest it needs. As you start prioritizing your sleep and getting good quality sleep, you not only may feel more energy, but weight loss may become easier. If you’re still struggling to get a good night’s rest, then consider whether you might be suffering from a sleep disorder like sleep apnea and seek help from our medical team.

    Breastfeeding Can Make it Hard to Lose Post Baby Weight

    Many of us have heard that breastfeeding helps you lose weight after pregnancy, but this just may not be the case for you. Nursing does burn quite a lot of calories, but there are other things that can complicate weight loss if you’re breastfeeding. For instance, your body may actually hold onto a set amount of weight to hold in reserve so you can feed your baby even if food becomes scarce. This is because if you get too skinny, you won’t be able to feed your baby. So, your body may actually hold onto about 10 pounds or so while breastfeeding.

    Part of why your body might do this is because of the hormone prolactin. You need prolactin to create breast milk. It can also encourage fat storage in your body. Prolactin usually increases during and after pregnancy and remains at high levels until you’re done breastfeeding. If you choose not to breastfeed, then prolactin levels will usually return to normal a few weeks postpartum.

    Additionally, breastfeeding can trigger a pretty hefty appetite, which may lead you to overeat. There’s a misconception out there that you need to essentially eat for two when breastfeeding or that you can eat basically an unlimited number of calories because you’re burning so many by nursing. However, this simply isn’t the case. Most women only need an extra 300 to 400 extra calories to breastfeed. Yet, many breastfeeding people eat more than that by snacking on high calorie foods or eating more frequently than they really need to because breastfeeding can make you feel really hungry.

    Weight Loss During and After Breastfeeding

    If you’re having a hard time losing weight while breastfeeding, you’re not alone. In some cases, it may simply be a matter of waiting until you wean your little one. This helps restore your prolactin levels to normal and may allow you to start losing the extra weight your body held in reserve to feed your baby.

    However, make sure that when breastfeeding that you’re using good portion control. As we mentioned, many breastfeeding women eat more than they really need to, which also affects your weight loss goals. A good place to start is to know how many calories you should be eating a day. Talk to your doctor about your specific needs. You can use the daily reference intake calculator to estimate how many calories you should be eating based on whether you’re lactating and how long you’ve been nursing for to get an idea. From there, you can adjust your diet to make sure you’re not eating too many calories that are getting stored by your body as extra weight.

    Postpartum Hormone Imbalances Make Weight Loss Difficult

    For a lot of women, postpartum weight loss issues stem from hormonal imbalances. Obviously, pregnancy causes a lot of hormone changes. Your hormones probably won’t snap back to normal the second your bundle of joy is here. In fact, it can take quite a while for your hormones to return to normal levels. For many women, it takes three to six months to get their estrogen and progesterone back on track, depending on whether they’re breastfeeding or not.

    Also, keep in mind that many women also struggle with more chronic hormone issues after pregnancy. For instance, a lot of women struggle with low progesterone in the postpartum period. This can lead to estrogen dominance, which can encourage your body to store more fat, particularly around your midsection.

    Another hormone imbalance that a lot of women struggle with after pregnancy is thyroid issues. Many people experience what’s called thyroiditis, which means the thyroid gland gets inflamed and can’t work properly. As a result, you might experience both hyperthyroid and hypothyroid issues. At first, your body may produce too much thyroid hormone in response to the inflammation, which can make you lose weight even with a higher appetite. However, over time, thyroiditis after pregnancy will lead to hypothyroid, which means you have too little thyroid hormone. This can actually make you gain weight or not be able to lose weight no matter how hard you try.

    Get Your Hormones in Check to Help with Baby Weight

    If you have a hard time with weight loss after pregnancy, it might be a hormone imbalance. In these cases, it’s important to talk to our team about your hormones and how to achieve your weight loss goals. Often, treating the underlying hormone imbalance will help you lose weight healthily if your hormones are stopping you from losing weight. Our healthcare professionals can test your hormone levels to determine if you have any imbalances and create personalized treatment solutions to help restore balance.

    When to Consider Weight Loss Treatments

    If you’ve tried to lose post baby weight without success, then it might be time to seek help from our healthcare team. We offer weight loss treatments tailored to you, including diet and nutrition planning, weight loss medicines, and hormone care all designed to address underlying issues that affect weight management. We work with you to understand why you’re struggling to lose weight and provide treatment solutions to help you healthily lose the weight and keep it off.

    So, if you’re carrying around extra weight and you can’t lose it even with a healthy diet, portion control, and regular exercise, it might be time to reach out to see if there are underlying conditions affecting your weight and how to treat them so you can get back to a healthy weight after pregnancy.

    Get Help Losing Weight with Personalized Solutions from HerKare

    Our team at HerKare provides personalized healthcare to women at every life stage. We’re proud to provide a wide range of healthcare services to help you live your healthiest, happiest life. When you find yourself struggling to lose weight and keep it off, our team can help with weight loss solutions tailored to you and your lifestyle. Reach out now to schedule an appointment and take the first step to feeling like yourself again.


    It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Dr. Sridevi Panchamukhi will be discontinuing her affiliation with HerKare. Dr. Panchamoukhi’s last day with HerKare was Monday, March 27, 2023. As a patient you may obtain copies of your medical records or arrange transfer of your medical records to another physician. HerKare Physician Group, PLLC will continue to maintain your medical records. You may reach out to to obtain copies of your records. We wish Dr. Panchamoukhi the very best.