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Erin van Vuuren

Why Am I Not Losing Weight Yet?

Weeks have gone by and the numbers on the scale aren’t budging. What’s going on?

Your body just brought a whole new human into the world. Cut it some slack.

We all know someone whose pregnancy pounds magically disappeared as soon as her baby arrived. (The friend who left the hospital in her pre-pregnancy jeans? She’s a major exception.) For most of us, it’s many months until we feel like we’re starting to get back in shape.

“It’s actually a lot harder to lose weight after having baby than people think,” says Jill Hechtman, MD, OB/GYN, and medical contributor to the news and lifestyle show Daytime. “Unless you’re a celebrity with a private chef, trainer and a nanny, it takes work.”

Help your body along by eating real, healthy food and staying away from refined and packaged items. Avoid juice and other high-calorie drinks. Stick to water, tea and coffee. Breastfeeding can also help. “If you actively breastfeed, you can expect to burn approximately 500 calories a day,” Hechtman says.

Once your doctor has given you the green light — usually around six weeks postpartum — start exercising more. If you don’t see immediate results, stick with it. The first weeks with a new baby tend to drag on, but a healthy lifestyle will start to pay off before you know it. (Bonus: You’ll set a good example for your new addition too.) Remember: It took you nine months to put on the pregnancy weight; it’s normal for it to take even longer than that to take it off.

Plus, more from The Bump:

20 Ways to Eat Better

How to Love Your Postbaby Body

Will I Gain Weight When I Stop Breastfeeding?