Why Did You Gain So Much Weight After Giving Birth?

4 min readMay 26, 2024
Woman doing exercise while looking after baby

You usually have some weight to lose after the birth of your child. But instead of losing, you just keep gaining, and you’re not even pregnant any longer. You’re sleepless, stressed, hopinglessly in love with your baby, and gaining weight. What’s this about, and what could be done about it?

Restrictive diets or extreme exercise routines have the potential to harm your body and hinder your ability to produce breast milk if you choose to breastfeed.

Of course, it is normal to gain weight after giving birth. Experts suggest that the body undergoes many changes during pregnancy to help the fetus grow and develop, including weight gain.
During pregnancy, the body experiences various changes, both hormonal and physical, to support the growth and development of the baby. This often leads to extra fat accumulation and fluid retention.
The body adjusts after giving birth because it returns to the way it was before pregnancy. Factors such as hormonal changes, increased calorie intake from breastfeeding, and lack of sleep, weight gain is unavoidable after giving birth.

How a woman’s body does its job and what can help it remember “excessive weight gain can be harmful to a woman’s physical and mental health.”
On average, a woman is expected to gain about 10 kg during pregnancy. However, every woman’s experience is unique and weight gain can vary widely. While it may take time for your body to naturally shed the excess weight gained during pregnancy, there are steps you can take to help with this process.

The relentless weight gain experienced by many American women during their adult life is punctuated by pregnancy. There are some biological reasons why the pregnant and postpartum body might want to hold on to their calories, but all of them evolved when we were hunter gatherers and starving and our children’s lives depended on our breast milk. But our hunting and gathering these days amounts to a drive to the supermarket with a million high-calorie options to gather up and feed ourselves and our family. It just isn’t fair, but we wouldn’t want to go back 20,000 years to much slimmer times.

I just returned from a week in Zurich, Switzerland and what was very visible were young, slim, well-dressed women pushing baby carriages everywhere, not too many cars, and all on trams and sidewalks and in all kinds of weather, in singles and ingroup. Swiss women think babies need fresh water and they are out to make it happen on their feet. So what are the problems and what should we be doing?”

Many women often struggle to lose weight after giving birth, even with breastfeeding, and many continue to gain weight. What are the problems? Some women experience low thyroid function during and after pregnancy, so if you are having trouble with weight gain, talk to your obstetrician at your postpartum visit and perhaps thyroid testing will be indicated.

Women who don’t sleep enough experience weight gain. A study found that women who slept less than 5 hours a night, 6 months postpartum, were 3 times more likely to maintain their baby’s weight and perhaps even gain more.

And lastly, being a new mother is stressful, and stress hormones can increase weight, and women are more likely to eat when they are stressed. So there you have it, thyroid problems, trouble sleeping, and stress contribute to postpartum weight gain. So what you do?

Exclusive breastfeeding consumes about 500 calories a day. If you eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of low or no-calorie fluids, you don’t need to add those calories if you already have extra weight. Nice meal, but not for two people.

So why bother? You’ve got a baby, you’re happy, but maybe you’re a little stressed. 15 or 20 pounds, what difference does it make?

Weight gain during pregnancy and continued weight gain after giving birth don’t feel good, and can sometimes have a negative impact on your self-esteem. Women who gain 10 to 30 pounds with each pregnancy have an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease as they get older. And they have an increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes in future pregnancies. That’s bad for them and their baby.

Women who already have diabetes during pregnancy are at greatest risk. So, being pregnant and giving birth to a baby brings many changes in your life. You should keep the good and let go of the bad if you can.

How To Lose Weight After Pregnancy