Why Is it So Hard to Lose Baby Weight?

Once your baby arrives and life settles down a bit, one of the issues you may wish to resolve might be baby weight. The amount you have to lose depends on how much you gained during pregnancy, as well as whether you had additional pounds when your pregnancy began. Some new mothers find it more difficult to lose baby weight than others.

Weight Gain During Pregnancy

The recommended weight gain for a woman of normal pre-pregnancy weight is 25 to 35 pounds, states the WebMD website. An overweight woman might gain between 15 and 25 pounds and a woman carrying twins may gain up to 45 pounds. If you gain more than the recommended amount of weight, you may have a harder time losing it all after giving birth 1. If a year goes by and you haven’t lost all the baby weight, you may be more likely to keep the weight permanently, according to the WebMD website 1.

Sleep Deprivation

A newborn can be a challenging taskmaster, keeping you up day and night for feedings, diaper changes and other baby activities. If you become sleep deprived as you care for your baby, you may have a harder time losing weight, states the University of Chicago Medicine website 12. A steady routine of sleepless nights can increase your appetite, especially for high-calorie comfort foods. Just two nights of sleep deprivation can be enough to raise hormone levels that trigger hunger. Take naps or go to bed early if you’re fighting sleep deprivation to minimize these hormonal affects.

Breastfeeding Vs. Formula Feeding

Breastfeeding can be a natural boost in postpartum weight loss. If you choose to formula feed instead of breastfeed your baby, you may notice that you have a harder time losing the baby weight 1. Breastfeeding mothers often lose more weight than formula-feeding mothers between postpartum months three and six, states the La Leche League International website. In addition, breastfeeding mothers often weigh less than formula-feeding mothers at one month postpartum.


Sometimes losing the baby weight just takes time and patience 1. The University of Rochester Medical Center cautions new mothers that postpartum weight loss should not be a crash or restrictive process 3. Instead, losing weight gradually will enable you to heal from the birth, produce milk for your baby if you are breastfeeding and have enough energy to complete daily responsibilities 1. It can also be challenging to fit exercise time into a busy postpartum schedule. It may help to choose activities you can perform with your baby, such as walking with a stroller or with your baby in a front carrier.