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What habits should I keep up after my baby is born?

Following healthy eating and physical activity habits after your baby is born may help you return to a healthy weight more quickly, provide you with good nutrition (which you especially need if you are breastfeeding), and give you the energy you need. You can also be a good role model for your growing child. After your baby is born:

  • Continue eating well. Eat a variety of foods from the five food groups. If you are not breastfeeding, you will need about 300 fewer calories per day than you did while you were pregnant.
  • If you are breastfeeding, you will need to eat about 200 more calories a day than you did  while you were pregnant. Breastfeeding may
    help you return to a healthy weight more easily because it requires a great deal of energy. Breastfeeding can also protect your baby from
    illnesses such as ear infections, colds, and allergies, and may help lower your risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
  • When you feel able and your doctor says it is safe, slowly get back to your routine of regular, moderate physical activity. Wait for 4 to 6 weeks after you have your baby to begin doing higher levels of physical activity. Doing physical activity that is too hard, too soon after delivery, can slow your healing process.
  • Regular, moderate physical activity will not affect your milk supply if you are breastfeeding.
  • Return a healthy weight gradually. Lose no more than 1 pound per week through a sound eating plan and regular physical activity after you deliver your baby.