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Postpartum: First 6 Weeks After Childbirth - Health and Nutrition

Healthy eating

Eating a variety of healthy food is important to help you keep your energy and lose extra weight you gained during your pregnancy. Eat healthy foods so you have more energy, make good breast milk, and lose extra baby pounds.

  • Eat a variety of foods to help you get all the nutrients you need. Your body needs protein, carbohydrate, and fats for energy.
  • Eat a diet high in fiber. Include foods such as whole-grain breads and cereals, raw vegetables, raw and dried fruits, and beans.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
  • Eat small snacks throughout the day to keep up your energy. Don't skip meals or go for long periods without eating.
  • If you're breast-feeding, a healthy diet also can help you make milk. For more information, see Nutrition While Breast-Feeding.
  • If you breast-feed, avoid alcohol and drugs. Stay smoke-free. If you quit during pregnancy, congratulations.

For more information on eating well, see the topic Healthy Eating.

Exercise

Exercise helps you feel good and helps your body get back to its prepregnancy shape. In general, you can start exercising 4 to 6 weeks after delivery. But check with your doctor before you start exercising, especially if you had a cesarean birth (C-section).

  • Start daily exercise after 4 to 6 weeks, but rest when you feel tired.
  • Try to exercise regularly. Get outside, take walks, or keep your blood moving with your favorite workout.
  • Learn exercises to tone your belly.
  • Do Kegel exercises to regain strength in your pelvic muscles. You can do these exercises while you stand or sit.
actionset.gif Fitness: Staying Active When You Have Young Children

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 13, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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