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Health & Baby

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Your Body After Baby

Month 4, Week 3

Let’s just say it right now: you’re not Gisele Bundchen. Supermodels may appear to drop the baby weight overnight, but that’s not a goal you should aspire to.

It took you awhile to get your “baby body” (nine months, to be exact), and it’ll take you awhile to get back to normal.

  • Aim to lose the weight gradually, just like you put it on. This can take nine months to a year, if you lose about 1-2 pounds a week.
  • Avoid drastic, low-calorie diets. These are never good, but they’re particularly bad for new moms, who need plenty of energy to sustain them and if you are breastfeeding, even more.
  • Eat balanced meals at least 3-4 times a day for stamina and energy.
  • Don’t go on a weight-loss diet if you’re still breastfeeding, especially if your baby has not yet started solids. The quality of your breast milk is affected by what you’re eating.
  • You may have a new shoe size! The spread in your feet that happened during pregnancy can sometimes be permanent.

Your Baby's Development This Week

Look who’s talking! OK, he’s not really saying words, but your four-month-old has a lot of ways to express himself. He’s also learning how to understand you better, by “reading” your expressions and tone of voice.

These days, your baby’s language development can include:

  • His babble may sound more like conversation.
  • He may swipe at objects or bring a toy to his mouth.
  • He may coo in response to your coos

You might wonder about:

  • Your baby’s likes and dislikes. He may start showing preferences in who holds him.
  • His cries: If his cries are upsetting you, take a minute to calm yourself down first so that you can better meet your baby’s needs.
  • These days, your baby is very interested in his world; so intrigued that he may get distracted while feeding.
  • How to play with your 4-month-old. Peekaboo and hiding blocks, then revealing them, is a great way to help him understand the concept of object permanence -- that things don’t just disappear when he can’t see them.

Month 4, Week 3 Tips

  • It’s a myth that you’ll lose all the baby weight by breastfeeding. Your body protects some fat just for this purpose!
  • When getting back into your pre-pregnancy workout routine, start slow and work up gradually. You can usually start with a regular walking program at about six weeks postpartum.
  • Use the stroller as exercise equipment. Look for a "stroller strides" program in your area. Meet other new moms, spend time with your baby, and get fitter.
  • Studies now show that exercise may help ease postpartum depression. But if you're depressed, definitely seek professional help beyond exercise.
  • Contact your doctor (and curb your exercise) if you experience bleeding, abdominal pain, or extreme shortness of breath.
  • Grab naps whenever you can and ask for help to get you some much-needed shut-eye.
  • If someone offers help, take it! Your emotional rest and happiness will make you an even better parent.

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