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Postpartum Weight Loss: When’s Everything Going to Shrink Back

When will my abs be flat again?

For the first three or four weeks after giving birth, it is completely normal for your belly to be pouchy (unless you’re a supermodel, in which case there is nothing normal about you). Your uterus hasn’t yet shrunk back to size, and your abdominal muscles are still loose from childbirth. A combination of postpartum exercise such as cardio, weight training, and ab exercises will usually have you back in your pre-baby bikini in six to nine months; just get your ob-gyn’s okay before starting an exercise routine. “For me, keeping up with my yoga practice after my son was born really helped me to feel better about my softer abs and wider hips,” says Donna Raskin, a mother of one in Princeton, New Jersey.

When will my breasts return to their usual size?

If you’re breastfeeding, your cup size may be even larger than during pregnancy, at least for the first six months or so, says Mary Rosser, M.D., an ob-gyn at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. Once you’ve weaned and gotten back to your pre-pregnancy weight, your bra size will likely return to normal, too. Bottle-feeding? It’ll take about four months for your breasts to simmer down. Even then, they may not be the same.

When will I get my old feet back?

If your pre-pregnancy shoe collection is gathering dust in your closet, blame your hormones. “They cause your feet to spread out, so you may go up a shoe size during pregnancy,” explains Dr. Rosser. Swelling sure doesn’t help. Once you’ve had the baby, your feet should return to their old sexy selves within a couple of months.

Many women say they’ve come to not only accept the changes in their postpartum bodies but also feel good about them. “I know I will always have this little bit of flab around my belly button no matter how hard I work out. And you know what, I am fine with that,” says Michele Spraklin, a mom of one in British Columbia, Canada. “I have a gorgeous son instead of a flat stomach, and I think that’s a great deal.”

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