The most important thing for postpartum women is to listen to their bodies and to maintain their energy, Swick said. "I try to create a plan that keeps Mom's blood sugar balanced throughout the day. Sometimes, that's three or four big meals a day. Other times, that's six smaller meals because I'm not really concerned with the weight." The only instance where Swick is very serious about postpartum weight loss is if a woman has had gestational diabetes (high blood glucose levels during pregnancy), because "we know that, within a year postpartum, her risk of forming type 2 diabetes is much higher."
In general, though, it's not a time for "fad dieting," Swick said, especially if you're breastfeeding, which Citron pointed out burns an extra 500 calories a day. (A pediatrician at NYU Langone told POPSUGAR in a previous interview that nursing women should be eating between 300 and 500 more calories per day). Cutting too many carbs could lead to the decline of milk production, and you could develop thyroid issues, Swick explained. For example, if a woman has the Hashimoto's thyroiditis gene, doesn't take care of her body's needs postpartum, and goes into a caloric deficit, her Hashimoto's could be triggered. Not to mention, Swick pointed out, low thyroid and stress can increase your cortisol levels, which is "where you get that belly fat," so it could be counterintuitive if they want to lose that weight.
Here's what she does suggest eating: more healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, seeds, and nuts, bone broths and soups, well-cooked meats, egg yolks, cooked cereals, and things that are easily digested, because "if all the energy is going toward digesting," then it takes away critical energy her body needs to repair itself and heal. Dr. Gupta further suggested a balanced diet with lots of protein, greens, vitamin D, calcium, and plenty of water.