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Smoking After Giving Birth: Weight Concerns

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When you are pregnant, it is healthy and normal to gain weight. Many women worry about their weight after they give birth. Many women smoke as a way to control their weight or to lose weight.

Some women may think they've gained weight while pregnant because they quit smoking. On average, women weigh 12-21 pounds or more after giving birth whether or not they quit smoking. As it takes an average of 35-40 weeks to make a baby, the body needs at least this amount of time or more to recover. 

There are many ways other than smoking to lose weight and keep a healthy weight. You can lose weight in a healthy and safe way by eating well and exercising regularly. Exercise and healthy eating can also help with stress and cravings. To learn more, read our pages on exercise and nutrition

Talk to your doctor, nurse, midwife or doula about your exercise plan after giving birth so you know what you can do and when you can start. It is also a good idea to talk about the foods you eat. If you are breastfeeding, you should not limit how much you eat because you need good nutrition to make milk and baby gets whatever nutrition you put in your body through the breast milk. Some women find that they lose weight while breastfeeding because the body needs extra energy to make breast milk.​