So just how much lighter will you be leaving the hospital? "It varies from patient to patient," says Dr. Bruce Shephard, a clinical associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of South Florida, College of Medicine and an OB-GYN in private practice in Tampa. He continues, "But as a general rule, less than you expect, less than you would like." You shed about 10 to 15 pounds while giving birth. Whatever came out of your uterus during delivery—the baby, the placenta, and the amniotic fluid—is what constitutes your initial weight loss. However, the fluids put into your body during labor (like IV fluids) may damper that effect at first. Don't be discouraged.
Dr. Shephard says that by six weeks postpartum, about two-thirds of your total pregnancy weight gain will probably be gone. "More than 90 percent [of patients] are not back to their pre-pregnancy weight by six weeks," observes Dr. Shephard. Many women seem to follow the "nine months up, nine months down" weight mantra that so many OB-GYNs are fond of reciting.