Water weight gain is a common side effect of pregnancy, especially during the last few months. Although you may be eager to ditch the extra pounds as soon as possible, losing weight takes time. Many women lose excess water weight within a week of delivery without much effort. Focus on losing weight gradually by exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water. Consult your physician if you continue to retain water several weeks after delivery.
Limit your sodium intake. During pregnancy, your body retains electrolytes, including sodium, to accompany the increase in body fluids. It takes a few days for your body to return to it's normal sodium balance. Cutting back on foods high in sodium can help you restore your normal sodium levels and eliminate water weight. Read ingredient labels and ask about added sodium when eating at a restaurant.
Stay hydrated. Although hydration is essential during pregnancy, it is also important after delivery. Dehydration causes water retention and can interfere with your milk production if you are breastfeeding. Make an effort to drink at least eight cups of water each day. Keep a glass of water nearby when you feed your baby and carry a water bottle with you at all times. Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages, which can cause dehydration. Drink water, cranberry juice or grapefruit juice to fully hydrate your body.
Increase your potassium intake. Potassium helps regulate your body's balance of fluids, which helps with water retention. If your body lacks potassium, you retain water because your body is unable to regulate fluid levels accurately. Bananas, oranges, spinach and broccoli are potassium-rich fruits and vegetables. Consume at least 5 grams of potassium each day for balanced body fluids.
Exercise regularly. Although you may not be able to participate in intense exercise right after childbirth, moderate exercise can help reduce water retention. Regular exercise moves your body and legs, which can also reduce swelling in your feet and ankles after delivery. Take a walk with your baby in the stroller, ride your bike or go for a swim. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.