Every woman gains weight differently but postpartum weight loss is on the minds of many women. Studies show that many women hold on to a few pounds postpartum and a quarter of women retain more than 11 pounds a year after delivery. Here are 6 postpartum weight loss myths to keep in mind as you try to reach your goal weight and be a new mom all at the same time.

The pounds will drop from breastfeeding

Breastfeeding definitely burns calories but it doesn’t replace diet or exercise and is not a cure-all for postpartum weight loss. As you nurse your baby, you will need about 400-500 more calories to keep your milk flowing and will be very hungry as you are helping to sustain your newborn. Breastfeeding helps with weight loss but you will need to put in more effort to tone your body and get back to your pre-baby weight. Don’t think about cutting calories; you need at least 1,800 calories to keep your energy levels up and your milk supply going.

You should wait a few months before exercising again

When you start to exercise again will depend on your doctor’s orders and will vary between women but you can start small movements sooner than you think. Depending on if you have a c-section or perennial tears, your exercise routine might vary. Start gradually with low impact exercises but get started whenever you’re feeling up for it!

Your postpartum pooch is just your uterus

Your mom belly has nothing to do with your uterus, unfortunately. Your uterus shrinks back to the size of a pear by six weeks after giving birth. Cardio, core work and clean eating is the key to getting rid of that stored fat that you acquired after your pregnancy.

It takes the same amount of time for all women to lose their pregnancy weight

There is no set timetable for postpartum weight loss but the more weight that you gain during pregnancy, the longer it will take to lose. It takes nine months to go through the pregnancy process, so allow yourself nine months to get your body back to normal. Weight loss plateaus are real; the final 10 pounds may be the longest to lose but it will be worth the hard work when you reach your goal!

You should just wait until you’re done having kids to lose the weight

If you’re planning on trying to have more children, you might think that it’s a waste of time and effort to lose weight just to gain it all back again in a year or two, but think of your next baby. It’s better for baby number two if you are at a healthy weight during pregnancy. Going into a future pregnancy at a higher weight puts mom and developing baby at risk for medical complications such as gestational diabetes and hypertension.

Go back to your pre-pregnancy routine because it worked before

What worked before you became pregnant might work postpartum, but it might not. Don’t be afraid to switch up your routine, try different exercises, or eat differently. After all, not only has your body changed but your life routine has also been forever altered so it makes sense that you might need to try something new to get the results that you want.

Holding on to pregnancy weight can lead to serious health consequences so consider your lifestyle and be open to changes towards improving your health. Your first priority is providing for your baby so be patient with your weight loss and understand that it won’t happen overnight. Once you have the energy and are able to balance your new schedule, finding time for you is an important thing for every new mom.