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Eating by the Numbers

2,200 The average number of calories new moms need each day. This number varies depending on your height, weight, and activity level, says nutrition expert Elizabeth Somer.

500 The minimum number of extra calories you need daily if you're breastfeeding exclusively.

8 The number of weeks to continue taking your prenatal vitamin post-delivery. Nursing? Ask about staying on longer.

6 The minimum number of weeks postpartum to wait before you even think of the word "diet." In fact, you may not be ready to think about it for six months or a year. If that's the case, so be it.

2 The average number of pounds to lose each month if you're nursing. This modest pace will help ensure your milk production remains steady, says Somer. If you're not breastfeeding and have fewer than ten pounds to lose, aim for one pound a week. Have more to drop? One to two pounds a week is a healthy goal.

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