Q&A: post-partum weight loss

I got a question from an anonymous mom who was very upset that she was still 20 pounds over her pre-pregnancy weight and her baby was "already" 6 weeks old. She was angry that she hadn't lost the baby weight yet. I explained to her that it took her body 9 months to put on that baby weight, so she couldn't expect to drop it all in a month, and that if she did lose so much weight so quickly it probably wouldn't be healthy for her.

She asked me what a realistic expectation was, and I said that I knew very few women who'd lost the weight before 4 months post-partum, but 9 seemed to be the magic number with a first baby. And even women who lost the weight before 9 months felt like things didn't start to go back into place before then.

So I'm asking today for some data points. Tell how long it took you to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight and size, which baby it was, whether you were breastfeeding, and any other special circumstances.

With my first I lost the weight by 9 months, and then lost another size over the next year. I was breastfeeding, and walked a ton with the baby in a carrier, and was basically trying to wil myself to perfection since I knew my life was in bad shape.

With my second I actually put on weight after he was born to hide myself. I was breastfeeding and running after a preschooler, but eating my emotions and maintaining the protective barrier so it all stayed on. It's coming off slowly but surely, so I'm the size I was pre-pregnancy with my first, but still have a way to go to get to my true fighting weight.

What about you? I'm trying to collect as many data points as possible so women looking for the reality of post-partum weight loss can find it here.