You may or may not have lost much, if any, weight by the time you leave the hospital. Remember, your body is still eliminating a lot of extra fluid from the pregnancy. The important thing to remember is that this is not the time for dieting. You need to eat sensible, healthy meals to regain your strength.
How much you eat is even more important if you are nursing. You need 500 calories a day more than when you were pregnant just to maintain your weight. This adds up to 2,700 calories a day for an average woman. Include eight eight-ounce glasses of non-caffeinated fluid. If you drink when you're thirsty and your urine is light in color, you know your fluid intake is adequate.
Maintaining your calcium intake is important; you need a total of five glasses of milk or calcium equivalents a day. Insufficient calcium won't affect your milk supply, but your body will raid its own calcium stores to make up the difference, weakening your bones and teeth. (If you keep up your calcium intake after weaning, your bone mass will return.) Fortunately, it doesn't take milk to make breastmilk. If you are allergic to dairy products make sure to eat plenty of green, leafy vegetables and drink enough other fluids.
After a week or two in your robe, take the baby for walks in the stroller or snuggly. The exercise will improve your mood, the motion will settle your baby down, and everyone you meet will coo at the baby and fuss over you, giving you an ego boost when you need it most.
You may want to avoid gassy foods, such as cabbage and broccoli, as these bother some babies, and stick to decaffeinated coffee or limited amounts of regular coffee. The amount of caffeine that gets into breastmilk is small, but do you really want to risk your baby waking up more often? Feel free to eat all the garlic you want — the flavor gets into your breastmilk and, much to the surprise of the researchers who studied this, most babies like the taste and nurse better.