Women who gain excessive weight during pregnancy are at risk for postpartum weight retention and long-term obesity. Familiarity with current research related to postpartum weight loss can aid the nurse-midwife in providing sound, clinical advice to women at risk for postpartum weight retention. This article provides a review of current literature and research studies related to postpartum weight loss, weight retention, and weight gain. An overview of gestational weight gain and fetal growth, recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, complications of maternal obesity, postpartum weight-loss patterns, and factors that affect postpartum weight loss are discussed.