How to Breastfeed and Lose Weight

Losing weight after pregnancy can seem like an uphill battle, but breastfeeding can give you a leg up. Not only does breastfeeding help to burn calories, but it also causes your body to release a hormone that helps to shrink your uterus back to its pre-pregnancy size.

In addition, breastfeeding can help to increase your metabolism. As a result, it is possible to lose weight while breastfeeding, though you may need to be patient as the process can take several weeks or even months. The best way to approach how to breastfeed and lose weight is to focus on making healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. With a little effort, you can soon reach your post-baby weight goals.

Does breastfeeding help you lose your pregnancy weight?

It is common for new mothers to worry about losing the weight they gained during pregnancy. While there is no magic solution, breastfeeding may offer some help.

Breastfeeding can burn up to 700 calories per day, which can help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight. In addition, exclusively breastfeeding can help to boost your milk supply, which may help you lose weight in the long run.

However, it is important to follow your doctor’s calorie recommendations if you want to lose weight safely while breastfeeding. By making smart choices and staying active, you can give yourself the best chance of returning to your pre-pregnancy weight.

How soon can you expect to lose your pregnancy weight?

It’s no secret that new moms have a lot on their plates. In addition to caring for a new baby, they also have to contend with sleep deprivation, hormone fluctuations, and recovery from childbirth.

And for many women, one of the most challenging tasks is losing pregnancy weight. After you have a baby, you can expect to lose weight. In the first few days and weeks post-birth, you will lose around 13 pounds.

This weight loss is due to the loss of the baby, placenta, and amniotic fluid. While there is no magic formula for weight loss, there are some general guidelines that can help new moms shed those extra pounds.

First and foremost, it’s important to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. breastfeeding can also help burn calories and promote weight loss.

Additionally, new moms should aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night and drink plenty of water throughout the day. By following these simple tips, new moms can gradually lose weight and get back to their pre-pregnancy weight in time.

How many calories do I need to consume while breastfeeding?

When it comes to weight loss, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how many calories you should consume while breastfeeding. However, a general guideline is to consume 2,250 to 2,500 calories per day if you have a sedentary lifestyle, 2,450 to 2,700 calories per day if you have a moderately active lifestyle, and 2,650 to 2,900 calories per day if you have an active lifestyle.

Once you’ve identified the total amount of calories you should be eating daily, try to make sure the majority of your calories are coming from nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

You may also need to continue taking your prenatal vitamin while you are breastfeeding. To lose weight, steer clear of calorie-void foods such as white bread, pasta, cookies, baked goods, and other junk food.

Is it safe to restrict your calories while breastfeeding?

Most new mothers are eager to lose their baby weight and many turn to calorie restriction as a way to shed those extra pounds. However, it is important to remember that if you are breastfeeding, you need to consume enough calories to maintain a healthy milk supply.

Research has shown that anything less than 1500-1800 calories per day can result in a reduced milk supply. So, if you are breastfeeding and trying to lose weight, it is important to be mindful of how many calories you are consuming each day.

While it may be tempting to cut back in order to lose weight more quickly, it is important to make sure that you are still giving your body the nutrients it needs to produce healthy milk for your baby.

8 Tips to help you lose weight while breastfeeding

Weight loss while breastfeeding is possible, but it’s important to do it in a way that’s safe for both you and your baby. Reducing your calorie intake isn’t always the best solution, as it can lead to a decrease in milk supply. Instead, focus on making healthy food choices and getting plenty of exercise. Here are a few tips to help you lose the weight while breastfeeding:

1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

These foods are high in nutrients and fiber, and they can help you feel full without adding extra calories.

2. Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks

These foods are high in calories and low in nutrients, so they’re not ideal for weight loss or breastfeeding.

3. Get plenty of exercise

Your doctor has given you the green light to start working out again. Ease back into it gradually.

It’s essential to focus on postpartum-safe workouts, such as yoga and walks with your baby, after giving birth.

Exercise can help you burn more calories and promote weight loss. However, be sure to listen to your body and take breaks when needed.

4. Limit alcohol consumption

Alcohol can quickly add up in calories, so it’s best to limit your intake if you’re trying to lose weight while breastfeeding.

5. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is important for weight loss and breast milk production. Aim for at least 8 glasses per day. Drinking plenty of fluids can help your body flush out any water weight.

Try to avoid sugary beverages if you’re trying to lose weight, as they are often loaded with empty calories.

6. Seek support from friends and family

Losing weight while breastfeeding can be a challenge, so it’s important to have a support system in place. Talk to your friends and family about your goals, and ask for their help when needed.

7. Eat more frequently

Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to help reach your weight loss goals.

Eating more often throughout the day can help increase your energy levels. Make sure to have three meals and two snacks throughout the day.

8. Get plenty of rest

It can help your body to recover more quickly and aid in weight loss. Not only is sleep important, but you should also get a good night’s sleep after you return to working out.

Foods to Eat While Breastfeeding to Lose Weight

If you’re breastfeeding and trying to lose weight, it’s important to focus on eating nutrient-rich foods. Fruits and vegetables are always a good choice, as they’re high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Other good choices include lean protein sources, such as chicken or beans, and whole grains. Leafy greens can also be part of a healthy diet for breastfeeding moms, as they’re a good source of calcium. Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks, as they’re high in calories and low in nutrients.

What could happen if a breastfeeding mother loses weight too quickly?

According to Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, fat-soluble environmental contaminants and toxins stored in your body fat can be released into the body from restricting calories. Steer clear of fad or rapid weight loss programs that severely restrict caloric intake.

Losing weight too rapidly can also cause your milk supply to drop. A reduction in calories can signal your body to go into “survival mode” and hold on to calories, which can lead to a decrease in milk production. In addition, losing weight too quickly can lead to dehydration, which can also reduce your milk supply. It’s important to focus on making healthy choices and losing weight gradually.

If you are breastfeeding or want to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way, then fad diets are not for you.

Final thoughts

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether breastfeeding helps you lose pregnancy weight. Some women find that they lose weight quickly and easily while breastfeeding, while others experience little to no weight loss at all. It’s important to listen to your body and focus on eating healthy foods while breastfeeding if you’re trying to lose weight. Breastfeeding can help burn calories and promote weight loss, but it’s important not to lose weight too quickly. Remember that a healthy diet and plenty of rest are equally important for losing weight while breastfeeding.

About the author

Lacy Reason is a highly experienced and compassionate lactation counselor, who has dedicated her career to educating and supporting new mothers on their breastfeeding journey.