It is believed that a woman gets a new birth once she becomes a mother. It is a very different feeling altogether and the happiness derived from being one cannot be expressed in words. Once a mother holds her baby she feels complete. Throughout pregnancy, it is crucial and considered good to gain healthy weight as it helps in delivering a healthy baby. After the baby, every mother looks forward to getting back in shape and even believes that breastfeeding will do wonders. The weight gain during pregnancy or the fat stored are used later for breastfeeding and it does aid in losing weight but it has its own limitations. It is very interesting to go through the limitations and innumerable queries associated with weight loss in relation to breastfeeding. Let’s address some major issues related to breastfeeding and weight loss.
Breastfeeding Mom and Weight loss

Importance Of Breastfeeding For Your Baby

After the birth of the baby, it is recommended that baby should be breastfed or nursed. Breastfeeding implies feeding the baby with milk from a woman’s breast. It is counseled by health experts that breastfeeding should immediately start within the very first hour of a baby’s life. It should persist at frequent intervals, and as much as the baby demands. It is highly recommended that the baby gets the first milk from the breast which is also known as “Colostrum” as it boosts immunity. Also read: Top 10 Benefits Of Breastfeeding Your Baby

Do You Lose Weight When Breastfeeding?

Childbirth is the biggest challenge faced by a woman and breastfeeding is the cherry on the cake. Breastfeeding is not as easy as it sounds. Mothers are happy doing it as it’s good for the child and even helps them in shedding off their extra kilos. Breastfeeding is a perfect time to lose weight, as lactation helps in mobilizing fat collected and deposited throughout pregnancy. Some mothers lose weight easily and get back in shape soon while others face a hard time. Breastfeeding mothers manage to lose more weight than the formula fed ones. Thus, we can say that breastfeeding aids weight loss. The weight might not shed off instantly but will gradually start reducing. Breastfeeding also helps in losing the post-partum weight. The only exception to weight loss while breastfeeding would be either the mothers who have already been on the heavier side or the ones who had put on more weight than was recommended to them. Also Read: 10 Ways Breastfeeding Benefits Mothers

How Many Calories Are Burnt While Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is a difficult task for the mother’s body and extra calories are shed while doing it. The accurate number of calories are related to the frequency of the feed as well as the amount of milk produced by the mother’s body. As much as a mother feeds, the number of calories flushed through milk production will also reduce. A breastfeeding mother burns an excess of about 300-600 calories a day.

How Much Do You Need To Eat While Breastfeeding?

The diet that is required for breastfeeding moms is pretty much similar to the ones who are pregnant. In either of the cases, the woman is supposed to eat food which has a high nutritional value. However, the breastfeeding woman needs an excess of 200 calories than the pregnant ones. It is recommended that the following points be followed to get the nutritional value from foods. This chart would differ if the baby’s weight is on the higher side and in such cases, the breastfeeding mom should consult the lactation expert for this.Also read: Healthy Diet For Breastfeeding Mothers

Protein Calcium Iron Vitamin C Vitamins & Minerals Liquids
2-3 servings/day 1300 mg/day 10mg/day (18 yrs or less) or 9mg/day (19yrs or more) 115mg/day(18yrs or younger) or 120 mg/day (19yrs or more) Prenatal Vitamin and Mineral Supplement 8 cups of water/day

(Source)
Breastfeeding mothers should also limit their intake of caffeinated drinks and beverages like coffee, tea, and soda drinks. They should avoid alcohol and smoking.

Can You Lose Weight By Pumping Breast Milk?

The weight gained during pregnancy can be used later for milk production. Pumping breast milk is becoming common now. Some ladies need to express or pump their milk to ascertain and maintain the milk supply in case the baby is not nursing too well or not taking the feed at all. Pumping breast milk could be also for the convenience of the baby if the mother is not available and baby demands milk. Breastfeeding or pumping breast milk is another way to trigger weight loss on account of the excess calories used by the body in order to produce milk. Pumping breast milk or breastfeeding both trigger weight loss.

Can I Go On A Diet While Breastfeeding?

The extra pounds added to a woman’s body during pregnancy works as a reserve which is automatically used by the body after delivery and while breastfeeding. This is because the body is not immediately prepared to increase the calorie intake instantly. If the mother is breastfeeding, it is not a wise decision to go on a diet just to lose weight because that high-calorie intake is required by the mother to produce milk and also good for the baby’s health. If the breastfeeding mom is cautious and is following a healthy, nutritious and a balanced diet, weight loss is possible. If a crash diet is followed, the milk supply will reduce affecting both the mother and the baby and other health issues can be triggered as well. The breast milk produced by the mother is directly related to the food intake which has to be regular and balanced so skipping meals or going on a diet is not feasible unless you are keeping a track of the required calories so that the milk supply and the health are not getting affected.
ew mom exercising with baby

How Can I Lose Weight Fast While Breastfeeding?

All the mothers want to shed off the extra kilos and get back in shape as soon as possible. Breastfeeding is equally important for the mother and the baby and the quality of food should be also high in nutritional value. Breastfeeding mothers should aim at losing weight but gradually. Here are few steps that can be taken to lose weight fast even during breastfeeding.

  • The calorie intake should be spread in intervals. In place of 2 or 3 proper meals, one should have smaller meals with healthy snacks in between so that the body doesn’t starve and gets the required calories and other nutrients
  • Eat every three hours
  • Make healthy choices
  • Avoid processed foods, foods that contain more fat and are high in sugar or caffeine
  • Breastfeeding mothers should exercise in limits so that they burn more fat but the muscle mass is retained
  • Stay active
  • Stay hydrated

Breastfeeding is a bliss which provides the baby a healthy start, which endures for a lifetime. It is the best food for your baby and a mother leaves no stone unturned in providing the best. Weight loss during the process of breastfeeding should be handled with proper care and vigilance. The mothers should aim at losing weight gradually than instantly.