Relying On Breastfeeding to Lose Weight


baby with mom
Flickr photo by ODHD
Breastfeeding and I have a complicated relationship. We have sort of a love/hate thing going on.

That's because breastfeeding never came easily to me or my babies. It took a lot of effort, all of my patience, a few tears, and a breast pump to get us on the road to doing it successfully.

I stuck with it, though, because I thought it was the best thing I could do for my babies. An added benefit? Breastfeeding burns calories!

During pregnancy, women gain extra pounds to store energy for producing breast milk. For some women, breastfeeding makes it easier to lose weight, since additional calories are used. This is, of course, true if you aren't eating a bowl of ice cream after a 3 a.m. feeding. (Yes, I used to do that because I like to eat ice cream while I'm up watching bad television.)

Experts such as the La Leche League advise that breastfeeding mothers should not consciously try to lose weight during the first two months postpartum. This extra time in the early months allows a mother's body to recover from childbirth and establish a good milk supply.

Once you're ready, breastfeeding, along with a healthy diet and moderate exercise, can help you shed those unwanted pounds. Depending upon your metabolism and your baby's feeding schedule, breastfeeding moms can burn an extra 200 to 500 calories a day. Not bad for something you can do while sitting on the couch!

Did you or do you rely on breastfeeding to help you lose baby weight?

breastfeeding, weight-loss


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ffsoulm8 ffsoulm8

It's great that you were able to lose weight while breast feeding, but count yourself lucky about the weight loss.  I disagree that all women lose weight because of breastfeeding.  I breast fed my 5 children for the first year of their lives.  I ate healthy and did not overeat yet until I stopped breastfeeding, I was unable to lose.  I ate the same and lost weight, the only change was that I was no longer breastfeeding.  I also had full heavy menustration while breastfeeding, which many women do not. 

Not all women's bodies handle breastfeeding the same and I think that La Leche League is setting women up for disappointment when they say that you will.  I don't regret breastfeeding and greatly encourage it.  The bonding and health benefits for my children was well worth it.

abels... abelsmama07

like the previous poster, my sister always held onto the weight until she finished breastfeeding. 

i was a lucky one, i lost my baby weight plus 30lbs, in the first 2 months of having my 5month old.  i haven't seen this weight since college.  it's great.  i guess it's from the breastfeeding (i didn't bf my first), or the stress of having a toddler and a newborn, and forgetting to eat... one of the two. :)

ethan... ethans_momma06

I didn't RELY on it, but it sure helped. Some womens bodies hold on the extra throughout bf'ing because their body naturally wants to have a store. It sure is nice when it works but it's not something I would tell women to rely on for weight loss... so much goes into it!

mama_... mama_miche

I did not necessarily rely on breastfeeding to lose weight. However, I was aware that it is an added benefit! :D Not only does your baby receive the best nutrition possible, but you lose weight at the same time!

maine... mainemusicmaker

I've learned to never rely on anything outside of good eating habits and exercise.  Breastfeeding was good for my kids, however, it didn't do ANYTHING to help *me* lose any weight.

DreaK... DreaKevAiyana

I didn't rely on breastfeeding to lose the weight when my daughter was born, but that 50+ pounds was gone within a few months.  Same with my 6 week old.  I gained 37 pounds with him, and have lost 30 pounds as of Sunday, and I definitely am not excercising (unless you count playing with my daughter at the park almost daily) and still have my late night ice cream:)

clean... cleanaturalady

I didn't rely on breastfeeding to lose weight.  I went from pregnancy to breastfeeding in a cycle for 6 years.  I gained and lost the recommended 20-25 lbs with all of my pregnancies.  

tonya... tonyalynn

i didnt breastfeed

Phils... PhilsBabyMama

I didn't rely on breastfeeding to lose baby weight.  I think it helped though.  I only gained 26 lbs during pregnancy and lost 20 of it when I delivered.  The last 6 lbs fell of pretty immediately.  Now I'm about 10 lbs lighter than I was before I got pregnant. 

sodapple sodapple

i'm currently breastfeeding my 1 month old not relaying on loosing weight right now but i sure do want to loose some later on =-D

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