Do You Lose Weight While Breastfeeding?

It’s no secret that breastfeeding can be a weight-loss ally. A breastfed baby’s meal is generally composed of soft, digestible foods, like milk and breast milk, which are low in calories. They also have high nutritional value, containing lots of essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. These are the reasons why many people try to lose weight while breastfeeding. However, does nursing actually aid in weight loss? Let’s take a look. 

Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Weight Loss

Nursing can be a useful tool for weight loss because it forces you to eat in a certain way. When you’re breastfeeding, you’re generally unable to eat large meals, which helps to keep your weight down. Also, since your body is constantly producing milk, it’s always ready to nourish your baby. Thus, you’ll rarely feel famished when you’re on the go with your child. This can also contribute to weight loss, because you’ll likely eat healthier foods while on the go. (1)

These are just a few of the numerous advantages of breastfeeding for weight loss. Here are a few more:

  • You’ll find it easier to maintain your weight while on the job
  • Your muscles will stay toned
  • You’ll have more energy
  • Your breasts will require less medication
  • Your stress levels will drop
  • You’ll enjoy better sleep
  • Nursing can be a bonding experience

Considerations

Of course, there are considerations when it comes to breastfeeding and weight loss. People who are nursing need to watch out for a few things, especially if they’re already experiencing weight issues or if they’re trying to lose a significant amount of weight.

One consideration is how they’re feeding the baby. Since your body is producing more milk when they’re eating frequent small meals, they may require additional servings at each meal. That means you’ll either have to eat more frequently or purchase larger containers of food to make sure there’s always plenty for your baby. (1)

Another consideration is how much they’re drinking. While it’s excellent that their food is nutritious and filling, having too much liquid, especially if it’s alcoholic drink, can cause obesity. (2)

Still, these are usually temporary considerations. Once your baby reaches about six months, they’ll begin to eat more independently, which will help your milk production decrease. At this point, you can begin to slowly introduce solid foods, which will help further contribute to their weight loss. (1)

Then, as they get older, your child will need additional help with their nutritional needs, especially if they’re getting a low amount of nutrition from their mother’s milk. At this point, it’s important to discuss how much weight they should be gaining with their doctor or registered dietician. They can give you some advice on how to properly feed your baby and how to determine if they’re weighting adequately. (1)

Last but not least, make sure you’re getting enough rest. Whether you’re on the go with your baby in a stroller or you’re just going for a stroll, make sure you get some shut-eye. Nursing takes a lot of energy, both physically and emotionally. When your body needs a break, take it. (1)

How Does Nursing Impact Weight Loss?

So, does nursing actually aid in weight loss? Let’s take a look at the numbers. According to the CDC, nearly 69% of new mothers experience significant weight loss after giving birth. (3) This is often caused by a combination of factors, including decreased appetite and energy levels, along with a major drop in the number of calories they’re consuming. (1,3) These numbers don’t lie. When your baby depends on you for nourishment, it’s easy to understand why you’d lose a bit of weight. (1,3)

Also, since your body is no longer producing milk, it’s a good idea to adjust your diet and lifestyle to ensure you’re at your pre-pregnancy weight. This will promote healthier eating and help you to continue losing weight. (1,3) Basically, the benefits of breastfeeding for weight loss are innumerable. It’s a wonderful bonding experience for both parents, improves sleep, and encourages healthy living. (1,3)

Fat Or Healthy?

Many people think that breastfeeding will make them fatter. However, this couldn’t be more false. Your body actually goes through a process called autophagy, which helps to break down and recycle old cells. This can cause you to lose weight. (1) Furthermore, you’re not alone in this endeavor. Nearly 69% of new mothers experience significant weight loss after giving birth. (3) This is often caused by a combination of factors, including decreased appetite and energy levels, along with a major drop in the number of calories they’re consuming. (1,3) It’s very important to bear in mind that losing weight while breastfeeding isn’t a bad thing. It’s a common issue, and many people, especially those who are already at a healthy weight, experience the benefits of breastfeeding. (1,3)

Last but not least, make sure you’re getting enough rest. Whether you’re on the go with your baby in a stroller or you’re just going for a stroll, make sure you get some shut-eye. Nursing takes a lot of energy, both physically and emotionally. When your body needs a break, take it. (1)

These tips will help get you on your way to a healthier, happier, and more energetic life. Keep them in mind as you continue to nourish your baby and change their diapers, and you’ll soon find yourself fitting back into those skinny jeans you bought before you had kids.