FAQs for Breastfeeding Moms - Smart Ways to Lose Weight
New mommies are the busiest bunch of people. Many of them who just underwent childbirth will typically end up in being overweight. And most of them will find it hard to get back to the default figure. However, every achievement requires time and effort.
One of the ways you must have heard about losing weight is through breastfeeding. Let’s know more about how breastfeeding can help you lose weight and whether it really works for all or not.
Breastfeeding and weight loss
Many breastfeeding moms lose weight faster and get back to their pre-pregnancy body. However, for some others, it may be a difficult task and longer than expected. This is because the amount of weight you lose while breastfeeding will depend on a lot of factors such as:
- Your pre-pregnancy weight
- Weight gain during the pregnancy
- Your daily activity level
- Your diet
- General health
The fact is, the more you put on weight during pregnancy, more it will be difficult for you to cut those extra kilos. So you must be within recommended range of weight gain during pregnancy in order to lose weight afterwards. A woman with normal BMI should gain in between 11-15 kgs during the entire course of pregnancy.
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How much weight will I lose right after childbirth?
You can lose around 4.5-6 kg weight after the childbirth. This includes the weight of your baby, the amniotic fluid, placenta and the postpartum bleeding. In next few days of time, you will be losing another 2-3 kgs, this is the extra amount of water you were carrying during the pregnancy phase.
How breastfeeding will help me lose weight?
When you breastfeed your baby, the energy needed to fuel milk production comes from the fat cells and calories stored in your body during pregnancy. Weight loss during breastfeeding does not happen fast and from a medical point of view, it should happen gradually as your body still needs energy to produce milk.
You need to focus on the recommended diet of additional 300-500 calories daily and maintain your milk production and energy. On the other hand, breastfeeding help contract the uterus and shrink it back to the default pre-pregnancy size quickly.
When you start exercising after your 6 weeks postpartum, it’s important that you don’t go below the 1500-1800 calorie mark. Make sure you are eating healthy calories and fat.
How much weight can I expect to lose during breastfeeding?
Not much, you can expect to lose around half a kg every week. This might not be a lot, but much healthier and safer number. Breastfeeding may help you lose around 500 calories/day even though you are eating healthy.
Some studies have shown that exclusive breastfeeding, meaning if your baby is getting only breast milk for his/her nutritional requirement, it may help you shed pregnancy weight in a matter of six months.
Tips to lose weight while breastfeeding
By following below tips, a woman can stay on top and lose weight at a healthy pace.
Don’t put pressure on yourself – You won’t step into your pre-pregnancy clothes right away, especially when trying to put them on in the initial weeks after childbirth. If your body has taken a good 9 months for all those weight on your body, it will need at least 6 months to get that down.
Avoid junk food – Junk foods are non-nutritious and they add only empty calories to your daily calorie intake. You might even gain weight instead of losing.
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Start exercising – After 6 weeks postpartum checkup, ask your doctor if you can add some light and moderate exercise to your daily routine such as walking and aerobics. However, if you had c-section delivery, you will need to wait a little more to begin exercising.
Avoid stress and get enough sleep – Adequate sleep is extremely necessary for the body to heal itself. One of the biggest reasons why breastfeeding moms struggle to lose weight is sleep deprivation. Though taking proper sleep is pretty tough with an infant, try to rest as much as you can. There are other ways such as meditation and deep breathing through which you can improve your metabolism.
Eat smaller frequent meals – New moms not only need healthy eating post-childbirth, but also frequent mini meals. This is because waiting too long for food can affect milk supply and the body start taking energy stored in the body. This can also decrease the production of insulin and affect thyroid hormone levels such as prolactin. So scatter your daily calorie intake into 6 meals.
Keep yourself hydrated – Drink plenty of water, it helps burn calorie faster. Staying well hydrated is essential for proper breastfeeding as well.
Still facing trouble after 3-6 months? Try this
Don’t lose hope if you are trying and not getting results.Not everyone loses weight at a similar pace. It may take up to a year to get back to your original shape.Try scrutinizing your diet in detail. Add some low-fat dairy, more whole grain foods, more fruits and vegetables to your diet and take a close look at portion sizes.
Once your infant reaches over 6 months of age and begins to have solid food, you won’t require many calories. Try to reassess your diet and reduce calorie intake.Stay away from weight loss myths, you might end up putting on some weight instead.,
Time to meet the doctor
If you are doing everything right and without positive results, you may need doctor’s help. It may be possible you could be suffering from an underlying medical condition such as depression and thyroid problems. Treating the underlying cause may help you lose weight quickly.
Weight loss does not happen overnight. It’s a pretty different reach for each woman. Many will lose easily and others may struggle. Some may lose too much weight, some others still carry extra weight when their kids begin going college. A working mom has a different experience as compared to housewife having third or fourth child. When situations are different, bodies are also different.
All that matter is firm determination. Eat well, exercise regularly, breastfeed your baby timely and don’t be hard on yourself.