Is it safe to shed those unwanted pounds while nursingšŸ¼? Find out!

Unwanted pounds

Every new mom's resolution is to shed some extra body weight that may have crept up while pregnant. This for some mums seems to be a big problem, especially when they are breastfeeding or nursing. We all know that breastfeeding helps a new mum shed those unwanted pounds, but how much is safe to shed while nursing? Does it affect your milk supply? Read more below and find out.

Does Breastfeeding Help You Lose Weight?

When you’re pregnant, your body naturally builds up a store of weight that is beneficial to both you and your baby. After giving birth, breastfeeding can help you lose that extra store of weight. It’s estimated that the process of making milk can burn about 500 calories per day, assuming your baby is exclusively breastfed under six months and partially-breastfed (only solids in addition to breast-milk) from 6–12 months and no change to your activity level. So, even without doing anything to try to lose weight, you burn extra calories just by breastfeeding. That being said, breastfeeding does not burn off all the baby weight, you need a good diet, exercise and lots of rest and sleep.

What is Safe Weight Loss While Breastfeeding?

If you wish to lose weight while breastfeeding, it’s best to do so gradually and only once breastfeeding is established. A healthy diet alone can assist mothers to lose weight postnatally, it’s preferable however to do so by combining diet and exercise. This is because exercise enhances fitness and maintains muscle mass. Weight loss from diet alone is only a portion of fat, the rest is muscle and bone density. Then again, mum has to remember that baby is getting all his nutrients from you for these few months of his life. It's advisable to wait until the baby is off your milk before getting into any rigorous diet.

Can Weight Loss Impact Breastmilk?

Like we said above, it is important to not lose weight too quickly when breastfeeding. Doing so could mean you don’t get the nutrients you need. Rapid weight loss is unlikely to affect milk supply. There is a theoretical concern that if breastfeeding mothers shed fat too quickly by losing weight too fast, toxins stored in fat may enter breast milk. This is yet to be proven. When it comes to weight loss in the postnatal period, remember it’s important to prioritize your health and nutritional needs. Eat a variety of carbohydrates from fruit and vegetables, healthy fats, and good quality proteins. Choose healthy snacks such as nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits. Choose foods containing little or no added sugar. Foods labeled ‘low-fat’ are often very high in sugar, so be very careful when grocery shopping.
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