The Skinny on Losing Baby Weight If You're Breastfeeding

You’ve seen enough photos of postpartum mamas – umm Hi, Jillian Harris in mesh undies – to know that right out of the gate, your body isn’t gonna look like it did pre-pregnancy.

We wanted to find out when it’s safe to start really going hard on the weight loss. So we've gathered together the best advice for you here.

TIME TO EXERCISE

According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, as long as you've had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, you can pretty much start exercising as soon as you feel ready. As for the mamas who’ve had extensive tearing during birth or had a c section delivery, it’s recommended you speak to your doctor first. And breastfeeding likely won’t be affected by regular exercise at all.

ALL ABOUT DIET

But dieting is a bit of a different story. KellyMom.com recommends waiting until baby is two months old to start dieting so that mom can build up an adequate milk supply for baby. Furthermore, because you can burn between 200 and 500 calories a day nursing, it’s best not to let your calorie intake dip below about 1800 each day.

Definitely don’t try to lose weight really quickly. Experts recommend about 1 lb per week. And do not skip meals either.

Jennifer Ritchie, IBCLC and author of I Make Milk…What’s Your Superpower? says that even just waiting too long between meals can cause a hormonal effect that negatively impacts a mom’s milk supply. Plus, she adds, you’re more likely to eat whatever’s in front of you regardless of how unhealthy it is, if you’re starving.

TIPS FOR LOSING WEIGHT

Some of the best weight loss tips are:

  • Be sure to make healthy food choices (like, skip the fries in favor of the veggies)
  • Drink lots of fluids (good old-fashioned H2O) and eat lots of fiber-rich food
  • Beware of fad diets!

Finally, don’t be so hard on yourself. It did take 9 months to gain the weight right?! So it’s probably fair to say that it’ll take some time to get it off. Just look at what you got out of the deal? The most amazing gift anyone could ever get: a sweet little baby.

You’re going to be tired and overwhelmed no matter what. Try to give yourself a break about the weight. If you work slow and steady, you’ll get to your goal, Mama!

As with all breastfeeding issues, it’s best to contact a doctor or lactation consultant to discuss your individual concerns. The information contained on this site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician and/or lactation consultant.