Do you really lose a massive amount of weight from breastfeeding?

Tabitha - posted on 11/08/2009 ( 160 moms have responded )

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I tried breastfeeding with my son and gave it up; but, then I learned that after having a c-section that it may take milk longer to come in.

Now, I'm due in 7 weeks and I am set on trying breastfeeding again. I have heard all kinds of stories on weight loss while doing this. One woman told me she lost 30 lbs in one week just from breastfeeding! Which is awesome! Also, does BF cause your breast to go down in size after weening the baby?

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Kristen - posted on 11/14/2009

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I sure did! I'm usually around 125lbs, I went up to 158 lbs before I gave birth...with BF I'm down to 115lbs. No diet, no excersize. My baby has been sleeping through the night since she was 6 weeks! She's almost 10 months and she's never been sick. I love breastfeeding!! (and it's FREE)!!

Lady - posted on 11/13/2009

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YES, it's true u loss weight ASAP breastfeeding. The first 6 wks I had lost 0ver 30lbs now at 3 mths still breastfeeding I on'y have 5 more lbs to be back at my original weight. I choose to breastfeed cause it was best for baby not to loose weight but it didn't hurt to nip that in the butt while I bond with baby.. I love it and wouldn't change it for anything:)

Marguerite - posted on 11/14/2009

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I am happy you are going to give breastfeeding a try again. It is true that you will get your milk in later especially with an unplanned c-section and a first time mom. Don't be surprised if your milk comes in earlier this time, planned c-sections and second (or more) time mom will often get their milk in sooner as much as 30 hours sooner.



About weight loss and breastfeeding, it does help! Try visiting www.mypyramid.gov and click on the pregnancy and breastfeeding. I used it to help me learn how to eat right and lost 60 lbs.



Congratulations!

Veronica - posted on 12/08/2009

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I gained almost 30 lbs with my preg. Had her in May. After 3 weeks I had lost all of it and within 5 had gotten down lower than before I got pregnant. It's awesome what breastfeeding can do for mom's body. Not to mention the plethora of things for baby. I also have a friend who BF her triplets until her doctor told her to stop because she couldn't support her weight loss, she was stick thin!. (Sad that he didn't tell her to just eat more and she did stop) But it's true.

Eileen - posted on 11/11/2009

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Hmmm. I am not so lucky!! With both of my daughters, I have gained weight AFTER having them! I go to the gym 4-5 times per week, eat very healthy and I can't lose weight. I don't gain, but I don't lose either. It is so frustrating! With my first daughter I lost 15 lbs in 2 weeks after weaning her and then continued to lose regularly thereafter. I am still bfing daughter # 2...hopefully once I stop, I will lose again! My lactation consultant told me that 8% of women will store their weight while bfing - making sure there is always energy there to make milk!

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160 Comments

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Traci - posted on 12/08/2009

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I've lost 23 lbs from my pre pregnancy weight, most of that in the first month of BFing.

Jessica - posted on 11/15/2009

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Glad to hear that you are trying again! I, too, had a c-section, but the nurses helped me through the first couple of days, and my daughter went on to breastfeed for quite some time. It is hard to do after having a c-section, so I feel your pain.



I have always been overweight and did find myself at my lowest weight while breastfeeding, but I am not sure if it was just the breastfeeding that made me stay at a lower weight. I watched what I ate so my baby could have the healthiest start. BUT... you do burn 500 calories a day just from feeding. My thinking (and I am no doctor) is that those two things combined helped me stay at a healthier weight.



My breasts are the same exact size they were before I got pregnant the first time. I know some women complain that their breasts deflate after weening, but I didn't have that issue.

Rochelle - posted on 11/15/2009

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As for myself, my son is now 5 1/2 mths, and I weigh less than my pre-pregnancy weight. Keep in mind that he is a hungry little guy--he is now wearing size 24 months clothing (weighing in at over 20 lbs, and measuring almost a meter long....that takes calories to feed!) I have not done any extra exercise, except for the running around after his needs, and going on a few walks with the stroller. Keep in mind that I still have a small "pregnancy belly" (I am told that you MUST exercise to get rid of this....) I realize that everyone is different, and I gather that it likely matters if its your first child or your fourth. I would not breastfeed as a method of regime alone (there are so many nother wonderful benefits to it).

Mandy - posted on 11/15/2009

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Ime No, I'm afraid. I lost the weight I'd gained during pregnany pretty quickly but found both times I was so hungry (2nd time I was also donating) that no matter how healthily I ate, I couldn't exercise for months because of an unstable pelvis after my 1st then suffering severe SPD with my 2nd. I was ravenous after feeding and found that I actually started to gain weight till we introduced food. With my daughter, I think a combination of not knowing hunger like it and having the contraception implant I put on 3 stone. I was more careful with my son but still managed to put on half a stone in the 1st 6 months. Now that he's dropped a lot feeds because he eats loads of food, I've lost about a stone and my boobs have gone down a cup, ok I'm still a H cup lol

I had a section with both my babies and my milk came in no problems on day 3 both times.

[deleted account]

In my experience, I lost more weight when I delivered my babies, lol! I nursed each one (3 total) to the age of at least 2 years old (the last one just weaned himself at 3 years, 1 month), and never noticed that much weight loss... in fact, I lost more weight during the last pregnancy than I did while nursing afterward!

Dusty - posted on 11/14/2009

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I think it's true. I gained about 35 pounds while pregnant and I have 10 pounds left to lose to get to my pre-pregnant weight. My baby is under 4 months old and the weight came off right away. I eat like a pig too.

Jess - posted on 11/14/2009

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I breastfeed exclusively and within six months of my daughter's birth, I was smaller than I was before I got pregnant. I didn't exercise at all, just breastfed. As for the size of your breasts, I'm still breastfeeding so I don't know.

Heather - posted on 11/13/2009

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Quoting Jenifer:

Well, the weight loss thing didn't work for me. I'm still nursing my 14 month old, and still weight probably 10lbs more than I did pre-pregnancy. I actually had someone ask me - about 4 months after he was born - "isn't breastfeeding supposed to help you lose weight?" because I still had a bit of a flabbly tummy. Not cool. Of course, there are so many other health benefits to for breastfeeding moms, I'm happy to keep it up.



It hasn't worked for me, either. I gained about 15 lbs after baby (and I only gained 8 lbs while pregnant), regardless of breastfeeding on demand. Everybody's different. I'm with you on the benefits, and losing weight isn't why I chose to breastfeed, so I don't feel jipped in any way.

Jenny - posted on 11/13/2009

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It works, but a word of caution. Just because you lose weight breastfeeding doesn't mean you can eat anything. I lose weight when I eat healthy and seem to plateau when I don't watch what I eat. Within 2 weeks after delivery I weighed 10lbs less than I did before I got pregnant, which was awesome. The most important thing is watching what you eat during your postpartum period, it will either help you drop weight quickly or keep the pounds on. One of my friends has 4 kids and after each she went on a chicken diet and she's was able to return to her pre-prego weight and size. I did eggs for breakfast, turkey & lettuce on wheat with mayo for lunch & midnight snack, and whatever I wanted for dinner. I can't answer about the weening...my son is almost 9 months and I haven't reached that point yet.

Crystal - posted on 11/13/2009

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I went down to my pre-pregnancy weight in the first 6 weeks. But I don't think the breastfeeding has done anything for me since. I'm still a little...pudgy. But I think, for most people, it really helps you lose all that weight. And I realized that after my son started eating solids a few weeks ago, I've gotten a little smaller up top because I'm feeding him less.

Erika - posted on 11/13/2009

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I would say yes :) I started off at 115 pre pregnancy. By the end of my pregnancy i weighed 149. At my 6 week OB appointment i had lost all the baby weight, now my daughter is 8 months old and i weigh 100lbs and i haven't exercised or dieted at all. Too busy for that stuff lol. Hope this helped.

Erin - posted on 11/13/2009

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I am breastfeeding and have been shocked at how fast the weight has come off...now, granted it is my first child, but less than 7 weeks later and I am back into my pre-pregnancy clothing.

Destiny - posted on 11/13/2009

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I GUESS TO ME THEY ARE THE SAME JUST DONT PUMP THEN IT HURT LIKE HELL. BUT IT GOOD TO DO MORE TIME WITH THE BABY .

Heike - posted on 11/13/2009

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You should really give it a try with breastfeeding. I had my pre-pregnant weight after 3 1/2 weeks after giving birth, I had gained 17 kg, about 37 pound, during pregnancy. Now, after 10 months of breastfeeding (6 months full, then subsequently less), I even weigh a little less than before being pregnant.

Anneliese - posted on 11/12/2009

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yes bf is the greatsest thing you can do for you and your baby!!!!when i got pregnant i wieghed 139 pounds!!on my delivery day i was 180 pounds.My son is now 8 months old and i wiegh 127 pounds..i am thinner then i have ever been.....And here is the good part,i do not work out!My son is exclussively bf.And did you know that bf reduces your chances for breast cancer?o and the part about your boobs,those are not toys anymore!!!they are baba's till you are done breastfeeding,trust me! your baby might growl if dad comes close to them! ;) I f you are worried about your boobs shrinking,dont worry,because bf dosent do harm....pregnancy does!!!-anneliese

Sara - posted on 11/12/2009

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Heck yeah girl! I gained 45 pounds when I was pregnant and I lost it ALL in 2 weeks from breast feeding! And then kept losing it! It was great! :)

Krystal - posted on 11/12/2009

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I put on 15kgs (33lbs) , lost 10kgs (22lbs) in 5 days and had lost 20kgs in 5 weeks (44lbs) so i'd say it definately worked for me! As for droopy boobs im still feeding so hope not xx

Nicole - posted on 11/12/2009

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It worked for me, I lost about 30 pounds almost immediately!! Unfortunately I gained more weight than I should have (I didn't hold back lol) so I have a bit of work to do. But breastfeeding is great for that, I think I read somewhere that it burns about 500 calories a day!

Ashley - posted on 11/12/2009

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Ok So i breastfeed my son for 10 and half months And i had a C-section. It only took me 3 days if that to get my milk in. Umm i did lose all my baby weight within the first month. Its easier i think to breastfeed. cause you always have it with you. But i will tell you that it is extremely Frustrating on some days. And really it didnt get easy until my son was about 3 months old . But my friends have had no problem with breastfeeding. I think you should try again. Just remember to be patient and calm. Hope i helped at all

Amber - posted on 11/12/2009

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I gained 10 lbs with my last pregnancy and lost about 45 all together from breastfeeding.

Mirella - posted on 11/12/2009

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It didn't work for me either!!! BF affected each person individually. The benefits of BF far out way the need to lose pregnancy weight quickly!!! If you are one that the weight falls off, then great, if not, you have to do it the old fashion way.

Ashley - posted on 11/12/2009

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I breastfeed my daughter and she is now 18 months and we are trying to ween (personal reasons) and although my daughter was born at 5.5 pounds/ ounces I gained alot of wieght and im down to 117 and very exicted about that! so i guess its true so far at least haha

Ashley - posted on 11/12/2009

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I breastfeed my daughter and she is now 18 months and we are trying to ween (personal reasons) and although my daughter was born at 5.5 pounds/ ounces I gained alot of wieght and im down to 117 and very exicted about that! so i guess its true so far at least haha

Ashley - posted on 11/12/2009

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I breastfeed my daughter and she is now 18 months and we are trying to ween (personal reasons) and although my daughter was born at 5.5 pounds/ ounces I gained alot of wieght and im down to 117 and very exicted about that! so i guess its true so far at least haha

Sara - posted on 11/12/2009

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I gained 40 pounds when i was pregnant. One week after having her I had lost 20 pounds. I haven't lost any of the left over 20 inspite of good diet and exercising when i get the opportunity to. I've been breast feeding for about 7 months now. As far as breast size goes they are still bigger than they were to begin with, but smaller than when i was nursing all the time. Lila is on solids now and only nurses a few times each day. I'm hoping that they don't get any smaller than they were to start with. It's nice filling out shirts in the top!

Sara - posted on 11/12/2009

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I gained 40 pounds when i was pregnant. One week after having her I had lost 20 pounds. I haven't lost any of the left over 20 inspite of good diet and exercising when i get the opportunity to. I've been breast feeding for about 7 months now. As far as breast size goes they are still bigger than they were to begin with, but smaller than when i was nursing all the time. Lila is on solids now and only nurses a few times each day. I'm hoping that they don't get any smaller than they were to start with. It's nice filling out shirts in the top!

Meghan - posted on 11/12/2009

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My son is 8 months now and I weigh less than before I was pregnant. I also eat whatever I want and I don't excersize. I feel like it's all because I'm breastfeeding. I won't want to stop because then I will start having to watch what I eat. I will say though right after my son was born, my appetite went wayyyy down. there would be times where it would be 5pm and I realized I hadn't eaten anything all day, so that could have contributed as well. I didn't have much of an appetite for the first 6 weeks post partum.



I also feel like my weight has shifted. I weigh less now but my clothes don't fit the same so I've had to do some clothes shopping...which I'm not complaining about!

[deleted account]

It's different for everyone but in my case definitely. Within a month after my son was born I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight and now 7 months later I'm actually smaller than I was before I was pregnant. But like another mother said there's many benefits to breast feeding not just weight lost. Good Luck !!!

Brooke - posted on 11/12/2009

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I have lots of mama friends who lost weight while breastfeeding. I lost quite a few pounds right after I had my baby, but then as I breastfed him, I felt like he was sucking the life, nutrients & food right out of me, I was so hungry. I had major cravings for bread & meat, so needless to say, I kept weight on or gained pounds back, even though I was breastfeeding him. I'm assuming it was because I was eating carbs & meat like a horse! LOL! Ugh! I'm definitely not at my pre-pregnancy weight, but I feel good that I breastfed my son for a year, so I'll deal with the weight now and hopefully tone up a bit. I think it totally varies on the woman, her genetics & how dang hungry she feels and how much she eats while that baby is sucking everything out of you. :)

[deleted account]

I gained 40lbs during my pregnancy, and lost 30 by my 6 week check up. That's with no exercise or dieting :)

Brenna - posted on 11/12/2009

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everyone is different, I only lost 5 pounds in 6 months of breastfeeding and I still have about 45 pounds to go still. I thought it would help, but it really didnt for me....good luck!

Elanor - posted on 11/12/2009

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Well everyone is different! But you need an extra 600 calories a day when you breastfeed. It definatly helps your uterus return to size quicker. Some mums I know don't lose much until they wean. Most seem to lose a little steadily. I lost 1.5 stone in 6 months after my first. My 2nd is 6 months, and I guess I have lost at least a stone. I have to be careful not to put it back on when I wean. Make sure you find a good support network, you may have a peer support group locally - don't listen to all the myths. And remember breastfeeding doesn't hurt if you have the correct latch.

Good luck.

Heather - posted on 11/12/2009

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yes, BF gets your weight down fast...I was 155 when I had my daughter and 2 weeks later i was in my pre pregnancy pants ....and now..my daughter is 3 months im at 120....But you need extra good calories...like an extra peanut butter sandwhich and glass of milk.....But Breast feeding also takes alot out of you....But i just say to myself it is completly worth it...It's best for your baby..also...i Think woman shed the pounds faster because of a higher metabolism rate...

Tabitha - posted on 11/12/2009

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Quoting Lauren:

So far I've lost 25 lbs, and my son is 5 weeks old. I've found that when you lose 30 lbs in one week, it's all water weight, something I did not get. Breastfeeding does help you lose more weight faster because on average you burn 600 more calories than a formula-practicing mother. And every woman is different when it comes to breast size growth. I gained 4 sizes, while my friend didn't budge from her cup size. When you are finished, however, your breasts will go back down, if they grew.



My breast starting growing early.  My husband and I had decided to remove have Mirena removed to try for another baby, and before I even took a pregnancy test I knew I was pregnant bc of my breast change, lol.  They have been growing since I was 6 wks pregnant!  Now they are huge and I'm worried what they are going to feel like when I do get my milk in!  I made the mistake of waiting until now to order me some nursing bras; bc last week I noticed my arms were going to sleep and feeling bad from not having a supportive bra! eeekkk.



With my first child I tried breastfeeding but I felt like my milk wasn't coming in and I gave up.  But this may been from the result of not knowing enough about breastfeeding; but, I lost all my weight with him and plus 30 more lbs w/o breastfeeding, so it just worries me that I will wither down to nothing when I have the chance to breastfeed my daughter in the future, lol.

Katie - posted on 11/11/2009

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I only gained 20 lbs with my pregnancy but was back to my pre pregnancy weight within' 2 weeks of giving birth, and my son was exclusively breastfed. As for the size thing. Breast content is really mostly fat. Some women may say they went down in size but it could just be they didn't weigh as much after, as they did before, or vice versa. You're best bet is just to make sure you always wear a VERY supportive bra, as the extra weight from the milk may 'cause breasts to seem a bit "saggy" afterward. Especially if you increases in size a large amount because it stretches out your skin, (hence, stretch marks). I would suggest using a stretch mark lotion while breastfeeding to help keep your skin tight and keep it from stretching out too much. Just make sure not to apply it on or around your nipples because baby can taste it and it might put them off nursing.

Matilda - posted on 11/11/2009

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Yes breast feeding does help you lose a lot of weight , I breast fed all three of my kids and with my last child didnt gain more than 10 lbs and lost that and then some shortly after having her. I am in jeans that r way smaller than Im used to lol Its awesome !!!

LaLasha - posted on 11/11/2009

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Some women do lose more weight breastfeeding others not so much but for me it really helped my uterus get back in to shape my tummy is flat with in 3 days I am back in my non-maternity pants by the end of the week. and fro me my breast have stayed the same I was a f when I stopped breastfeeding I have recently lost 15 pounds and they are still the same size but it varies some women totally deflate after they stop other like me do not.

[deleted account]

The weight loss didnt happen with me. I still have my "mummy tummy" and i'm proud of it. I've lost half my post pregnancy baby weight (around 8lbs) in 5 months but i put this down to exercise. I dont diet as i dont want it to affect my milk. Breastfeeding does help your uterus to contract back to normal size faster, which means your tummy becomes smaller quicker. Think some of my weight is help in my breasts going from a C cup to an E, and i'm loving them. Would love to keep them after weaning but dont think that will happen:(

Lauren - posted on 11/11/2009

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So far I've lost 25 lbs, and my son is 5 weeks old. I've found that when you lose 30 lbs in one week, it's all water weight, something I did not get. Breastfeeding does help you lose more weight faster because on average you burn 600 more calories than a formula-practicing mother. And every woman is different when it comes to breast size growth. I gained 4 sizes, while my friend didn't budge from her cup size. When you are finished, however, your breasts will go back down, if they grew.

Brittany - posted on 11/11/2009

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well i see for everyone else it works but not foe me i actually gained a ton of weight. My first trimester i lose about 20lbs. My pre-pregnancy weight was 130. My wieght by time i had her was 157. She is 8 months now and i have been strictly breastfeeding her. I am now 170. I have never been so big in my life. I think its bc when i feed her my stomach feels like its empty and i need to eat so i do. I dont know what to do.

Tara - posted on 11/11/2009

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No and no.



Breastfeeding has been shown to help the uterus go back to size quicker, but no actual weight loss has been proven to my knowledge. Out of several pregnancies, I lost weight the quickest after the child that wasn't breastfed and lost the slowest after the second boy. I guess we're all different.



As far as cup size... I breastfed 3 children & wound up 1/2 a cup size larger after each. Thank goodness, because I'm finally almost a C! 8-)

Danielle - posted on 11/11/2009

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after my son was born i lost 30lbs in two weeks by BF. i dont recommend doing that simply bc i was exhausted, weak and irritable. my son is 4mo now and i've lost a total of 44lbs just by BF.



also, i've switched to execusively pumping and bottle feeding BM. I now only pump twice a day (as opposed to the 8-10times i used to feed/pump) and my breasts have gone down from a very large DD to big C's.

AM - posted on 11/11/2009

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Breastfeeding was not the weightloss answer I was led to believe it would be. I haven't lost any weight since birth.

Terri - posted on 11/11/2009

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I wouldn't say a massive amount, but you do lose alot of weight. I have a set of four month old twins and and eight year old and I have breastfed them all. Your body needs alot more nutrition when you are breastfeeding and if you aren't eating enough it will take the fat from you to make the milk. And my breast did shrink one size when I stopped breastfeeding the first time. Goodluck!

Asia - posted on 11/11/2009

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I breastfeed with both my sons and yes it is true about losing weight but it depends on the person and their body. I was 180lbs a week before I had my oldest son. After a month of breastfeeding him, I was down to 125lbs. With my second son I was 186lbs and got down to 140 after a month of breasting him. I'm currently pregnant now and I'm hoping to lose weight after this baby. I want to encourage you to breastfeed, don't get discourage about the weight issue, breastfeeding is not only great for the baby but is great for u in healing after delivery.

Shawna - posted on 11/11/2009

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Oh yeah! When u breast feed ur breast are a cup size bigger so i imagine that when u stop BF ur breast will go back to what they were before pregnancy and BF. I am a C cup right now and i use to be a B cup... I will miss them when i stop BF LOL

Shawna - posted on 11/11/2009

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My son is a year old and i am 13 lbs lighter than when i got pregnant with him. I was 173lbs when i got pregnant with him and now im 160lbs. I do work out occasionally but nothing too intense. It's a 20 min workout with jillian micheals, called the shred. Great workout.

Shannon - posted on 11/11/2009

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I had my daughter in August and I weighed 170. I only breast feed her and I'm down to 135 now. I lost the first 20 lbs in 2 weeks. But a big part of it has to do with how your eating habits and life style was before you even got pregnant. And as far as the breasts shrinking after weening, I don't know from experience yet but from what I hear, it depends on the size they were before you got pregnant.

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