Plan to Loose Weight from Breastfeeding Backfired!

Phuthela - posted on 07/26/2013 ( 19 moms have responded )

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I exclusively breastfed my baby for 6 months (once in a while, she had expressed breastmilk) and I thought I would be looking like Giselle Bundchen by now!

Did I miss something because I thought the fat was suppose to just "melt" from my body. Don't get me wrong, my motivation to breastfeed is to provide my baby with the best available nutrition and figured the weight loss would be an added bonus.

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Celeste - posted on 08/01/2013

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No, exercise doesn't affect breastfeeding. Lactic acid is probably what you're talking about.

Per kellymom:

More here: http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/...
Does exercise affect milk supply or nutrient content?

No. Studies have shown no difference in milk production or nutrient composition or babies’ weight gain. One study showed a slight increase in milk supply for the women who exercised regularly, but because of the small size of the study this increase may not be significant.

Does lactic acid increase in breastmilk after exercise?

Research has not shown a noticeable increase in lactic acid buildup after moderate exercise (50% & 75% intensity). The lactic acid in breastmilk does increase somewhat if mom exercises to maximum (100%) intensity, also described as exhaustive exercise. This increase may be present up to 90 minutes post-exercise. There are no known harmful effects for the baby.

Katie - posted on 07/30/2013

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I had the same problem! I think for some women the breastfeeding hormones turn your body into a hoarder. It's like your body knows it is providing for another human and wants to keep every cell of fat just in case of famine. For me the only thing that worked was going on a whole-plant based diet. It is quite safe and all of the good vitamins and minerals from the fruits and veggies go straight into your breast milk. Try googling it!

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Bilhah - posted on 02/19/2017

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I had the luck with my pp weight that I lost with the help of mummy magic tea. Was drinking it 3 times a day before my meals and dropped 30 lbs while nursing my lo.

Margarita - posted on 08/05/2013

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It's different for every mom and depends on many things. I only gained 14 lbs (I was overweight pre-preg), so there wasn't that much to lose. By the time I finished nursing, I weighed 20 lbs less that before pregnancy, so I wouldn't assume its a big lie. After all, it takes more calories to feed a baby than it does to make one.

However, it is different for every mom. For better or worse, my munchkin had all sorts of issues with gas and reflux and needed to be upright, so I carried a little 6-7 lb with me at all times. Thank goodness for my Moby wrap. Hubby's job was quite far away, so after the first month I was on my own for the bulk of the day carrying her around. I joked that it was a combo of bf and the one-armed diet. If I couldn't prepare it and consume it with one arm, I wasn't eating it. I ate a lot of nuts and raw fruits and veggies. It also meant I ate a lot of small meals, which probably helped with metabolism.

On the other hand, I didn't have time to exercise like before, so my doc and I both suspect that part of the weight I lost was muscle weight (muscle weights more than fat) which isn't good. If you can find the place and a good class, you might want to look into Mommy and Me classes. They are good for socializing, and will hopefully help you find ways to use your munchkin as part of your workout (they make good weights! LOL). I waited too long and by the time I tried it she was over 20 lbs, which made it a little harder.

Pilates is not meant for rapid weight loss, but for toning, flexibility, etc. It is preferred by many dancers because it helps prevent injuries and doesn't add muscle bulk. If you have the time, energy, etc., you should try some cardio and weights, but don't overdo that either as apparently too much exercise too frequently makes you plateau A trainer would know better though. Make sure to eat when you're hungry so your metabolism doesn't go into starvation mode, but as long as you're healthy and balanced, I'd just give it time. Some women don't actually lose the weight until after they are done breastfeeding because they are storing those calories, then lose the weight without too much effort. Good luck!

Samantha - posted on 08/04/2013

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I lost all the baby weight in about 3 months, and I just breastfed, wore my baby, ate normal ("healthy" for some people, no crap) and walked a lot.

Monika - posted on 08/01/2013

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That is great news for athletic moms, although I would make sure to talk to at least a couple of lactation consultants just to make sure, have a second opinion. /I learned to do it that way as my lactation consultant, being great in everything else, has told me to mix in a tiny bit of formula with my pumped breastmilk (I have low supply), and when I mentioned it to a friend a couple of weeks later she was appalled and told me that it is common knowledge that formula alters the breastmilk. It never occurred to me to research it before, and it turned out that there is a lot of articles about it, so there are two schools of thought, so I thought to myself, it might alter or it might not but better safe than sorry and now I make her separate bottles of formula, after she digests the pumped breastmilk./ Sorry about the long reply, I just really want moms to get second opinions on everything, so that later they don't have to worry about wanting to do things differently in the past. :-)

Monika - posted on 08/01/2013

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To the weight lifting mom: Please consult a lactation consultant prior to heavy workouts. I know that running long distance isn't recommended because of build up of, if I remember correctly, milk acid. It builds up in any person working out hard but in breastfeeding women it can be passed on to the child and it's not good for it.. I only heard it from a colleague, my lactation consultant knows I don't work out so we never breached the subject.

Amanda - posted on 07/31/2013

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Well I seriously doubt those celebrity mothers are bf. Plus, everyone knows they hire nanny's, nutritionists, personal trainers, etc. that's the only way they could ever lose that much weight so quickly. Sure , if I had a full time babysitter, I'd look that amazing too because I'd have time to sleep and hit the gym all the time. Lol they are all just talk and show

Phuthela - posted on 07/30/2013

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I even tried pilates for a month hoping I would gradually loose weight and tone up. I lost only 1 pound, 12 oz! Like, seriously..... :(

I do question however, the integrity employed by celebrity mums to lose weight. Some claim they're breastfeeding.

Monika - posted on 07/30/2013

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I lost all of my baby weight thanks to breastfeeding even though I have low milk supply so it does work. I'm sorry that it didn't work for you that way/

Rosa - posted on 07/30/2013

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Breastfeeding burns calories but its not a solid proof method of losing pregnancy weight.

Stephanie - posted on 07/30/2013

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I totally know what you mean, Amanda. I wasn't solid muscle, but I wasn't totally flabby, even during pregnancy. I did exercise during pregnancy, too, to try and stay lean. It was like after the baby was born, my body was all puffed up! I worked hard to try to lose the weight, but it didn't work!!! I didn't get back to my pre pregnancy weight yet.
Now I am pregnant again and I'm absolutely committed to losing all of the weight after this one, before another comes along! I am thinking I will get my thyroid checked after the postpartum period is over.

Amanda - posted on 07/29/2013

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Stephanie, I'm at my wits end. I'm not one to blame my weight on hormones and other things, seeing as how it's never been an issue, but I'm willing to take a leap of faith here and say...it's hormones.

I was a hardcore weight lifter prior to pregnancy and was solid muscle of 150 lbs. Now it's as if I'm but a tub of jello. I told my husband as soon as our son is 3 months, mommy is back in the gym. I only have a few months until Christmas, and call me vain, but I don't want a double chin and arm flap in my pics. Lol

But I'm sticking to my guns and giving my baby what's best for him, breastfeeding, until 1 year. I'll just enjoy all the sweaty workouts for the next 9 months I can get in the meantime. ;)

Stephanie - posted on 07/29/2013

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Do you think maybe it could be a hormonal thing? I didn't lose any weight breastfeeding either. I eventually started working out with 3-5 times a week, but then lost only a few pounds! There is a big change after having a baby, and some women may have issues with the hormones being all out of whack. Plus, added stress doesn't help weight loss.

Amanda - posted on 07/27/2013

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I couldn't understand more where you're coming from! My son is almost 3 months old and all I've done is bf. I started running 2 miles after 3 weeks post c section. Not recommended...but I was going stir crazy! I lost 25 lbs in 2 weeks after having him (gained 50 lbs while pregnant) and now I'm not losing anything. I eat, but nothing outrageous in calories. I now run 3 miles 5 days a week. And I still can't shake this weight! I really get irritated with women who say bf did it all for them. It hasn't helped me one bit.

Denikka - posted on 07/27/2013

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Same boat here :P
Part of the problem, I think, is that we forget about the whole calories in/calories out thing. We get used to the pregnant eating mindset. Breastfeeding DOES burn calories. But when you are making up those calories with an extra helping at dinner, well you're not going to get anywhere :P
Breastfeeding CAN help, but definitely needs to be used along with a healthy diet and exercise. No shortcuts for most of us I'm afraid :P

Lori - posted on 07/26/2013

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I'd read the same thing... fat was just supposed to "melt away" as you breastfeed. I was so hopeful that it actually would. Guess I read it wrong. Oh well. But honestly, I'm very close to where I was before I got pregnant.... It's just that that I still have plenty of extra lbs to loose and was hoping breastfeeding would help melt those lbs away.

Celeste - posted on 07/26/2013

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Well, if it makes you feel any better, I didn't lose any weight either and I nursed twins! What eventually helped was Weight Watchers for breastfeeding moms.

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