Safe to actively lose weight while breastfeeding?

Jennifer - posted on 06/17/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I am a first time mom, and my baby is 10 weeks old. I am totally all for breastfeeding and having been doing it since 1/2 an hour after she was born! With the pregnancy, I gained just under 30lbs. I tried to stay active and eat right. I am now only about 10lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight, but my pre-pregnancy weight is about 20lbs over my goal. (I had just started losing weight when I got pregnant! And I actually got thinner in certain areas during my pregnancy.) I know that alot of people would say that is good, and I look great for just having a baby, but I feel very self conscious. I've been bigger before, and worked hard and lost 40lbs about 6 years ago. But, I've never had the jiggly fat...and its all in my stomach! (And the stretch marks as well! I gained all my baby belly straight out front. You couldn't even tell I was pregnant from behind!) And yes, part of it is for my husband, even though he doesn't seem to mind the new me, I still want to look good for him.

So, can I try losing weight while breastfeeding? I know not to go on diet (not that I ever would anyways) and that breastfeeding definitely helps to lose the weight. But I have heard that your body will hold on to the extra weight until after your baby is weaned. If you can though, what is safe to do, and what is reasonable to expect? Any exercises that are good? I have a gym membership still, so I would like to use it since I'm paying for it! Thanks for your help!

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5 Comments

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Wee Chi - posted on 06/19/2010

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I don't think it is a good thing to actively loose weight while breastfeeding. When we breastfeed, we need much more nutrients. Trust me, by breastfeeding, it is the best method to loose weight. For my 2nd child, I breastfeed until she is 2 and gosh, I weighed the lightest then, When she stop breastfeeding, Istart to put on weight.
Now I am still breastfeeding my 3rd baby, who is 18mths, and has although I have not lost all weight gained, maybe bcos I ligated. but I have indeed slim down. I can fit into most of my clothes already, some even looser.

Jennifer - posted on 06/18/2010

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Thank you ladies for all your helpful suggestions! There was definitely some stuff that that I did not know! But I will try them out and see what happens! :)

Karla - posted on 06/17/2010

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Look into weight watchers!!! I loved it and they take breastfeeding into consideration when calculating how much you get to eat.

Kara - posted on 06/17/2010

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I would give yourself time to loose the extra weight over six months. Your baby really needs your milk right now and that's the most important thing right now. If you eat healthy and get some exercise like walking, swimming etc. I think you will find you will loose some weight naturally. I'm still BF my son, he will be 2 in August and although I'd like to loose that tummy, I have to be content with the body I have. Every woman is different, so don't feel pressured. I lost my pregnancy weight after a couple of months and then about another 30 over the past year (weight gain from stress) so I'm back to the size I was pre-30's (but with a bit of tummy!). I did it by walking (pushing that baby in a pushchair up hills and all around). Kind of like a treadmill but free. You are a 1st time mum so get out there with your baby and enjoy being a mom! My opinion, cancel the gym membership for a spiffy stroller to spin around in the park. Seriously, eat healthy and feed that hungry baby, you'll be dropping a size or 2 in no time. Oh and by the way at around 4-6 months you can start baby on cereals and puree. If you are still BF by then it will give you a chance to loose a bit of weight because you won't have as much of a demand. Hope this helps and congrats!

Angie - posted on 06/17/2010

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Every woman is great. Some will hold onto a bit of weight and some can't keep from losing it. In general exercising while breastfeeding is safe but there are two major issues to watch out for.
1. A workout that is too strenous can cause your milk supply to drop, especially if you aren't eating as many calories as you burn. Also it could cause you to become a bit dehydrated which of course will affect your milk supply. If you notice that your supply is dropping you need to take it a bit more easy.
2. Exercise causes a lactic acid release in your muscles which will go through your milk and can give the milk a different taste. Some babies don't care but some will reject the milk since it taste different.

So take it easy. Start out with maybe a mile or two walk a day, maybe some yoga or pilates. If that is ok then maybe start jogging a bit.

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