Does breastfeeding help in weight loss or is it a myth?

Kristen - posted on 06/04/2010 ( 83 moms have responded )

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I just found out that I am pg with my 3rd child. It was a complete surprise and to be honest not a good time (financially). BUT we are always happy for a baby! I havent lost all of my weight from my last pregnancy and Im scared Im going to blow up. I have never breastfed because honestly I never felt comfortable but with 3 kids, financially im going to have to. I have heard that it helps you to lose weight faster. Is this true because that would certainly be a great motivation!

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Lizan - posted on 06/06/2010

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Hi Kristen
I breastfed until my son was 10 months and he just decided he didn't want it anymore. When you breastfeed, it's not only cheaper, but you don't need to worry about a bottle or warming one up mixing one up etc. Breastfeeding also means you are burning more food off faster because the more you feed, the more your body replaces what it's lost faster, you will find you get hungry faster and lose weight faster as a result.

Having said that, if you eat a lot of rubbish, the weight won't really come off that fast. I put on 22kgs when I was pregnant, the last few months saw me retaining a fair bit of water, but after 2 weeks after giving birth I lost about 20kgs straight away from breastfeeding.

It's a personal choice though, the first 2 months are the hardest, after that it's sooo easy!

Leeann - posted on 06/06/2010

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very true! after i had my daughter i breastfed her n i lost 20 ibs in month! unfortunatly i had to stop because i had to take some antibiodics n i gained it all back! but it works!

Rachelle - posted on 06/06/2010

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You do have to consume more calories but people mistake the extra calories for overeating, or eating unhealthy food,and when breastfeeding you should be drinking water all day, that also helps burn fat

Soleil - posted on 06/06/2010

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I didn't breast feed my first son, and am currently breast feeding my second. I haven't noticed a difference in how quickly the weight has come off in all honesty, because with the breast feeding you have to consume more calories to keep your milk production up.

Stacey - posted on 06/06/2010

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yes when i breast fed i was back in my old jeans within a few weeks. works because when breastfeeding your womb and muscles in the region or contracting and releasing all the time.. burning calories and slimming your stomach :) xxx all the best with preg hun and take care xx

Marla - posted on 06/06/2010

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It is totally true, go to http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVOct... for more info, and even search for a La Leche League group near you. They are a super awesome group! I weighed 180 the day I gave birth to my son and now weigh 120 and have been breastfeeding for almost 12 monthes....Breastfeeding is THE BEST thing you can do for a child. Do some research and you will see!!

Rachelle - posted on 06/06/2010

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I lost my baby weight so fast from breastfeeding, I am now pregnant with my second and will be breastfeeding again. It saves ALOT of money and it is proven that you burn insane calories from breastfeeding. Having said that, you still have to eat healthier and drink TONS of water.

Keara - posted on 06/06/2010

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it has been medically proven that yes it does help you to lose weight faster... i'm not a doctor so i can't remember all the fancy terms but breastfeeding requires about 300 extra calories per day, so make sure you are still eating properly, and get plenty of fluids, it also helps you heal faster after delivery bcuz it creates them fancy chemicals that helps your uterus contract during delivery, so then things go back to normal faster... again... not a doctor so sorry about the lack of terminology, plus breastfed babies are less likely to get sick or develop serious diseases like cancer or diabetes, and they are proven to be smarter, and the bond between mother and baby is much stronger... lots of wonderful benefits for you and baby!!

Rebecca - posted on 06/06/2010

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I lost all my weight within a week of having both my kids and i nursed both. I was told off by many moms who said i didn't look normal for just having a baby which made me feel like crap when i was proud of the way i looked before they saw me.
Remember ti will help you lose weight but it will not tone you. Your muscles will be so different you will probably struggle with this and not so much the weight. I can now feel my stomach muscles again and my kids are 2.5yrs and 11months.
How old are your other 2 kids? If you don't feel comfortable with the actual breast feeding part remember you can always pump. Remember not to cut out calories either. when nursing you need extra calories to keep your supply up, and energy to keep up with 2 older kids:)
Good luck and congrats!!!

Minnie - posted on 06/06/2010

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Many women find they lose weight faster while breastfeeding. I did. I started my first pregnancy at 129, breastfed her, started my second pregnancy at 118, am still nursing her and I weigh 114 now.

But weight loss will be different for everyone. Everyone has a different metabolism, and it will depend on how you nurse as well.

Amara - posted on 06/06/2010

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Definitely does, after I had mine, I breastfed, and I lost my weight like, crazy fast :)

Amanda - posted on 06/06/2010

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Breastfeeding has helped everyone I know loose weight. I did not breastfeed, needless to say, I have not lost all the weight, lol.

Nickole - posted on 06/05/2010

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it really does contract your uterus which helps your belly go away faster in the beginning. i'm on my 3rd baby too and hadn't lost all my baby weight either. if you try to eat right and excersice now you might not gain much weight in the first 4-5 months. i'm in month 3 and i'm still the same weight which is not super common for me.

Nursing is really awesome once you get over how weird it is. It is so good for the baby and WAY cheaper. It will all be great!!!

Christina - posted on 06/05/2010

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YES i had twins and even thow i didn't do it long i could really tell the difference !!!! plus all my sisters do it and drop weight like crazy so absolutely not a mith but do it for a lest 7months so till count

Denise - posted on 06/05/2010

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yes you lose weight faster i breast feed my daughter for 1 and 4 months and i lost a lot of my weight, But if you do it for losing weight, there are many ways to lose weight. It is the bonding with your child you wont get any other way just you and your baby

Sarah - posted on 06/05/2010

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I lost my pregnancy weight by breastfeeding with both of my daughters, my doctor said you burn around the amount of 1 sandwich a day by breastfeeding alone I'm not sure how correct that is but it worked for me. I was still breastfeeding my eldest daughter when I got pregnant with my second daughter and about 3 months into the pregnancy my milk dried up because I could not eat enough food to both make the milk and carry a baby so I had to stop breast feeding my eldest at 12 months, my youngest I breast fed until around 10 months..she was a biter....ouch =(

Wynette - posted on 06/05/2010

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i heard it helps but i think it depends on ur eating habits pregnant with baby before having the baby and after...i didnt breast feed but i was fit before i had my son and i lost my baby weight after i gave birth took just a few weeks my mom always told me women mirror their mothers..so to eachs own..! but if u wanna breastfeed go for it i wanted to but could not produce enough milk and when i did he didnt latch so i just engorged! good luck and congrats!

[deleted account]

It's different for everyone, but I'm currently about 10 lbs *under* my prepregnancy weight thanks to breastfeeding.

*Lisa* - posted on 06/05/2010

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It definitely helped me lose weight! I didn't gain a lot during pregnancy but when I left the hospital 5 days after birth I was already back to pre-birth weight. Pity I ate like a pig once leaving... bummer! Good luck :)

Anna - posted on 06/05/2010

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I attribute most of my weight loss to breastfeeding, although a poor diet those first couple of weeks also helped. Breastfeeding burns about an extra 300-400 calories a day, so it can definitely help get you back to your pre-prego weight. And as far as comfort level is concerned, I'd say educate yourself as much as possible on the art of breastfeeding. It isn't always easy, and it doesn't always come naturally, but when it does work it's an amazing thing. I absolutely treasure the time I spend feeding my son, and I get to know that I am giving him something that no one else gets to. Give it a shot, at the very least!

Heather - posted on 06/05/2010

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I love breastfeeding, but despite eating healthy and walking, I have yet to lose a single pound from leaving the hospital, and my daighter is ten weeks old.

Shaina - posted on 06/05/2010

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it is true. you burn calories by breast feeding and that helps you loose weight faster.

Clara - posted on 06/05/2010

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After 4 months of breasfeeding I have just now begun to lose the weight. The main reason why is because I was soooooo stinkin' hungry all the time! It's hard work feeding another person with your own body! But I do love it and yeah, it saves time and money!

Veronica - posted on 06/05/2010

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most people lose weight from breast-feeding only 2% don't lose the weight from it!!! i lost all my baby weight within 6 weeks!!! and also the cost of formula is ridiculous!!! if you don't feel comfortable with it like i did do it at home only and apply for samples online for formula's and use those for when you go out!! i haven't paid for any formula have breast-fed mainly at home.....also maybe invest in a breast pump yes they are expensive but then your not having to buy anything else just pump

Beverly Bunny L - posted on 06/04/2010

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breast feeding actually helps in making your uterus go back in place, which will remove the agrivating bulge at the bottom of your tummy go away

Bethany - posted on 06/04/2010

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Yes, I think that it does. My mom swears that it does; she had 6 of us and nursed us all for financial as well as heath reasons. I nursed my son, and lost all of my preggo weight within 6 weeks.
I loved breastfeeding, most of the time! The first month or so is the hardest, & just when you're about to give up, it starts working out. When I had to stop nursing, I missed it a lot. Wasnt used to preparing bottles and such. I loved being able to stay half asleep & have everything ready in the middle of the night when I was breastfeeding. Good luck!

Natalie - posted on 06/04/2010

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before i had my baby i didn't feel comftorable with the idea of breastfeeding but thought i would try it, now i love it. just give it a try im sure you will like it. i lost most of my weight in the first month due to breastfeeding so i do beleive it helps. the baby takes something like 500 calories a day. just eat healthy also.

Sheryl - posted on 06/04/2010

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yes it is good financially, but there out option out there to help with food. like wic! i have gotten it for both of my kids since they where lil. if it money issue you may be able to get wic for the other kids to. yes it does help lose waight. i lost all of my baby waight. my first child i did and it was really hard get down to my reg. size and never did close but not reg. size. so i did breast feed and lost waight and got what i was when after i had my frist. oh yeah that wic also helps out preg. women too. while your preg. they give you check for things like milk, cheese, eggs, peanut butter,beans,and bread. that what they would get in checks for the older kids and if you did breast feed then they would give checks for formela for the baby. if you call the health dept. or dhr. ask they should send you in the right dec. best of luck! both of mine we didn't plan but they are a big blessing.

Karissa - posted on 06/04/2010

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oh yeah. i lost alllll my baby weight by the time my son was 6 wks, PLUS 12 more pounds before my son was 2 1/2 months old. it was extremely nice =)
if you're that uncomfortable with breastfeeding, i would get some books on it and start reading. the more you know, the more you may feel comfortable about doing it. go see someone at la leche or even a doula (which i am one). both are very knowledgable about breastfeeding and would be able to answer any questions you had about it.

[deleted account]

my mom swears it did when she had me and my brother. my sister-in-law didnt lose any weight when she was breastfeeding. i think it depends on your body, because it does take more energy to make the milk, and you're losing calories when the baby is eating through the breastmilk. so it may, or it may not. good luck though! :)

Kristen - posted on 06/04/2010

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Well its mainly to save money because formula is so expensive. Alot of people have critisized me for not doing it in the past but It just did not feel right to me. I think after having 2 kids and dealing with all the "gross" stuff, I might feel a little more at ease with this one. I just thought that weight loss would be a good motivator.

[deleted account]

i did lose weight faster when i was breastfeeding than when i was not, but if u feel really uncomfortable with it then don't do it. there are other ways to lsoe weight

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