Many mothers would love to lose the baby fat that we almost all gain while we are pregnant and of course, they would like to shed these postpartum pounds as soon as possible! Is it safe for breastfeeding mothers to lose weight, whether they go on a weight loss diet or lose weight automatically without doing anything specific? The answer is yes. Weight loss and breastfeeding can be combined.
There are a few things you should keep in mind, though.
- Breastfeeding may be the very thing helping you to lose weight. Breastfeeding moms need 200 to 500 additional calories a day. If you keep on eating the same amount of calories that you did before you got pregnant, you are likely to lose weight all by yourself. The more often you breastfeed, and the longer you breastfeed, the bigger your odds of losing weight. If you feed your baby on demand and longer than six months, it will work towards losing those pregnancy pounds.
- Don't go on restrictive diets early on in the game. Your body does need time to establish milk supply, and while it is unlikely that your ability to nurse your baby will be compromised if you cut calories, your health might suffer and you will feel low on energy.
- Focus on eating healthy foods and good calories, rather than restricting the amount of food you need. There is no such thing as "one size fits all" when it comes to how much food you need. One thing is for sure the quality counts. Eat as much as you think you need, but cut out fast foods.
- If you do want to reduce the number of calories you consume, do so over a period of time and not all at once to avoid breastfeeding complications. Breastfeeding experts say that what puts your milk supply in danger is an abrupt reduction in the amount of food you eat.