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I am expecting my first baby in a couple of months and so far I have gained 40 pounds throughout this pregnancy. I am a little bit stressed about the weight gain but people keep telling me that if I breastfeed, the weight will come off very easily. I...

4 min read

Congratulations on your baby! My second baby is due in a few months also! Thank you for your question. I have heard many women say that when you breastfeed your baby, you lose pregnancy weight a lot faster than if you bottle feed exclusively. Unfortunately, I have known some women to rely on this as their sole method of weight loss post-partum only to be disappointed that the weight doesn’t seem to come off as quickly as they would like.

Breastfeeding has many benefits for mom and baby. Breast milk, as we have all been told, is best for baby. For one, breast milk contains important nutrition to help build your baby’s immune system. Breastfeeding also provides a special kind of bond between mom and baby and the best part is- it’s free! An awesome benefit when you consider all of the costs associated with bringing a new baby into the world! Breastfeeding also releases hormones to help shrink the uterus down to its normal size after your baby is born- an important factor in speeding up the recovery process after childbirth.
As women, we’ve all met or heard about that woman who gloats that after her baby was born all she had to do was breastfeed and she lost all of her pregnancy weight in no time at all. The truth is that breastfeeding does burn some calories- between 300 and 600 calories a day. This will vary from woman to woman based on the volume of milk that each woman is able to produce. Some women have production issues and do not produce very much breast milk which would put them closer to the 300 calorie burn. Here’s my take on this: breastfeeding in and of itself is not a weight loss program. It took you the better part of 9 months to gain the weight, you can’t expect to lose it quickly by doing nothing differently except for giving your boob to your infant for nourishment! If you eat without caution and don’t exercise once your doctor gives you the green light, you could actually gain weight by relying on this calorie burn to take care of the weight loss for you! Here are some tips for healthy weight loss while breastfeeding:

Tips for healthy post-partum weight loss while breastfeeding
Be realistic with your weight loss goals: Some women are discouraged that their post baby body doesn’t seem to shape up as quickly as they would like. Structurally, there are many physical changes that go along with carrying a baby for nine months. It will likely take in the neighborhood of 3-6 months for your tummy to be flat after your uterus shrinks back down to its normal size. Initially after childbirth, most women can expect to lose roughly 15-25 pounds before they even leave the hospital. This number accounts for the weight of the baby, amniotic fluid, the placenta, extra blood volume that your body produces for the fetus while pregnant, and any water retention that you may have suffered while pregnant. I was so psyched after my first child was born to come home nearly 25 pounds lighter. After that, the weight seemed to come off at a snail’s pace but I had to remind myself, it’s not safe or sustainable to lose more than 1-2 pounds a week on ANY weight loss program.

Drink plenty of fluids: When breastfeeding, moms need to drink at least 16, 8 oz glasses of fluids daily. That equals about a gallon of water a day. That may sound like a lot, but remember that breast milk is liquid and you must be well hydrated to produce adequate milk supply for your baby. Plus, water has a lot of health benefits (link to my blog about the fat loss and health benefits of water). As for caffeinated beverages, try to limit your consumption of these to one 12 oz serving a day. A small amount of the caffeine that you ingest while breast feeding is passed to your baby through your breast milk and since babys cannot excrete caffeine like adults can, too much caffeine can be harmful to your baby.

Don’t skip meals: Aim for 2-3 small snacks (around 100-150 calories each) and 3 small meals (250-350 calories) each day. Don’t try to restrict your intake too much since you are going to need lots of energy and stamina to care for your new baby. A quick and healthy snack could be a small piece of fruit, one ounce of unsalted nuts or a delicious Level-1 protein shake!

Daily moderate exercise: Women who exercise vigorously to lose the pregnancy pounds may decrease their milk supply or even release harmful toxins into their breast milk. I recommend starting slowly by weight training for 45 minutes, 3-4 times a week and performing moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise 3-4 times a week also for a minimum of 30 minutes. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your sessions as you become stronger. I recommend staying away from HIIT cardio and other very high intensity training due to the nature of those exercises that may cause an excess release of lactic acid into the breast milk. Researchers suggest that this may alter the taste and digestive nature of your breast milk and may be bothersome to your infant causing digestive upset.

I hope you find these tips helpful! I applaud all moms who strive to be fit and healthy as taking care of yourself will make it easier to take care of your little ones and enjoy all the fun that motherhood has to offer! I have an update for all my Femme Phorm readers: Brett and I are happy to announce that we are having a baby girl! She will be arriving in July of this year and I will be journaling my post-baby weight loss in a detailed format for all my readers. I’m so happy to be welcoming a new baby into our lives and I’m excited at meeting the challenge of bringing my body back to where it was prior to this pregnancy!

♥ Gillian

The post I am expecting my first baby in a couple of months and so far I have gained 40 pounds throughout this pregnancy. I am a little bit stressed about the weight gain but people keep telling me that if I breastfeed, the weight will come off very easily. Is there any truth to this? appeared first on 1st Phorm.

1st Phorm Athlete Gillian Risebury
1st Phorm Athlete Gillian Risebury

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