Many women are left wondering – why can’t I lose weight while breastfeeding? In this blog post, we will discuss some of the reasons why you may not lose baby weight while breastfeeding and provide some tips on how you can overcome these challenges.
Is It True That Breastfeeding Burns Calories?
Breastfeeding does consume calories. The amount varies depending on a variety of factors, including the age of the baby, how often he nurses, growth spurts, whether he exclusively takes breast milk or receives supplement formula/donor milk, if he is eating solid foods, and finally, how much milk mom makes and how many calories are in each ounce of her milk.
The average calorie content of mature breast milk is 20 per ounce, however, this varies from mother to mother, day-to-day, hour-to-hour, and even within a feeding. If we suppose that a newborn drinks 20 calories per ounce of milk and that this is multiplied by 25 ounces, 500 calories “burned away” in terms of breastfeeding would be the result.
Most health organizations suggest that expectant mothers eat an extra 500 calories while nursing, or 300 calories if breast milk is not the sole source of nutrition for their kids.
Why Can’t I Lose Weight While Breastfeeding?
1. Not Eating Enough
Instead of restricting your diet, fill your body with nourishment. You’ll need at least 1,500 and as many as 1,800 calories every day to keep your milk supply up.
While you must make sure you are eating properly, you must also ensure that you are not ingesting for two; particularly if this is a habit that you developed while pregnant. Your body will be more susceptible to your nutritional requirements during the first three months after childbirth. For safe postpartum weight loss, aim for a daily calorie reduction of 300 calories.
3. Less Physical Activity
Keep in mind that if you want to lose weight, you must be active.
You may accomplish this by going for a walk or jogging with your infant when the weather is nice.
4. Chronic Stress
Still, wondering why can’t I lose weight while breastfeeding? As a mother, every minute is precious, whether you’re caring for a newborn or in a family with additional children.
When cortisol levels are high and you don’t get enough sleep, you may be more inclined to eat junk food. As a result, you can end up gaining weight around your tummy area. To combat this, look for methods to de-stress so that you can relax. Yoga, exercise, a solitary walk outdoors, or a brief bubble bath with music might all help you relax. Alternatively, baking might be an enjoyable hobby for you.
Your Prolactin level as a breastfeeding mother is ten times larger than an average person’s. This is why you become hungry after nursing your kid. You’ll need to boost your body’s chemical called Adiponectin, which promotes a faster metabolism, to help you manage this.
Improved Adiponectin levels can be achieved by doing moderate exercise, taking daily fish oil supplements, and consuming a high-fiber diet.
Breastfeeding Diet Myths
1. Stop Breastfeeding To Lose Weight
When your baby stops breastfeeding, the amount of prolactin in his or her body gradually decreases. This means that instead of being released through nursing, the hormone is stored in your body. Your fat metabolism will be decreased after your body stores prolactin leading to weight gain.
Another reason why this notion is false is that, even after you decide to stop breastfeeding, you are inclined to eat more calories. Unless you are conscious of the calories you consume, you will continue asking why can’t I lose weight while breastfeeding.
2. Focus On Specific Foods To Increase Milk Supply
Unfortunately, this is just a myth. There’s no evidence that certain foods, on their own, enhance your milk-producing capacity. Instead of that, the meals recommended to boost milk production are nutritious.
3. Avoid Certain Foods To Prevent Gas Problems In Baby
Another common myth that must be debunked is the notion that specific meals will cause your baby to have gas. In most situations, this isn’t correct.
4. Breastfeeding Helps Lose Weight
Strive to reduce your weight at a slow rate. If you drastically decrease your calorie intake, it will have an impact on your milk production as well.
5. Avoid Drinking Alcohol
Another misconception that must be debunked is the notion that you should cease drinking alcohol while nursing. The optimal rule of thumb is to wait two hours before feeding your child after consuming alcohol. This is because alcoholic beverages enter breast milk, but they decrease in quantity over time.
How To Get Rid Of Your Belly Fat While Breastfeeding?
1. Gradual Weight Loss
You should lose weight gradually to avoid disrupting your milk supply. Experts advise that you can safely reduce 1-2 pounds each week.
2. Avoid Fad Diets And Go Low Carb
When feeding your baby breast milk, you should not limit the number of healthy fats consumed. Rather than restricting calories, you should eat the correct meals. This is simple to accomplish by limiting your high-fat dairy intake. However, keep your daily calorie intake at 1,800 or more to ensure an adequate supply of breastmilk.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drink about 12 cups of water each day. Not only will this help keep your breastmilk supply up, but it’ll also aid in the removal of excess water weight. If you’re trying to slim down, avoid drinking sweet beverages since they’re high in sugar and contain no nutrients.
It will also assist you in losing weight more quickly. It will help you avoid chronic stress at the same time will help you avoid hunger and sleep deprivation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Is it possible to reduce weight quickly while breastfeeding?
Ans: To lose one pound per week safely, keep to at least 1,800 calories each day.
Q2: Is it true that nursing makes you put on weight?
Ans: Remember that breastfeeding alone does not cause you to gain weight. If you consume more than the advised 1,800 calories each day, you will undoubtedly acquire weight since there is no method of reducing it.
Q3: Will you lose weight after you stop breastfeeding?
Ans: You will only lose weight if you maintain a calorie deficit after you cease breastfeeding. If you’re not sure how to proceed, get advice from a licensed dietitian or nutritionist.
Q4: What month do you experience the most weight loss while breastfeeding?
Ans: When compared to formula-feeding moms who consume fewer calories, breastfeeding parents tend to lose more weight when their infants are 3-6 months old.
Now that you know that breastfeeding does not necessarily help in weight loss, keep a track of regular fitness. Gradual weight loss is best to avoid disrupting your milk supply. You should also make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need and staying hydrated. Avoiding chronic stress will help you avoid hunger and lead to an increase in cravings for sugary foods during the day. If you have any queries, see a registered dietician or nutritionist immediately.