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One of the first things mom think about after giving birth is how to get back into their old bodies. I know how desperate you can be to return to your own self. But like all things with your health, you have to be careful. Here are some ways to help you lose weight while you’re breastfeeding.
1. Don’t stress about it
It took your body nine months to expand to the point where you could carry and birth another person. You aren’t going to jump back to it in a week. Your expanded hips and ribcage, for example, are going to make you look chunky, no matter how much fat you wear away.
For the first two weeks, don’t even worry about your weight. Spend your time and energy ensuring that you establish a productive breastfeeding rhythm.
2. Eat throughout the day
Eating small meals more often keeps your metabolism high and stops your body from craving high-sugar foods. A handful of nuts will keep you energized while you’re up every three hours.
3. Eat the rainbow
When you’re choosing foods each day, aim to “capture” all the colors of the rainbow. Fruits and vegetables come in a whole spectrum of colors, which is caused by the nutrients within the food. So to eat a variety of foods, try to eat as many different colors as possible.
4. Avoid high intensity training
Exercise that’s taxing on your body leads to a buildup of lactic acid (it’s released when you “break” your muscles during workouts). This acid can add a sour taste to your breast milk. It’s perfectly fine for your baby to consume, but some children reject the taste, which can disrupt your breastfeeding rhythm.
5. Take it slow
I hate hearing women compare themselves to celebrity moms who return to their model bodies a month after giving birth. Those women are in an entirely different position than the average mom.
For one, those women have genes on their side that lean towards popular beauty (their high metabolisms are one of the reasons they always look so healthy). Two, they have plenty of time and money for things like nannies, dieticians, and personal trainers to maximize their health and weight loss. Don’t think for a minute that you aren’t in your pre-pregnancy body because you aren’t trying hard enough.
6. Cut calories, but only a little
Reducing your caloric intake to lose weight is fine, but not by too much. You want to drop no lower than 1800 calories per day. Keep in mind that about 300 of those calories per day are going toward breast milk production, leaving 1500 for yourself, which is about the bottom number a person should consume every day to stay healthy.
7. Keep healthy snacks available
I know how tired you can be when you just start nursing. There are times when you just won’t have the energy to slice up some carrots, but that bag of chips is so easy and satisfying.
First, just don’t buy those processed snack foods. If they aren’t around, you won’t eat them. Second, prepare snacks ahead of time when you have the energy so you can grab them when you don’t.
8. Drink a TON of water
Drinking plenty of water has countless benefits, but it’s also fantastic for both losing weight AND breastfeeding. Drink an eight ounce glass of water every time you nurse to help keep your milk supply pumping. It will also fill your stomach and curb cravings.
Written by Melissa LaHann, Founder and CEO of Happy Fig, LLC
Like many moms before her, Melissa cradled her hungry, crying baby as she clumsily adjusted her bra and sat uncomfortably holding up her shirt. Before she knew it, her baby was squirming, her shirt was falling, and the nursing session was interrupted. She needed a better solution, so she created LatchPal, the first nursing clip of its kind.
LatchPal is a breastfeeding shirt clip that holds up a mother’s shirt during breastfeeding. It eliminates shirt re-positioning and feeding disruptions, and helps a mom nurse hands-free in comfort to maximize milk flow. LatchPal was designed with moms in mind. The multi-use solution only requires one hand to latch. It’s a must-have breastfeeding accessory and essential for post-partum moms, pumping moms, and nursing in public.
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