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Losing Weight While Breastfeeding

Most moms experience shock when they look at themselves in the mirror after giving birth. Many want to get their pre-pregnancy body back as quickly as possible. Losing extra pounds while breastfeeding is very difficult. You are constantly hungry during this period. Here we discuss best tips on how to get back in shape while breastfeeding.

For the first few weeks after giving birth, let the body rest. It needs time to recover and return to the form that you are more satisfied with.

The process will accelerate if you stop breastfeeding, but it is better to continue to feed the baby. The weight will begin to slowly decrease on its own after three months. More you feed – more weight is lost without affecting milk production.

Remember one thing: your body just did something amazing! The birth of a child took time and entire system changed. Allow yourself the same time to recover and return to pre-pregnancy volumes.

How Many Calories do You lose While Breastfeeding?

The body usually burns 200 to 500 extra calories per day while breastfeeding. The actual number of calories that will go away depends on several points.

3 Factors affecting calorie burning:

Breastfeeding frequency

During the process of breastfeeding, 8-12 times more calories are burned than during other activities. This process allows a woman to get rid of excess calories.

Hormonal background

Metabolism is activated as hormonal levels are established through milk production. The process of losing weight during lactation goes smoothly but constantly.

Child’s age

The child grows and starting from 6 months complementary foods are introduced into his diet and he consumes less breast milk. Combined breastfeeding and artificial feeding do not give such results. The calorie burn of breastfeeding decreases as the baby gets older.

How to Safely Lose Weight While Breastfeeding

All thoughts and actions regarding weight loss and diet should be discussed with the doctor. Do not take diet pills or follow an elimination diet while breastfeeding.

The diet of a nursing mother should provide a sufficient amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Losing weight while breastfeeding should be safe for you and your baby’s health.

5 Useful Weight Loss Tips for Mothers:

1. Proper nutrition

Losing weight while breastfeeding should be based on the principles of a healthy diet. Vegetables and fruits in the proportion of ¾ vegetables and ¼ fruits are indispensable for weight loss during lactation. Vegetables are low in calories. They contain many vitamins and minerals. Vegetables fill the stomach and reduce the feeling of hunger. They must appear at every meal of a nursing woman.

Add whole grains, cereals, rice, and vegetables to the diet. They provide energy and dietary fiber which also contribute to weight loss.

2. lots of water

Provide the correct amount of liquid. A woman should drink about 3 liters of fluid daily while breastfeeding, preferably plain water. Put aside all carbonated and non-carbonated drinks with added sugar. Drinking the right amount of fluid during lactation ensures proper milk production and promotes weight loss.

3. Light physical exercise

Start light but regular physical activity after getting permission from a gynecologist. Do exercises at least 3-5 times a week. A follow-up visit is required. A doctor will assess your readiness to exercise.

Gradually introduce strengthening and stretching exercises – lunges, bends, abdominal exercises, and walking. Remember that cannot strain the muscles of the perineum and strain hard. Do light leg exercises so you get used to the activity and lose weight faster.

4. Get enough sleep

Children’s sleep is normalized by three months. Do not rush to do all the chores around the house when the baby fell asleep. Lack of sleep interferes with the secretion of important hormones – ghrelin and leptin – and the proper functioning of metabolism at the biological level. Lack of sleep for just 30 minutes each night disrupts metabolism enough to cause weight gain.

5. Think Positive

Negative thoughts make you succumb to passions, overeat, and skip daily exercises. Positive thoughts increase motivation and energy levels.

Thinking positively is the key to making decisions and constantly developing new eating habits. It is necessary to establish a relationship between the baby and parents in the first months. The closeness of mother and baby during feeding contributes to weight loss – this is a pleasant bonus of motherhood that has begun.

Never Stop Yourself From Eating

Don’t fast while breastfeeding or harm yourself and your baby. At the same time, do not fall into the trap of advice that a nursing mother needs to eat for two. Only need to add 300-350 extra calories so that the child gets everything he needs. Eat a diet rich in iron, calcium, protein, omega-3s, and other complex carbohydrates. Take supplements on time if the gynecologist has prescribed them. Increased appetite during breastfeeding is a natural phenomenon. The extra calories a baby needs won’t lead to weight gain if the right foods are eaten.

Make a menu during lactation based on the health of the baby and not following weight loss programs. Coordinate the menu by eliminating foods that are harmful to the child at the slightest allergic manifestation. The postpartum period is the best time to harmonize eating habits.

5 Mistakes that are Often Made when Losing Weight

Slow and gradual weight loss is a safe goal for breastfeeding moms who want to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight. A young mother needs time to get back in shape. It takes about 6 weeks for most women to lose half of their excess weight. The rest can be reset over the next 6-12 months.

Help yourself by avoiding common mistakes that make it difficult to lose weight while breastfeeding.

1. Rush

Stick to a plan that will deliver sustainable results, even if it takes longer than you’d like. The doctor can help to choose a weight loss plan that is worth your time.

2. Starvation

It seems that the process of losing weight will go faster if do not have breakfast or dinner. This is not true. Skipped meals can have two consequences: slow metabolism and breakdowns. Refusal of food for a day or more is a great stress for the body. It will begin to accumulate fat reserves and the process of losing weight will stop. It can also lead to stomach problems (ulcers, gastritis) and lactation disorders.

3. Refusal of carbohydrates and fats

These substances are essential components of the body. Eating only protein foods is very harmful. Include complex carbohydrates and animal and vegetable fats in the diet.

4. Irregular meals

The baby comes first, but that’s no reason to skip meals. Don’t make it a habit. Severe calorie restriction regularly tricks the body into fasting mode. The body stores fat instead of burning it as a result.

5. The obsession with idea of losing weight

The desire to lose weight after childbirth becomes a fixed idea. Fear of being overweight and immense dimensions leads a woman to stress and abnormal hormonal levels. This will harm the process of losing weight and can lead to depression.

6. Jamming depression

The main enemy of weight loss after pregnancy is postpartum depression. It promotes nervous breakdowns and overeating.

Symptoms of postpartum depression: causeless tears, irritability, headaches, fatigue, sleep disorders. Need to fight them with the help of walks in the fresh air and communication with loved ones. It is better to consult a specialist if depression is severe.

Foods to Avoid When Getting in Shape and Breastfeeding 

Consider foods and drinks that should be limited or consumed with caution while breastfeeding.

Alcohol: No amount of alcohol is safe for the child. Pumping will not reduce the amount of alcohol in breast milk.

Caffeine: Consumption of large amounts of caffeinated drinks is prohibited. Caffeine disrupts a child’s sleep patterns and makes them irritable, fussy, or nervous. Temporarily eliminate caffeine from the diet if notice any of these reactions in your child.

Products with a high degree of processing: Fast foods, mayonnaise, sugary drinks, and any fatty foods contain a lot of empty calories. These foods are low in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Such food impairs normal appetite control and exacerbates the taste for unhealthy foods in offspring.

Fish high in mercury: Fish is an excellent source of two types of omega-3 fatty acids that are important for brain development in babies. Some types of fish contain high amounts of mercury. This metal is toxic to babies. These include Chilean perch, tilefish, Atlantic bighead, king mackerel, marlin, shark, bigeye tuna.

Acute exposure to high levels of mercury permanently affects a child’s central nervous system. He may have developmental delays or impairments as a result.

Foods are high in sugar: Foods high in sugar and calories are often low in nutritional value. Try to reduce the number of foods in this category in the diet.

When We Recommend Losing Weight After Birth?

Plan to return to your pre-pregnancy weight 12 to 18 months after delivery. The body needs time to recover after childbirth. Recovery may take longer if you lose weight too early.

Eat a little less and move a little more every day when you’re ready to start losing weight. It’s tempting to force yourself to do hard work for quick weight loss. Sudden weight loss is not healthy and beneficial for the body. A quick walk around the block with a baby in a stroller is a great way to start adding exercise to your daily routine.

Hiking for 10-20 minutes to start will do. Need to walk every day and preferably twice a day. Accelerate the pace of walking and the duration of the walk when feeling that there is more strength. Add swimming, yoga, Pilates, gymnastics, dancing, sports exercises with your baby.

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