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Safe and Effective Weight Loss While Breastfeeding (Tips + Facts)

“Feeling fat lasts nine months but the joy of becoming a mom lasts forever”. It is natural to get anxious about your weight after delivering your baby especially if you are a new mom.

You are not alone in this journey, every woman wants her pre-pregnancy shape and weight back as soon as possible. But try to understand that you did not gain these extra pounds in one night so obviously, it will take some extra effort to shed it.

With the correct supplement guide, well-balanced diet, and exercise regimen, a mom can lose those extra pounds without neglecting her baby’s nutritional requirements. So let's start the journey of effective weight loss while breastfeeding without any further ado!

Mother Kissing Her Baby
Mother Kissing Her Baby


In This Article


How can I lose weight without losing my milk supply?

Jennifer Ritchie says:

“In order to deliver a baby, everything in the body expands”

It is suggested to not count your calories rather be mindful of what you are eating. While breastfeeding a low-caloric diet may cause a reduction in milk supply. A mother should consume enough calories and nutrients to meet the nutritional requirements of both.

Breastfeeding moms need to maintain balance by choosing a nutrient-rich, well-balanced diet that supports both the maintenance of an adequate milk supply and weight loss goal.

losing weight while breastfeeding
Mother Breastfeeding Her Baby

So the safest way for moms is to be on moderate caloric restriction with low-intensity workouts. While nursing, weight loss can happen naturally, each person will experience it at a different rate and with different ease.

The rate typically falls between 0.5 kilograms (1 lb) and 1 kg (2 lb) every week. For some women, it could take up to a year to lose the weight they put on during their pregnancy.

When can I start losing weight?

It is advisable to wait until at least 6-8 weeks after giving birth before beginning weight loss. This time is required to give your body the time it needs to heal from childbirth and develop a strong milk supply.

Is it harder to lose weight while breastfeeding?

Woman Doing Exercise
Woman Doing Exercise

Research indicates that exclusively breastfeeding mothers usually burn an extra 500 calories a day. This is the equivalent of skipping a small meal, a large snack, or 45 to 60 minutes of moderate-intense exercise.

One study found that mothers who breastfed their infants for at least three months lost 3.2 pounds (1.5 kg) more during the first year than mothers who either formula-fed or supplemented with formula. Interestingly, the beneficial effects on weight loss increased with the length of nursing.

Another study showed that breastfeeding mothers reach their pre-pregnancy weight about six months earlier than formula-feeding mothers. Some women find it difficult to lose weight during breastfeeding because of sleep deprivation and increased hunger.

Healthy ways to lose weight during breastfeeding

Following are a few tips that you can follow while breastfeeding your little one and losing weight, of course, it varies from person to person:

Healthy Food
Healthy Food

Eat in moderation

If you are nursing a child, make sure your daily calorie intake does not fall below 1500–1800 kcal per day.

Give Priority to Nutrient-Dense Foods

Make sure your diet is well-balanced and abundant in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Foods high in nutrients offer vital vitamins and minerals that are vital to your health and the development of your unborn child.

Remain Hydrated

Maintaining the milk supply and enhancing general health depends on consuming enough water. To stay hydrated, make sure you're consuming adequate water throughout the day.

Moderate Workout

Include moderate exercise in your routine, such as walking quickly or doing exercises for new mothers. Losing weight can be facilitated by exercise without affecting the production of milk.

Eat Smaller, More Often Meals

To maintain a steady energy level and an active metabolism, eat smaller, more frequent meals. You can prevent overeating and excessive hunger by using this strategy.

Avoid strict Diets

Avoid severe or restrictive diets as they may not give you and your baby the nutrients you need and may hurt your milk supply.

Mindful Eating

Recognize your body's signals of hunger and fullness. Mindful eating can support your weight loss efforts and help you avoid overindulging.

Add Nutritious Snacks

Select healthy snacks that won't interfere with your weight loss efforts, like fruits, yoghurt, or nuts, to keep your energy levels up in between meals.

What dietary supplements can I take while breastfeeding?

The mother's diet determines how adequate the micronutrients are in her breast milk. Essential vitamins and minerals found in breast milk are vital for the growth and well-being of infants.

Lowered levels of micronutrients in breast milk can hurt the nutrition of the infant and the mother herself if the mother has a poor diet. Mothers must consume a varied diet that includes animal products and fortified foods to maintain an adequate intake of micronutrients.

A postpartum high-dose supplement of 200,000 IU is advised in areas where vitamin A deficiency is common. This will raise the mother's, the baby's, and the breast milk's vitamin A levels. It is recommended to be cautious when consuming high amounts of vitamin A when pregnant. The mother's diet affects the micronutrient levels in breast milk, including thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, iodine, and selenium.

Enhancing diets or supplementing areas of deficiency improves the quality of breast milk and the nutrition of infants. Even when the mother's reserves are low, some micronutrients are still present in high concentrations in breast milk; however, extra consumption of specific nutrients, such as calcium and iron, may be required to protect the mother's reserves during breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding Mom
Breastfeeding Mom


Does breastfeeding benefit the mother’s health?

Yes, breastfeeding has numerous health benefits. Two of the most common benefits are lactational infertility and lactational amenorrhea. The period is when a woman does not get pregnant again due to the hormonal effects of exclusive breastfeeding. Lactational amenorrhea is also a natural method of contraception where a woman does not menstruate and also it reduces the amount of blood loss during menstruation which prevents anemia. It also reduces the risk of bleeding due to excessive blood loss. It also reduces the risk of ovarian, and breast cancer and prevents osteoporosis.

Which vitamin increases breast milk?

Numerous studies have shown that vitamin C increases the production of breast milk. For lactating mothers, the recommended dosage for vitamin C is 120mg but high doses up to 1000mg would not cause any harm to the infant’s health instead it will increase the production of milk in mothers.

What foods increase breast milk?

Following are the foods that increase breast milk:

  • Protein-rich foods

  • Fruits

  • Water and fluids

  • Fenugreek

  • Green vegetables

  • Legumes and beans

  • Sesame seed

  • Flaxseeds

What foods to avoid while breastfeeding?

Following are the foods that a mother should avoid while breastfeeding:

  • Coffee and tea

  • Seafood

  • Gassy foods

  • Foods you are allergic to

  • Carbonated drinks

  • Limit foods that are high in sugar and fats

What foods cause upset stomachs in breastfed babies?

Some foods, including beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and some dairy products, can make some babies fussy, gassy, or clingy. Cow's milk, soy, wheat, corn, oats, eggs, nuts, peanuts, seafood, and shellfish are common foods that trigger allergies. Try to avoid such foods as much as you can.

Summary of Weight Loss While Breastfeeding

In conclusion, losing those extra pounds while breastfeeding is possible and can be done sensibly and healthily. Never forget how important it is to nourish your infant as well as yourself and to put your general well-being first. Staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, and doing mild exercise will help you lose weight without affecting your ability to breastfeed.

Since everybody is different and weight loss may take time, patience is the key. To make sure that your method is safe and appropriate for you and your child, always seek advice from your dietitian. On your journey to a better, happier version of yourself, accept the slow progress and acknowledge the little accomplishments, of course with your little one!

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