Diet to lose weight while breastfeeding in Breastfeeding

Posted by Anonymous on - 1 reply

Hi, my daughter is 14 weeks old and exclusively breastfed. I wonder if there's any safe diet to do while breastfeeding because I have gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy and still continuing to eat more than I should. I've been looking at Slim fast and such protein/powder diets and meal replacements but. It sure if it's safe ? Thank you

Users' Replies

Nov 14, 2016 15:07 PM

Thank you for your message.

It sounds like you’re doing a fantastic job feeding your baby. We know from lots of research evidence that breastfeeding naturally assists a mother to lose weight. The extra reserves that are laid down in a pregnant woman’s body are designed to be mobilised into her breastmilk when her baby arrives. As it takes 9 months to prepare these reserves it can take a similar time for them to disappear!

We also know from research that it isn’t a good idea for a new mother’s body to lose these reserves too quickly. Diets like Slim Fast etc would not generally be recommended for a new mother whether she’s breastfeeding or not. They may cause fat reserves to be broken down very quickly which releases toxins (that we are exposed to in our environment and are stored in our fat reserves) into our blood stream. As many of the components in breastmilk come from our bloodstream this may expose our babies to these toxins at higher levels.

A breastfeeding mother utilises an estimated extra 500 calories a day while she’s breastfeeding. Some of these calories will be met from extra food and drink – many breastfeeding mothers describe feeling more hungry and thirsty while their feeding. The rest of these calories will come from the ‘reserves’ in a mother’s body. For these reasons there have been several research studies that have shown breastfeeding protects women from obesity, as well as their babies.

As it’s still early days since having your baby it’s normal to perhaps only be noticing gradual changes. As time goes on and by eating and drinking a normal healthy diet I imagine you will start to notice changes. Breastfeeding could be the easiest diet you ever go on!

I hope that this helps with your question. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Sharon George IBCLC