How Can I Get This Baby Weight Off Safely?
Safe weight loss is healthy and realistic for breastfeeding women. Breastfeeding uses calories stored up during pregnancy, and a breastfeeding mother will lose 1-2 pounds a month with a normal, healthy diet (eating to hunger) and normal activity. If you want to lose weight faster, you can safely lose 1 pound a week through changes in diet and moderate exercise.
A weight loss of 1 pound a week with a healthy diet (at least 1500 to 1800 high quality calories) and moderate exercise has no effect on the fat content of the breast milk or on the baby’s growth. When you make healthy nutritional choices like eating lean meat, and cutting sugary or salty, high-fat junk food, refined flour, and high calorie drinks, you will experience healthy weight loss. Small changes can make a big difference. For example, cutting out a can of soda per day eliminates 140 calories, or 14 pounds a year!
You may begin a moderate exercise program after getting clearance from your OB or midwife 6 to 8 weeks after delivery. You can safely cut 500 calories from your diet and add a moderate 45 minute exercise routine 4 days a week and lose weight without affecting the quality of your breast milk or the growth of your baby.
I recommend slow, healthy, natural weigh loss through healthy nutrition and moderate exercise. If you have questions, or would like a personalized plan, I can help you! Call or email me if you would like to discuss healthy postpartum weight loss.
This article from the New York Times has more information.
Beth Sanders, BSN, RN, IBCLC