StorkNet > StorkNet Site Map > Breastfeeding > Breastfeeding Articles
Is It REALLY Possible to Breastfeed AND Lose Weight???
Message Board Archive
From Farmgirldll ~ I am very overweight to begin with. About three years ago I lost 90 pounds, which brought me to about 155 pounds. Before getting pregnant last year, I was back up to 190. Right now I am at 210. My question is, can I go back on a diet/exercise program without affecting my breastfeeding? I am hoping that with all this extra weight on me that it will be possible. I am torn between wanting to continue breastfeeding Michael and wanting to fit back into my size 10/11 clothes. And if it is possible, what do I need to do diet-wise? TIA for your help.
From stemmy ~ I just came over here to post this very question!!! I really hope someone can answer this. I'm quite depressed about my weight. I'm absolutely sick of my maternity clothes and have up until now refused to buy "fat" clothes. Today, desperate for a change of wardrobe, I went shopping fully prepared to buy the next size up to what I normally am - nearly everything was still too tight or looked foul!! I absolutely refused to buy something two sizes bigger than usual and came home with one top that I'm not rapt with but it fit ok. I'm trying to watch what I eat but I'm so hungry all the time and if I eat less food at different times throughout the day, I have to eat twice as much later to appease the hunger. If I don't eat enough, I know I'm not making enough milk. I know I need to exercise more, but in the spare time I get , I feel so tired I just flake in front of the TV. I need my own personal trainer to come and motivate me. And I need a miracle to get rid of the big, flabby tummy in front - my 5 year old asked me the other day why I still have a fat tummy if I've already had the baby! Someone HELP...pleeese.
From kellyl ~ I am in the same boat. I weigh even more than you do, but weighed even more before I got pregnant. I am not sure what to say, only that I am in the same boat as you. My dh has to lose weight or go on high blood pressure medicine. We go for a nutritionist appointment on the 22nd. That should help. He asks me, "Have you gotten on the treadmill lately?" This is what he asks his sleep deprived, zombie wife. I don't get any time for myself, let alone time to give to him or my 9 year old son. Something has to change soon or I will wind up in a loony bin.
But to answer your question, I've heard that Weight Watchers has a program for breastfeeding moms.
Also know that you are just the way God wants you to be. And when he wants you to change, it will happen.
From Ursula ~ Weight Watchers has a program for nursing mothers. It's what many doctors recommend. When I was on Weight Watchers, I wasn't nursing, but I lost 25 pounds and kept it off for many years. I can't say it was easy to lose that weight on Weight Watchers, but I can honestly say that I was rarely hungry on it and it worked better in the long run than anything else. I plan to re-join after having my baby.
From stemmy ~ Thanks, Ursula. I've been thinking all day that I should contact them as I had a vague notion they may have a program for nursing moms. I'll check it out!
From Elaine ~ I know it seems impossible to find time to exercise while nursing, but I truly do think that burning more calories is key to losing weight while nursing. And as ridiculous as it may sound, starting some form of physical activity will HELP give you energy. It gets your blood pumping, your adrenaline going, etc. and if you start gradually and build up, you'll feel LESS tired than if you don't exercise.
If you can possibly manage to go to an aerobics class a few times a week (can hubby take care of baby and give you a couple of hours for yourself a few days?), it would be great . But if not, how about doing a Richard Simmons (or other) work out tape at home each morning or evening? Baby can lay on a blankie in the floor near you, or during a low impact routine you can even wear baby in a sling or carrier - they love the motion - just be sure they are secure. Or if you absolutely cannot squeeze in an aerobic routine or just hate them, try putting baby in a sling, carrier, or stroller and going for a 30 minute walk every day. You'll be amazed at how much of a difference it can make!
Another way to squeeze in some toning exercises, do them while watching TV. Pick a time each day to do tummy crunches, leg lifts, and other toning exercises while laying in front of the television. There was a fantastic tummy/hips/butt/thigh 30 minute work out in Redbook years ago, and I still get the magazine out to refer to the 'routine' sometimes. Again if baby is awake, just put them on the floor with you. Mine loved being on my tummy during crunches and would giggle and laugh every time I raised up.
Nursing burns about 500 calories a day, so it's actually helping burn calories, but you have to make sure that you are not 'over indulging' to satisfy your increased appetite. Drinking plenty of water will help both by keeping your milk supply up, and by making your tummy feel fuller longer so that you don't eat as much. And when you do snack, be sure it is on 'healthy' stuff and not just junk food. Baby carrots are great, with summer coming there will be more and more fresh fruit available, low fat or fat free cream cheese is as good as the higher fat stuff, super thick and creamy salad dressing mixes (such as Hidden Valley ranch) can be made with low fat or fat free cottage cheese put in a blender instead of sour cream or mayonnaise base. Air popped popcorn isn't quite as yummy as cheetos or doritos, but it can make a reasonable substitute (sprinkle with a spoonful of parmesan cheese for a bit of extra flavor). If you must have a treat at Baskin Robbins, have one of their 'ices' ... grape ice, daiquiri ice, etc. These are relatively low calorie and have no fat and way better than the 300-400 calorie 20 grams of fat a scoop super rich ice creams.
Anyway, I know all of this is easier said than done, but I truly think that breastfeeding our babies and losing weight CAN co-exist. And for me, after weighing the pros and cons, nursing my baby was WAY more important than what size jeans I wore anyway.
From mom2jazzygirl ~ I am in the exact same position that y'all are. In the past, breastfeeding alone simply did not cut it for weight loss for me. However, I started back on Weight Watchers three weeks ago. Let me tell you, I was 210 when I started and today I am 205. It's slow, but it's coming off. I have vowed to devote the next year of my life to getting this darn weight off, and I am NOT quitting breastfeeding to get there.
I will warn you, I had to tweak my points with WW. They either forgot about the fact that breastfeeding mothers can only lose 1 pound per week OR they forgot that breastfeeding itself takes 500 calories a day. Either way, I figured my own points to adjust for a 1 pound a week weight loss. I am NEVER hungry, but I am losing the weight. In addition, the kids and I started taking morning walks. We are walking 1.2 miles a day right now. Our goal is to get up to 3 miles a day, but every little bit helps.
I am telling you, with determination you CAN do this, and you can do it while breastfeeding too. Good luck ladies, I really do know what you are going through because I am right there with you.
From Farmgirldll ~ I was just chatting with my cousin who just started WW also. She said WW says breastfeeding women shouldn't lose more than a pound a week and the point spread for someone 175-199 is 32-37 points. That is A LOT of food, if I remember correctly. Well, I am off to dig out my books and find motivation somewhere. I also need to start exercising. I have so much exercise equipment here, I could start my own gym! Better use it!
From mom2jazzygirl ~ Actually, when I tweaked my points for breastfeeding and my weight, I ended up with a top point value of 51 points. Now that IS a lot of food, and I am still losing just over a pound a week. And, yes you should NEVER lose more than 1 pound a week when breastfeeding.
From Hannahsmom ~ Oh my, 1 pound a week? Gosh I have been on WW for 9 weeks and have lost 17 pounds, about 2-3 pounds per week with a few weeks that I lost nothing. Why only 1 pound per week? My supply has been fine (I don't go to meetings, just use the book and points counter)
WW definitely works and you can even munch! I can have 48 pretzel sticks for only 2 points.
From ForesterMom ~ I just wanted to offer some support - you can do this! I gained 70 pounds (!!!) during my pregnancy, I peaked out at 220. It seemed I was a little *too* addicted to those carbs! To lose the weight, I nursed, watched what I ate (many more fruits, veggies and protein), and rode my Dad's stationary bike while baby Melanie napped. When I moved back to school, away from family, I started walking with Melanie in a Baby Bjorn. It helps me to suck my ab muscles in while I walk. After 4 months I have finally lost all the weight, though the last 20 pounds were slow coming.
I don't believe that I could have been so successful without breastfeeding, nor would my daughter be so healthy! She's already 16 pounds and had weathered through 2 colds that we caught. I know life can be busy and hectic, but if a single Mom can do it while working and going to school, so can you!
From Farmgirldll ~ What encouraging women! I agree with Elaine, it IS more important to breastfeed Michael than to worry about what size jeans I am in but this weight really has me down and out and it definitely affects my attitude and sense of well being. I plan on starting WW on Monday and I am hoping that I can do it all . . . diet, lose weight, exercise AND still nourish my baby! I am a carb addict also. Starting and keeping up an exercise routine has ALWAYS been a struggle for me, even when I was thinner. I just don't like it. I like how I feel when I am exercising and afterwards but it's the actual motivation to do it on a regular routine that gets me.
From CrystapoundusyMom ~ Yes, it is possible to breastfeed and lose weight. It works for me. What I do is, try to eat healthy and nurse Justin as much as he wants and I lose weight. I notice that I hardly ever have time to sit down and am always doing housework or feeding the children and that must help too. Good luck with your weight loss goals.
From Cynmom ~ There's a great book called "Eat Well, Lose Weight While Breastfeeding." Personally I think it's best to remember to do it gradually. My dd is 12 months and I am still losing weight without trying--it's just happening gradually.
If you like this article, we'd be honored if you shared it using the button below.