Breastfeeding & Wieght Loss

Updated on August 25, 2006
K.E. asks from Plattsmouth, NE
30 answers

I have been breastfeeding my daughter for the last 6 months and have lost practically nothing. I am desperate to lose wieght. I eat pretty healthy and try to excersize as much as possible, but it's like my body is holding on to this fat for dear life! Has anyone else had thios problem, and have any suggestions? I don't want to give up breastfeeding. Thanks!

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A.N.

answers from Omaha on

I was never able to lose it. I tried everything too. But I didn't gain anything when I got pregnant - 17 lbs is all and it was gone as soon as I had him.

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L.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Keep up the breastfeeding! Everything that I read says that it helps. Have you tried increasing the intensity of exercise? It is so hard to find the time, so maybe making the most out of the time you do have for exercise would help. I hope that helps.

L. M

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S.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi K.. I completely understand what you are going through. I breastfed my son for a year and a half and never lost the weight; and I was active and ate healthy. It wasn't until I quit breastfeeding that I began to see a change. I changed my diet just a bit and was back to my old weight within a month. I hope this helps! Hang in there!

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K.M.

answers from Boise on

If anything, breastfeeding is supposed to speed up the weight loss process!! Don't give that up!! I would talk to your doctor. They should be able to give you suggestions. Also, the la leche league might be able to give you some advice.

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G.S.

answers from Anchorage on

Hi there...I totally could relate.....I have a 4 1/2 month old and a 16 year old.... It will take time, be patient. Walking is the best thing you could do. Breastfeeding is the best thing you could do for your baby, the only thing quitting will do is #1 slow down your metabolism so that you will have to take in alot less calories, #2 cost more to feed her.... I say focus on being a mom and be enjoy them.....eat 6 smaller meals a day and see if that helps!
G. G

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on

K.,

Some women lose weight while nursing and some don't. You may want to take a look at your diet. Nursing requires 500 extra calories but not necessarily more than that. I lost quite a bit of weight nursing by just eating healthier but I had to make sure I was getting "enough" calories and fat or my milk supply really suffered. Some women have a heck of a time losing weight without losing their milk supply. If you are one of those unlucky souls, you may have to decide which you'd rather have (which really sucks!) but I know more than a few women who decided to deal with the extra weight until they were ready to wean. It is such a short period of your life it is a shame to give up breastfeeding before you are ready. I know that Weight Watchers has a plan for nursing moms (I think the main difference is that you get 10 extra points per day) so that is something to check out. Good luck to you!

T.

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J.

answers from Boise on

Hi K.! Don't give up on breastfeeding! It is so good and important for your baby. Weightloss will come but sometimes it is slow. I am a breastfeeding mom too and it took me forever to lose my weight. I actually gained some weight. I am also a member of La Leche (a group for breastfeeding moms, in case you don't know) and I know from these other moms that we are not alone. I personally didn't lose my pregnancy weight until around a year. Then all of a sudden it kind of all just came off. It also coincided with my daughter eating more solid foods although she was still breastfeeding and she had been eating solid foods for 6 months. She just started eating more consistently. I am still feeding her at 16 months with about the same frequency as at a year and I haven't gained it back. Good luck!

J.

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A.G.

answers from Honolulu on

Hello K.!
I totally understand what you mean! I didn't start loosing the weight until my daughter was 6 months too. I started working with a company called Arbonne International. This company is a 26 year old company and all of their products are formulated in Switzerland made in the US. We have a full line of weight loss products that I absolutely love because it allows me to breatfeed and not only loose the weight but keep it off! The goal here is to bring your body into balance & achieve a healthy weight so that you’re looking great & feeling great, naturally!

• Our Protein shakes have more than 20 essential vitamins & minerals & are low carb, low sugar, low calorie, and low fat. They have no saturated fat or cholesterol. No lactose, artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors. And no animal products/by-products(vegetarian)
• We also have fiber shakes, weight loss chews, & a dietary supplement that supports fat loss, suppress appetite, increases metabolism & balances your insulin -- ephedra-free & promotes lean body mass.

For more information you can visit www.GoFigure8.com !

I still breastfeed my daughter and use these products everyday! My milk supply is doing awesome and I've loss 10 lbs. I'm back at my normal weight and I'm so excited! Arbonne's website is www.arbonne.com . We also have a wonderful baby line that is just wonderful!

All of our skin care formulas are:

1) Botanically-based- We all know that an herb has everything it needs to survive in the environment right? Well it has a complete amino acid profile and a complete vitamin and mineral profile! This means that your skin will be gently nourished with plant based ingredients that will actually do something!

2) PH Correct- We do what is called a “PH balance test” When you look at the PH scale it goes from 0 to 14. 0 being acid and 14 being alkaline. A 5.5 on the scale is where the skin is most adaptable to get the benefits from everything. (FYI: Most products out there that are “PH Balanced” are about a 10 or 14 on that scale which disrupt the acid mantle of your skin leaving it dry.) Arbonne made sure that all their formulations were a 5.5 this way the skin is not irritated by an acid base and it’s not dried up by an alkaline base. Our PH “correct” will help your skin accept the moisture that it needs.

3) Hypoallergenic – Human testing is performed over 2 weeks. On a scale of 1 to 10, we look for zeros across the board! Absolutely no reaction, no irritation & no side affects! (FYI: In the cosmetic world you can have a 2 or 3 and still make a hypoallergenic claim!) Arbonne goes to level 0 and that means that even the most sensitive skins can use our products.

4) Dermatologist tested- This is different than “approved” or “recommended”. “Tested” means that a dermatologist independent of Arbonne, has reviewed our test results, agrees with those results, agrees with the criteria that has been met & agrees with the parameters that these tests were performed under.

5) Never tested on animals & formulated w/o animal products or by-products

6) Formulated without Mineral Oil- It makes it difficult for your skin to absorb moisture, it clogs your pores which slows the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, causes pre-mature aging & acne. It’s derived from petroleum, will not spoil & is very inexpensive which is why it’s used as a filler in many cases.
(FYI: Its molecular size is too large to be absorbed by the skin & it robs the skin of vitamins A, D, E, & K because once the oil is absorbed, it’s broken down by the liver & passes through the intestinal tract it will absorb all of the fat-soluble vitamins found there.)

7) Formulated without dyes or chemical fragrances- which are known to be the #1 skin irritants today.

Let me know what you think and if you would like more info! Keep up the good work with breastfeeding, that's awesome!!!

A.

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T.

answers from Boise on

Hi K.,

I have two boys and breastfed both. Actually, I am still breastfeeding my 16 mo. old! My body responded the same way as yours (both times). Keep exercising, your body will give up the weight once you stop breastfeeding. Unfortunately, I found dieting super difficult while feeding, I have the appetite of an elefant! Fortunately, your body/appetite return to normal when you're done feeding.

If you're really desperate, I had to be on a special no-yeast diet for health reasons while feeding son #1. I dropped weight fast on it, but it was no fun... Basically, it is a no sugar, low-carb (you need some for energy), high veg. diet. Very restrictive, mine was designed by a dietician, since I was breastfeeding.

Good luck!
T.

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E.M.

answers from Omaha on

I was always told that I'd lose wieght once I began breastfeeding. For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me-- since I didn't lose a pound while nursing. I think people tell you that but often forget that in order to continue nursing successfully you need to take in about as many calories as you burn. I remember being starved constantly. Once my kids were old enough to wean, I noticed my appetite was less. Only now, 5 months after I ended nursing am I losing weight. It is a struggle but I wouldn't put any undue pressure on myself to lose the weight while nursing. Your kid (or in my case-- kids) really need you to be well nourished. give it time and be patient with yourself. You have a lifetime to lose the weight but only a few precious moments to enjoy nursing.

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N.B.

answers from Portland on

K.,
I was in the same boat 5 months ago! My daughter is now almost 11 months old and still breastfeeding. I lost a little bit of weight when she was first born but didn't lose anything else until she was close to 8 months! I'm not sure what made the difference but it was like my body finally realized that I didn't need the extra weight. I dropped 10 - 12 pounds over 2-3 months! I walk a couple of times a week and eat healthy. So hopefully you will experience the same thing - just hang in there! N.

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J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Don't stop breastfeeding! Hang in there and give it some time--also keep exercising and eating right. The weight will come off when it is supposed to, but your baby needs the breastmilk now! There's always time later to focus on the weight, but if you keep up your good habits you probably won't have to. Remember--you'll be chasing this little one around the house soon and that will burn some calories!!

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M.B.

answers from Boise on

Hi K., I know what you are going through. I remember people would always tell me you'll lose so much weight when you breastfeed.What they forgot to mention was how much you eat when you breastfeed. Hang in there, I breastfeed my daughter until she was 22 months old.Once I stopped I lost 10 pounds, and my appetitie decreased.Good luck!

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T.R.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I have been on Marylu Henners Body Victory plan for the last few weeks and I have lost about 8-9 lbs. You can find her on line at bodyvictory.com. It was not expensive and she teaches you how to eat, so hopefully it will become a life changing plan and not just a quick diet. I have loved the program. Look into it.

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T.N.

answers from Portland on

Keep up the breasfeeding and have your thyroid checked!

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B.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I just stoped breastfeeding a couple months ago and accually gained weight! Everybody is different, all I have to do is go off sugar for a couple weeks and exercise some and I will lose the weight. One thing that is funny though is that Im realizing that your body goes through changes as you get older whether you are having babies or not. I always thought it was the babies. I never expected to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight which was less than 100 lbs.(I am very short) But for a long time being 115 was hard for me because even though it is small it was a lot bigger than I was used to. One thing I realized too is that the right clothes make a big difference. I had a hard time buying the bigger clothes, I didn't want to except it or something, but then I realized that I accually look skinnier when you cant see the fat rolls!
My sister did the Lean and Fit program while she was breast feeding, just adding extra calories for the baby. She looked Hot! Like a swimsuit model! But it is a very strict diet and exercise routine. It wasn't worth it to me! I just use the kickboxing from the program for my cardio, and it is fun, and works.
I would suggest as long as you are living a healthy lifestyle to just try to mask the weight that you don't like right now, and do other things that will make you feel pretty and sexy! Pamper yourself!! Then when you are done breastfeeding you can hit it hard and loose the extra weight.

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C.

answers from Boise on

Hi K.,

I gain over 60 lbs. with each of my pregnancies (I've had 2). I struggled to get the weight off after my 1st, so when I had my second I didn't wait to start trying to lose the baby weight. Several people that I know had great success on Weight Watchers, so I figured I would try.........
I lost over 45 lbs. - the weight melted off (and I wasn't even doing much exercise, gulp!) I lost all that weight by eating all the bad foods I love - pizza, burgers, etc. Every food is given a point value, and since I was breastfeeding, I got a lot more points - but still lost weight (1-4 lbs. a week) - it adds up quick! They also have a great plan for people who do like to eat healthy foods - they have a list of foods to choose from, and you can eat as much as you want.
Anyway, the system really works - but I will say that I tried losing weight after I was done breastfeeding - and I found that to be nearly impossibe for me. I felt like I was starving myself!
People say you'll lose weight by breastfeeding ----
NOPE! Breastfeeding alone is not going to make you lose weight. It's the calorie intake that does it. The truth is that you need to eat more food (calories) while you are breastfeeding, but you also need to be aware of how much you can eat to feed your baby and yourself and still lose weight!
Weight Watchers is very simple - if you really want to lose weight, give it a try!!
I know for sure after my next baby - I will go straight to Weight Watchers and lose all the weight while I'm breastfeeding - and get it done quick!!!
Let me know how it goes! GOOD LUCK!!!!!

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A.

answers from Omaha on

Hi K.! I see that you have received some GREAT advice. The only thing that I wanted to input was that I read somewhere that if you loose weight too fast, your muscles actually release a toxin that gets into your blood stream AND your breast milk. So just keep this in mind when you are trying to loose weight. If you begin a program, that is great, just be careful too!!
Best of luck!

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V.K.

answers from Las Vegas on

It is my understanding that the weight is associated with breastfeeding. Your body has to stay nurished to feed the both of u. Ask ur Dr., but i believe 6-8 months of age is a good time to start using a sippy cup, and by now ur baby should be eating baby food. So, until u stop or reduce breastfeeding you'll have a difficult time losing weight. Have u tried pumping ur milk or start supplimenting ur mild with a formula the DR. may reccommend. Also try eating small amounts 6 times a day. I here is the url for a website where u can find answers from Doctors and nutritionists; WebMD.com and Prevention.com. The weight will come off it will just take time..hOpe this helps and good luck!

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C.R.

answers from Portland on

I went through this too!!! I actually went threw some depression issues and was back up to my weight at giving birth! One thing that helped me (I finally about 10 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight and feel fantastic!) was counting calories for about a week or so. Not only did I see how many empty calories I was ingesting, but I was forced to take a good look at what I was REALLY eating. The occasional soda has 160 calories!!! My glass of wine at night, that handful of chips....I didn't cut any of these out entirely. I just became more conscious.
Then other big tip is eating "negative" calorie foods-just google it and you will see. For example: a stalk of celery is 15 calories, but takes 150 ti digest, so you loose weight eating it!!!!!!!!!!!! Good Luck, and remember-it took nine months to gain the weight, so give yourself AT LEAST that much to loose it!

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V.Y.

answers from Eugene on

K., you don't say how overweight you are but during the nursing phase women are usually rounder and softer. Motherly. If you eat sensibly, drink a lot of water and stay active you will lose what you need to. But the rest won't come off until you are done nursing. The benefit to your baby is worth being overweight for a fraction of your life. If you dieted it wouldn't be good for you or your milk supply. It could be that if you weren't nursing you wouldn't become all svelt anyway. You're young you have time and you are busy doing a very wonderful important thing for your child. Vicky

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K.

answers from Anchorage on

yes yes yes yes yes... I didn't lose hardly anything! I hated women that it just fell off of LOL.

I did have great success with Weight Watchers while nursing though. It was slow (2 pounds a week or so) but that is the best way when you are nursing anyway. You drop anymore than that and your body is dumping toxins.... and when you are breastfeeding.. those toxins dump into the milk... so slow is the best route while nursing.

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A.N.

answers from Boise on

I didn't loose anything untill after I stopped. The trick is to eat less callories than you burn. I counted my calories and most weight fast. It is hard to stick with it sometimes.

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H.B.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi K.,

Congradulations on giving your baby the best thing possible for a good start in life. I'm sure you know tat you have made it thru the most difficult part of BF. You have so much to be proud of. Real quick, I am a board certified lactation consultant and I work for the WIC program. I know it says BF. and you will lose your weight quicker than if you don't BF. Some things to keep in mind. To maintain a good milk supply , you need to drink alot. One question that I have for you is.....what are you drinking? Water is the best source of hydration and contains no calories. I know one thing that I made the mistake with when I was Bf was mistaking my thirst que for hunger. Instead of consuming enough liquid I would increase my calories because I always felt hungry. I was actually thirsty and didn't recognize it as thirst.
In reality, Bf mothers are recommended to eat 300 extra calories a day. It doesn't take much. I would say it is fine to restrict your calories as long as you are trying to follow a well balanced diet. Try to limit juice intake to 8 oz. day, limit diet coke, cranberry juice, coffe and tea to 2 a day. These things that I mentioned to limit are diuretics and bleed your body of hydration. It is ok to consume them but we want to limit the quantities to reduce the risk of low milk supply. If you ever noticed after drinking a coffee or ect. that you have to pee very soon after consuming? Thats the effect those products have on the body. Also remember that liquids have alot of calories. One can of soda has over 500 calories. A 8 oz. juice contains over 100 calories. Most of us adults in America have become accustomed to much bigger serving sizes. So if your drink cup is 16 oz. or larger, you may be conserving calories with what you eat but forgot about the liquids. If you would like me to look at your diet in detail, then I ask you to write down 48 hrs worth of food consumption and liquids along with portion sizes and what time they are eaten. I can look at this detailed description and may be able to offer some suggestions on further calories we could
reduce. Also remember, as for exercise.... Our bodies get used to what we do on a daily basis. We may need to change your exercise routine to include some cardiovascular exercises vs. walking and running after the children. What kind of exercises do you do on a daily basis and for how long? This info will also help to outline a exercise routine just for your needs. Last but not least, remember it took nine months to gain the weight, and that doesn't include any unlost weight from other preganancies. What is your weight now and height? This way I can plot you and find out what the ideal weight for your height group is? If you would like further help just email me personally. I will see what I can answer for you. ____@____.com
Good luck and congradulations again. Its amazing what we are willing to put up with for our children.
H. B.

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R.

answers from Eugene on

What does giving up breastfeeding have to do with losing weight? You'll just be burning 500 fewer calories everyday. That doesn't make sense. Keep breastfeeding for your's and your child's health. Review what you're eating and if you're eating more to make up for breastfeeding then stop. As long as you're eating nutritiously and above 1,500 calories everyday your breastmilk supply should be fine. A healthy 2,000-2,200 calorie diet with an hour worth of muscle toning and aerobic workouts should do it. Your body holds onto extra fat around the midsection (belly, butt, thighs)during pregnancy as a way of safe guarding your milk supply, and is usually burned off by the first year post-baby (breastfeeding or not, longer if not). That is as long as you're active (as humans have been since the beginning) and are eating HEALTHY, meaning no high carb/sugar refined processed foods. Tons of water can also help, 3 quarts a day minimum. Best wishes for your health...now to follow my own advice and lose this belly, hehe

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J.W.

answers from Omaha on

Hi K., I breastfed both of my girls until age one. With the first one I didn't really lose any weight other than the basic baby weight I gained. With my second daughter I joined weight watchers when she was 3 months old. I was able to lose my 30lbs of baby weight plus another 17lbs. I have another 20 to go but I am feeling really good at the size and weight I am at right now so I have been less motivated. With Weight Watchers they have a special plan for breastfeeding moms. Basically you get 10 extra points a day and they want you to have an extra dairy product. It worked for me. Don't give up breastfeeding though. That most likely isn't the reason you aren't losing weight. You need 500 extra calories a day while breastfeeding, actually 200 more than you need while pregnant. Wild huh! So you are burning more now than before. For me doing WW in conjunction with breastfeeding gave me a good start to the weight loss I needed. I hope this was helpful to you. Feel free to email me at ____@____.com if you would like.
-J.

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B.C.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I experienced the same problem. I breatfed for about a year, and it wasnt until I stopped that the weight finally started to come off. Its almost as if your body is holding onto the weight to insure that the baby will get all it needs from you! I think that breastfeeding is such a wonderful thing, and cheaper! I wouldn't stop because you feel that your body is being affected. I would stick it out - it will come off soon enough! Good luck!

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S.C.

answers from Houston on

Trust me, I know I was there with my 1st son. Just keep on breastfeeding, I didn't stop dropping pounds quickly until after he was 6 months, but I also didn't give him a ton of baby food, he breastfed a lot. Just be careful with the dieting so your milk supply doesn't slow down.
S.

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N.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Stick with the breastfeeding. The same happened with me and other women I know. Some women I know have actually gained weight while breastfeeding. Have you contacted any breast feeding support groups? La Leche League might be an option. Or, I'm part of a 12-Step Fellowship for people who are food addicts/compulsive overeaters, Overeaters Anonymous. Their website is www.oa.org. Email me if you want to talk or more information about OA (____@____.com).

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B.T.

answers from Omaha on

K.,

I know how you feel. With my 2-year-old son, I lost weight while nursing (but gained it back when I stopped). Now, my daughter is 3 months old, and I am breastfeeding again. I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight (which is considered obese for my height - 184 at 5'4") right away. Since then, I have put 10 pounds back on. I feel hungry and thirsty all the time. I noticed several people mentioned Weight Watchers so I am exploring their website.

I wish you the best and will pass on the advice my mother gave me. Eat healthy and be active, but don't worry about losing your weight until you are done nursing (which should be atleast one year). Breastfeeding is one of the best gifts we can give our babies, and our children are only young once. Enjoy them.

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