Weight Loss and Breast Feeding

Updated on January 24, 2016
J.T. asks from Glendale, AZ
13 answers

Does breast feeding help drop the baby weight? Or keep the fat stores?

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answers from Pocatello on

For me It totally helps me lose the weight. With both of my pregnancies I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight by 6 months and with my second by the time she was 10 or 11 months old I was 8 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight. I only weigh 107 lbs! I haven't been this thin since high school! So yeah for me it was a great way to drop all that weight.

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answers from Indianapolis on

Generally, breast feeding helps drop the baby weight. Usually, nursing moms are told to consume ~500 extra calories/day to help the body make milk.

Since we're each so different metabolically, the ability to drop the baby weight will be very individual. It took me 10 weeks to fit back into pre-pregnancy clothes after baby #1 (exclusive breast feeding and only 17 lbs gained). It took 2.5 weeks after baby #2 (exclusively breast fed followed by cancer diagnosis which caused the weight loss - 20lbs gained during pregnancy + additional 7).

I'd take the extra few weeks in maternity clothes any day personally.

Good luck if you're trying to make a decision on what route to go. Breastfeeding is generally known to help with weight loss because it consumes so many calories, but you have to eat appropriately to produce the right milk for your child as well.



answers from Springfield on

Mummy magic tea has worked for me..;)



answers from Panama City on

They say it helps lose weight, but I am starting to wonder about that. My first child I switched between breast and bottle (probably mostly bottle becaue I had to go back to work) for the first 3 months, then switched to formula. Most of the 40 lbs I gained dropped off in no time, exept for maybe 5 lbs or so that stuck on for a year. My second is 3 months old and exclusivey breastfed. I weighed myself when she was 8 or 9 weeks old, and I had only lost 15 lbs from when I was 9 months pregnant! I'm thinking, 'The baby was 9, plus the placenta and blood loss, I haven't really lost anything!' Now at 3 months I have lost 20 of the 40 lbs I gained, and I eat healthy and drink lots of water and exercise, but nothing works. I am hoping the rest will be easier to lost once I wean her, but that won't be for a while!



answers from Los Angeles on

For the lucky people it will help you lose but for me (and several of my mama friends) the body holds on to 5-10 lbs until you wean. I literally lost 10 pounds within 2 weeks of weaning my son, and lost the last 5 and 6 pounds within 2 weeks of weaning my two daughters. I know how to eat to lose weight and was trying to lose these last pounds for nearly 2 months. Huge BF advocates would say you're eating too much, you're eating too little, you're not eating enough of this or that... No. It was not that. It was that my body said, I'm going to hang onto this in case I need it. End of story. So you just never know how your body will be, but with me it did not make much of a difference. Really though 5 extra pounds isn't a huge price to pay for the benefits of bfing :)



answers from Stationed Overseas on

Varies person to person. I lost all my pregnancy weight I believe through breastfeeding. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight by 9-10months and continued to BF until 17mo. I am about 5lbs less than I was before I got pregnant. But I think my food choices and walking every day made a difference as well.



answers from Phoenix on

I think it depends on every person. Breast feeding definitely helped me lose the weight with both of my sons, but my body held onto some extra fat until I was finished nursing. Once I weened both of my boys, that extra bit of fat/weight came off with my normal exercise routine.



answers from Fort Wayne on

It's suppose to help you lose the weight. A lot of it really just depends on YOU. If you make healthy food choices and exercise, you're going to lose the weight faster, no matter if you bottle or breast feed. It's incredibly unrealistic to expect to drop all the weight right away. It took 9 months to put it on, it's going to take some time to take it off. I'm still holing on to 20lbs from my first pregnancy, but I know it's my fault. I don't eat like I should or exercise.



answers from New York on

It does help you lose weight, sometimes very quickly. But often you do hold on to a "healthy" weight longer than you would like. I lost all my weight I gained during pregnancy (24 lbs) in 3 months. For the last 2 months there has been no nursing at all except before bed. I am now 5 lbs less than before I got pregnant and everyone is asking me if I lost weight. So if you want to be a "sexy" weight instead of a "healthy" weight, that may not happen until after you are weaned or almost so.



answers from Des Moines on

i think i dropped the weight faster because of breastfeeding but it didnt happen until after i stopped nursing. in the month after i stopped breastfeeding 20lbs just disappeared. i am sure it would have been harder had i not breastfed. but my body defiantly held onto the pounds until my son was done with them )



answers from Miami on

It depends on the person. I know plenty of people who lost weight while breastfeeding. Then there are people who don't and their body hangs onto about 5-10 pounds until they wean. Like me. I was stuck at a certain weight with my daughter. I tried exercising and weight watchers to no avail. When we had weaned to the point that she was barely nursing, I started losing weight. I didn't exercise or change my eating habits. Then I got pregnant with my son (about a week after buying new clothes!). I'm still nursing him at 19 months and still stuck at about the same weight I was after I'd had my daughter. I made some very dedicated efforts towards weight loss and while I got toned up the weight didn't shift much. So I think I'm stuck until we wean which will be pretty soon as I'd like to be finished by the time he's two. Don't let that scare you off breastfeeding though. I do it for the benefits for my son, not for me.



answers from Boise on

Everyone is different, but I lost all my baby weight PLUS 15 pounds while breastfeeding. The only people that I know it didn't work for, had about 5 pounds left hanging on until they weaned. To be honest, I didn't see a difference when they said that they were back to their pre-pregnancy weight, so I'm glad that they didn't wean early just for the scale.

Oh yea, and I had gained 48 pounds with my first pregnancy.



answers from Dallas on

In my experience, I dropped the weight becuase of breastfeeding. I was eating more calories (but making better food choices) and drinking a ton of water. Within 6 weeks, I had lost all the baby weight (23 lbs). My son is now 8 1/2 months old and I have lost another 20 lbs. I am not excercising, I attribute all of my weight loss to breastfeeding. It burns so many calories!!

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