Studies say that losing weight while breastfeeding is real, in addition to helping mother and baby bond. Of course, this shouldn’t be the only step you take to lose weight.
Many women worry about losing weight after pregnancy. Getting your figure back could turn into an obsession, so you may be interested to know that breastfeeding can help you do so.
Some women try not to overeat, which can cause nutritional deficiencies in the developing baby. However, being overweight during and after pregnancy is also a result of the hormonal, emotional, and physical changes that naturally occur.
How many pounds is considered overweight?
If you only gained 10 pounds or less, then you don’t need to worry, since your body will get used to the new daily routine. You will probably get your body back within six months after giving birth. However, if you gained more than 10 pounds during pregnancy, you will need to make some changes.
How can I drop those extra pounds?
Getting into an exercise routine will help you burn calories. Eating fewer high-crab foods is another way to slim down. But we have good news: breastfeeding isn’t just good for your baby’s growth but is also an effective way to burn calories.
Breastfeeding takes a lot of energy, around 500 calories a day. As a comparison, jump-roping burns around 510 calories. Of course, with exercise it all depends on how hard you work. However, breastfeeding has nothing to do with working hard, so it’s a win-win situation.
Losing weight while Breastfeeding: True or False?
A study done at the University of Oxford determined that breastfeeding does help women lose weight. It included a survey of over 700,000 women and confirmed that breastfeeding burns 500 calories per day on average.
Researchers also said that breastfeeding helps prevent breast cancer and certain heart problems. It’s important to point out that you should see a nutritionist, because you should give your body all the nutrients it needs even if you want to lose weight.
So, losing weight while breastfeeding is real, but it’s a pretty slow process (2 pounds per 6 months). Therefore, it’s a balanced diet.
- Eat protein like chicken breast, turkey, beef, and chickpeas.
- Increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Limit your intake of pasta, bread, and other foods that are very high in carbs.
- Stay away from processed and sugary food.
How does breastfeeding influence the baby’s development?
The Iberoamerican Society of Scientific Information (La Sociedad Iberoamericana de Información Científica) published the results of years of research in regard to the effects of breastfeeding in a baby’s first six months of life.
They determined that babies who were breastfed their first six months developed better cognitively. Breastfeeding, then, is linked to better intellectual and motor development, as well as language skills and memory.
Breast milk contains bioactive substances like polyunsaturated fats, which the brain needs to develop. Therefore, it’s related to the development of the central nervous system. In addition, it helps protect kids from obesity; there’s a difference between children who were breastfed and those who were fed formula as babies.
When you nurse your baby, the nipple is stimulated and it is associated with the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that produces contractions that help the uterus get back to its pre-pregnancy size and your body to its normal size too.
However, we’re not saying that you can eat all the sweets, fried food, and other calorie-rich foods just because you’re breastfeeding. Do moderate exercise between each feeding. That will help you lose weight, tone up, and improve your circulation, as well as flush extra fluids out of your body.
Lying down, elevate your legs a bit and draw small circles with your toes. Do sets of 10, first the right and then the left. Another variation is to point your toes up and then down. Hold each position for 5 seconds and relax, alternating feet.
It’s also important that you get enough rest and recharge your energy. After giving birth, you will need a lot of it, so ask your doctor about these recommendations.