Losing weight while nursing


During the breastfeeding period, additional demands are placed on the mother’s organism, which not only has to recover from the birth, but also has to produce milk. The female body meets these tasks with an increased calorie requirement during the breastfeeding period, which is between 500 – 600 calories more per day. If a woman’s diet is balanced and the calorie requirement is sufficiently guaranteed, weight loss occurs. This means that the female body sets the course for a slow but gentle weight loss. This is a natural process and is harmless.

Are you allowed to lose weight while breastfeeding?

Supporting the weight loss process by means of radical diets, unbalanced nutrition or too early resumption of intensive sports activities shortly after delivery is strongly discouraged. However, further weight loss can be achieved during the breastfeeding period in addition to the natural processes. This should be done slowly and gently and should not cause malnutrition.

To support a change in diet, light sports exercises can be carried out after a sufficiently long recovery phase of at least six to eight weeks after the birth. Recovery gymnastics are particularly recommended. However, natural weight loss through an increased calorie requirement should not be used to further reduce the calorie intake in order to accelerate the weight loss effect.

In addition, the maternal weight should be checked regularly, as too much weight can be lost unintentionally due to the increased calorie requirement if the diet is insufficient. For this reason, a change of diet to wholesome and nutritious food could be sensible. A drastic reduction in maternal food intake can lead to a reduction in milk production and also impair the quality of the milk, as the content of nutrients can be negatively affected.

Furthermore, radical weight loss during breastfeeding can cause pollutants to be released from the mother’s fat deposits and pass into breast milk. In addition, very intensive exercise can put too much strain on the mother’s body, which is strained by childbirth, and the lactate content of the female body can increase and pass into breast milk. This milk then has a different taste and the baby may refuse to drink.

What is the best way to lose weight?

To lose weight during the breastfeeding period, methods that slowly and gently reduce the mother’s weight are suitable and pose no danger to either the mother or the baby. If a change in diet has not already been made during pregnancy, this could be useful now. Vegetables, fruit and wholemeal products should play an important role in this.

At first glance, a full-fledged diet may appear too rich for weight loss plans. However, it is the best basis for optimal breast milk production and can still lead to weight loss due to the increased calorie requirement during the breastfeeding period. In addition, after a sufficiently long period of rest after delivery, usually about six to eight weeks, light sports exercises can be started to support weight loss.

Here, too, a gentle and slow approach has top priority in order to avoid any health risks. This is especially true after a caesarean section, perineal injuries or birth complications. A gentle way to do sports is to do regression gymnastics.

At first glance, this does not seem to be sweaty enough to achieve significant results. However, it is generally not advisable to lose weight too quickly. Recovery exercises are an optimal possibility to prepare the body for the following intensive training units and to minimize the risk of injuries.

However, intensive sport should only be started after weaning in order to avoid excess lactate and acidification of the milk. Low-intensity sports such as swimming should therefore be chosen. Walks at a higher walking pace can be integrated relatively easily into normal everyday life and are another option to boost calorie consumption. The basic principle is to allow the body time and to patiently choose gentle and safe weight loss options. Ambitious and quicker weight loss should only take place after the child has stopped breastfeeding.