In this article I am going to share tips to help you lose weight whilst breastfeeding, without dropping your milk supply. Throughout pregnancy, your body changes and you gain weight for a very good reason. It takes 9 months to grow your baby so please be patient and kind to yourself. None of this ‘bounce back’ nonsense.
Seeing the scales showing a much greater number after having your baby may leave you feeling anxious and keen to lose it quickly. I understand this! I have had two of my own and found it particularly hard coming to terms with the changes in my body, especially after having Florence. It is important to understand that slow and steady is the way forward if you want to sustain this weight.
For breast-feeding mummies, you are still nourishing your baby just like in pregnancy, so it is important to eat enough calories. You do have to take into consideration that your body is burning more calories to provide your milk supply. Producing breast milk can burn between 300-500 calories.
So here are some tips to make sure you are doing it the right way:
1. Make sure you eat enough
Work out your maintenance calories using a TDEE calculator. Start on this amount of calories. Normally you would create a deficit and reduce by 300 calories or so. Starting at maintenance calories is a good starting point.
It is key to keep an eye on your milk supply, if it does decrease increase your calories by 100-200 and then watch.If you are not eating enough, you are going to feel lethargic and this is going to result in you missing your workout, not wanting to go out for walks, wanting to sleep all the time, no energy to prepare food. So you can see why you gain weight if you aren’t eating enough as it leads to this kind of behaviour.
2. Drink plenty of water
Remember your body needs plenty of water to produce milk. Very often, mums start their nutrition regime with an exercise programme. Exercise causes your body to sweat. Remember to replace this with extra water. In addition, if you are struggling to stay within your calorie goal, it may be that you are thirsty.
Don’t mistake hunger for thirst. An easy way to remind yourself to drink enough water is to buy yourself a snazzy water bottle, ideally a bottle that can hold 1 litre of water, then aim to fill it up a minimum of 2 times per day, ideally 3 times.
3. Set realistic goals
This cannot be stressed enough! Remember, it took you 9 months to grow your baby so it is going to take time. Don’t get home from hospital and start counting calories, give yourself a break. Focus on rest and nourishing your body with a healthy, balanced diet.
The same goes for exercise – please don’t rush back to old routines. This is so so important. It is really vital you get the basics right; rebuild your core and pelvic floor strength. Rushing back too soon could cause further damage down the line.
It is so important when hiring a coach that you choose someone who has been through your journey. I really do strongly believe that it is important for women to hire a women’s coach, especially if you have had children.
If you are ready to embark on your health and fitness journey after having your baby but unsure of where to start, I am the coach for you. After having two of my own children, I completely understand the daily struggles of a busy mum. I have developed various online coaching programmes to take this into account. Click the chat button to find out more.