3 Weight Loss Concerns While Breastfeeding

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Many women assume that if they decide to breastfeed their baby, their pregnancy weight will easily melt off with little extra effort. This assumption has merit, because producing milk for your baby requires extra calories, which helps some women lose weight quickly. However, some women do not lose weight while breastfeeding, and some even gain weight. Below are some reasons you may struggle to lose weight while breastfeeding. 

You Take In Extra Calories To Keep Up Your Milk Supply 

Some women are able to maintain a healthy milk supply and eat however much or little they want. Their bodies simply produce milk easily. Other women have to eat a larger amount of calories from high-fat foods in order to produce a fatty milk that will help their baby grow. If you are in the first group, you will likely lose weight while you breastfeed. But if you are in the second group and need to maintain a diet with more calories, then you will likely not lose weight and may gain weight. 

Your Hormones Slow Your Metabolism 

While you are breastfeeding, your hormone levels change to allow milk production and let-down. Prolactin, the hormone that allows you to produce milk, slows your ability to burn fat. This means that while you are breastfeeding, you will have to work harder to burn off the calories that you consume. Once you stop breastfeeding, your hormone levels should return to normal. This is why many women who practice extended breastfeeding notice rapid weight loss when they stop breast feeding. 

You Are Unable to Safely Take Weight Loss Supplements

Sometimes you need a little bit of help to lose the weight you want to. But most herbal supplements meant to support weight loss have not been tested on breastfeeding women, making them a risky option. This means that you may have to wait until you stop breastfeeding in order to take weight loss supplements. 

While you should not stop breastfeeding just because you want to lose weight, it can be helpful to recognize the ways that breastfeeding may be preventing you from reaching your weight loss goals. This will help you find safe, healthy ways to lose weight while breastfeeding. For example, you can change your diet with the help of an experienced lactation consultant or dietitian, or you can increase the amount of physical activity you engage in while you are still breastfeeding. You may also work with weight loss experts who specialize in helping breastfeeding women. For help with losing weight after you stop breastfeeding, contact a company like InShapeMD San Angelo.