When you are on a breastfeeding diet, especially when your baby is exclusively breastfeeding, a mother requires an additional 300-600 calories per day to lactate.
Once your baby starts on solids, this additional amount of calories may reduce as they may not be consuming as much milk as before (or in fact they may still be, every baby is different).
The point in this piece to remember is that when you are breastfeeding, every mother and every baby is different.
Some mothers lose their pregnancy weight very quickly while breastfeeding. Other mothers do not.
Some mothers lose the weight once they stop breastfeeding. Others do not.
Some mothers are STARVINGLY HUNGRY while they are breastfeeding. Others are not.
The most important thing to remember is if you are trying to lose weight after you have had your baby, you need to listen to your body and what it is telling you.
If you are hungry, that is ok and very normal. But if you are trying to lose some of your pregnancy weight, you need to choose better options to eat during these times.
As you baby starts eating and drinking well and your energy requirements for lactation decrease, if you continue to consume those additional calories, like any unused energy, a little weight can creep up.
The best thing to do when you are trying to lose some weight while you are breastfeeding is to prepare. Prep, prep, plan and plan.
This isn’t that easy in the first few months but if you stock your fridge with the right foods and cook some snacks the night before, the easy snack can be a healthier one too.
Some top snack ideas while breastfeeding are:
- Wholegrain toast with some banana and peanut butter (peanuts only)
- Homemade wholemeal flour pancakes with some ricotta and blueberries
- Smoked salmon wrapped around some low fat cream cheese (great for omega 3s and baby’s eye and brain development)
- Avocado with lemon and salt
- Yoghurt with berries and linseed, sunflower and almond meal (high in protein and omega 3s)
- Boiled eggs
- Tuna and baby spinach on a wholemeal wrap
- Carrots and hommus
- Homemade vegetable patties
- A Healthy Mummy Smoothie which are safe if you are breastfeeding
If you are aiming to lose weight while breastfeeding, your journey should be slow and gradual. Aim for NO MORE then 0.5-1kg per week.
The reason for this is that not only is slower weight loss less likely to be put back but on, but also when you have a new babe, the focus should be on your baby and your energy levels. You also do not want to jeopardise your milk supply.
When you slow down on breastfeeding or wean your baby please do not stress if you put on a little bit of weight. Stop and take the time to evaluate your diet and see where you could change things. Do a simple diet check by writing what you ate during the day.
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