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Did you know breastfeeding can help you lose post-partum weight? Here’s how

Published on:3 August 2020, 16:38pm IST
Breastfeeding is not only good for your baby but it can also help you lose the pregnancy weight.
Shreya Gupta
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Stress can affect breast milk in multiple ways.Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Are you anxious about losing your pregnancy weight? If yes, then let us tell you: you’re not alone. But you should remember that just like you didn’t gain all those kilos overnight, you cannot lose them overnight too. That said, breastfeeding your baby can help accelerate that process.

Breastfeeding not only gives your baby all the nutrients and nourishment they need, but it can also help you lose pregnancy weight–and there is science behind it. 

Here’s how breastfeeding aids weight loss
When you’re breastfeeding your body uses the fat cells that were stored in your body during pregnancy to produce milk. A lactating mother is advised to take 300 to 500 of extra calories (or 1800 calories in total) to facilitate milk production. And breastfeeding burns about 500-700 calories per day. 

breastfeeding natural contraception
Calories burnt in breastfeeding your infant is huge! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

But this burning of calories depends on various factors like the kind of calories you are consuming and the physical activity that you might be indulging in. You shouldn’t be just relying on breastfeeding to lose weight but should also avoid eating junk food and prefer having a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables along with some light physical activity. And don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated!

In a study published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing, the researchers interviewed 24 women and concluded that some women found breastfeeding helped them lose postpartum weight.

Also, read: Say yes to breastfeeding if you want to avoid these 6 health risks

Let’s look at what other studies has to say
A study published in the journal HHS Public Access conducted research among American women to find the effects of breastfeeding on postpartum weight loss and concluded that exclusive breastfeeding for at least three months does have an effect on postpartum weight loss.

In another study published in the journal of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that breastfeeding was associated with lower postpartum weight retention (PPWR).

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…But keep in mind that
While for many women major weight loss (about six to seven kilos) happens immediately after giving birth, but after that women tend to lose up to a kilo of weight each month, which is considered healthy. And It might take 9 to 12 months to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight

Like we said earlier, you cannot completely rely on breastfeeding for weight loss, making smart choices in your diet and physical health is the key. And while breastfeeding helps many women in losing postpartum weight, many might not see any or little benefits so it completely depends upon your body. So if it does help you in losing weight, well and good but if not–don’t get disappointed!

Shreya Gupta Shreya Gupta

Finding nirvana in good food, Shreya also loves reading books and is a die-hard Potterhead. Confident and motivated she's fun to be with. Plus food. Always.