One of the many reasons why women choose to breast feed is not just for the good of the baby, but because they want to achieve weight loss now they are no longer pregnant. You can totally understand this as during pregnancy you’ll have gained a fair bit of weight and will want to be toned and feeling as good about yourself as you did before you had your baby.
Breast feeding then becomes the perfect option – not only is your baby super healthy but you will lose weight at the same time. So you will be happier and these happy genes can be passed onto your newborn baby.
My mum said to me during my first pregnancy back in 2001 that she left the hospital after having me in her size 10 jeans and was very proud of that fact and put it down to breast feeding. Though, at the time (and only recently) did she actually tell me that she had a lot of stitches after my birth and was in hospital for 13 days, oh yes and she was also extracting extra for the babies that were on the special care unit.
She had gained 2.5 stone during pregnancy and what she was effectively saying was that if you gain 2.5 stone when you are pregnant after a good two weeks of feeds you’ll be back where you started.
Sounds rather good doesn’t it?
And I am sure you want to know whether it is fact or fiction especially with the amount of women that say they have gained weight through breast feeding (not lost it) and I must admit during my first pregnancy I was a gainer rather than a loser. I would reach for the sugar and really not watch my diet because I believed breast feeding would help me out along the way, without me needing to be careful.
Well this time around, I have found that body wise I have wanted a lot less calories than I did when I was in the last trimester of pregnancy and that instead of gaining weight I am starting to lose it.
Calories Burned Breast Feeding
Though I am sure you want to know how many calories you can burn? On average a new mum that is breast feeding a newborn baby can expect to burn between 350 and 500 calories per day. Then when you also add to this that new mums tend to be more active than non-pregnant ones due to all the new jobs surrounding having a new baby brings, you can expect a good weight loss.
I have found for example that during the last few weeks of pregnancy I was averaging about 2200 calories per day, post pregnancy I am wanting about 1400 a day, then you take off the minimum amount burnt from the breast feeding in reality I am getting through about 1050 calories a day after burning.
This is like being on a 1000 calories a day diet and think of how much weight you would lose by sticking to this amount.
Plus, this is without burning extra calories through exercise that you are now doing or any diet that you are sticking to.
I remember when I was at the gym and in a 45 minute workout I would burn around 400 calories so this is like going to the gym everyday but sitting on your bum watching a movie while doing it!!!!!
The only rule to think of here is that you are not making up for these calories by eating a lot more.
How to avoid breast feeding weight gain
There are of course some people (like me the first time around) that actually gained weight rather than losing it via breast feeding.
To avoid this I suggest is that you eat more often but aim for lower calorie alternatives. My favourite option is porridge as it fills you up and stops you picking. Or alternatively look for some good weight loss hypnosis as this stops you from picking during meals and often that is where the extra calories come from,
No matter what enjoy the weight loss that comes with breast feeding your baby and the bonding process of watching your baby feed. I love breast feeding (even at 3am) and I hope you are enjoying it too!