post-partum weight loss Tag

mother and baby exercising on a beach

5 tips for losing baby fat in time for summer

Hint: Don’t diet. It won’t help with baby weight.

Let’s start this by saying that you shouldn’t feel compelled to lose one doggone pound if you’re not up for it. You just brought a whole other human being into the world. Don’t feel like you’ve got to impress anybody with a swimmer’s physique this year. However, if your baby weight is making you feel uncomfortable now, the heat of summer definitely won’t make it better. In that case, try these five tips for losing baby weight without losing your mind dieting.

1. Set reasonable expectations and goals for post-partum weight loss.

Start by talking with your doctor about reasonable expectations and goals. Your body is in recovery, so adding the stress of intense dieting and exercise will only slow your recovery. Be compassionate with yourself. Set modest, attainable goals and back it up with a plan that you’re likely to stick to.

2. Breastfeed and/or pump regularly.

If you want to give post-partum weight loss a boost, breastfeed and/or pump. The old saying “I’m eating for two” continues to hold true for as long as you choose to breastfeed your newborn. Your body uses the fat cells stored up during pregnancy as well as caloric intake from your daily meals to produce breastmilk. Studies show that women who breastfeed exclusively for six months lose post-partum weight more quickly. They’re also more likely to attain their original, pre-pregnancy weight than women who don’t breastfeed or who nursed their newborn for fewer than six months.

3. Eat five to six smaller meals with healthy ingredients.

Diets that call for fasting and caloric restrictions often cause your body to convert more energy into fat stores. From your body’s perspective, you must’ve fallen on hard times, so it’s going to try to conserve your energy the best way it knows how. Instead of skipping meals, eat smaller, healthier meals more frequently. This is especially important if you are nursing. The more nutrients and vitamins you consume in your diet, the healthier your newborn will be.

4. Get some light exercise daily.

Spring is in the air, so you’ve got a few good months of perfect walking weather. Put that newborn in a stroller and take them out to see the world. Getting fresh air and light exercise will increase the flow of oxygen through your body and help you digest food more effectively, which helps with weight loss. You’ll also get more of that happy hormone serotonin, which will boost your energy so you can get another walk in later in the day. Little jaunts out into the world are good for you and baby, and a daily walk or two can get you to your weight loss goals one step at a time.

5. Avoid sugars and processed foods.

While skipping meals is a no no for new moms, skipping sugars and processed foods is a big HECK YES. Sugary and processed foods and beverages are full of empty calories, and they wreak havoc on your blood sugar level, which plays a critical role in your body’s fat storage. In addition, the human body is naturally disposed to crave sugars, and sugars trigger hunger, which can create a vicious cycle when you’re trying to lose weight.

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Will pumping help me lose weight?

What is the “ideal” weight gain during pregnancy?

It’s healthy for women to gain weight during their pregnancy. How much weight gain is normal depends on your weight pre-pregnancy. A woman with a BMI of 18.5-24.9, considered by the CDC to be “normal weight,” should gain between 25 and 35 pounds. A woman who was underweight before pregnancy should put on a little more. A woman who is overweight or obese should put on less.

Women who don’t gain enough weight many deliver an undersized baby, which can make breastfeeding more difficult. It may also put the baby at increased risk of illness and developmental delays. Gaining too much weight can lead to a larger baby, which can result in delivery complications and potential childhood obesity.

Where does the extra weight go?

About 7 to 8 pounds of your pregnancy weight gain is actual baby weight. The rest of the weight gain shows up in larger breasts and uterus, placenta and amniotic fluid, increased blood and fluid volumes, and fat stores. These fat stores, which can account for up to 8 pounds of pregnancy weight gain, are critical to breastmilk production.

Nursing and pumping both help to trim the fat

The “extra” fat that your body gains during pregnancy isn’t actually extra at all. Your body is storing up the main ingredient in healthy breastmilk. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that breastfeeding and pumping breastmilk both lead to increased weight loss after delivery. Your body is using up those fat stores to feed baby. Not only are you shedding the fat that becomes the milk, converting that fat into milk burns about 500-700 calories per day.

One study found that weight loss from one to twelve months postpartum was “significantly greater” in breastfeeding than in formula-feeding women. Another study found that breastfeeding or pumping could have long term benefits. Women who breastfed for more than 12 weeks postpartun were on average 7.5 pounds lighter ten years after their pregnancy than those who did not breastfeed.

How often should you pump?

If you’re exclusively pumping, you can expect to pump 8 to 10 times per day to start. Over time, you may be able to pump less frequently. However, more frequent pumping will lead to speedier weight loss.

Continue to eat healthy while pumping and breastfeeding

It’s normal to want to drop those pregnancy pounds, but remember that they’re the building blocks of your baby’s healthy future. Don’t rush weight loss. Allow your body a month or two to heal and to establish your milk supply. Consume at least 1800 calories/day of nutrient-rich foods while you’re producing breastmilk. By pairing a healthy diet with breastfeeding or pumping, healthy weight loss will come naturally.

Choose a comfortable, easy-to-use breast pump

Choosing a pump that fits your lifestyle and your body will make it easier to pump more frequently and over a longer period of time. At Milk N Mamas Baby, we provide moms with a wide selection of the most comfortable, innovative breast pumps and breastfeeding accessories on the market. Our in-house experts can help you identify the pump that meets your needs.

Give us a call or email us today to learn more about our breast pumps and how to get one that is 100% covered by your insurance provider.