In general, losing weight after stopping breastfeeding should be easier than when you still need to give exclusively breastfeeding to your baby. This is reasonable since in this period, your body is better to respond your weight loss program without needing worry that it can affect the source of nutrient for the baby.
Exclusively breastfeeding is a condition when you only use breastfeeding as the main source of nutrients for your baby. In this period, you should not give any other foods for the baby.
According to AAP (the American Academy of Pediatrics), it should be given at least the first 6 months after birth.
After this period, you can start giving your baby with other foods such as juice, water, or other healthy foods – but you should only use them as complementary option in line with your breastfeeding for at least 1 year after birth.
And about 12 months or more after birth, you can stop breastfeeding. Then you can gradually increase the volume and variety of solid foods – breast milk is now used for an ideal addition to your child’s diet. You are still recommended to breastfeed your child up to 2 years after birth, according to the recommendation by WHO (the World Health Organization).
The answer of this question is still debatable. During breastfeeding, your body needs more calories to be burned to produce milk. It also can release a kind of hormone called oxytocin. This hormone is important to help restore the size of your uterus after pregnancy (another thing that can be helpful to reduce your weight).
But some experts have different theory. Yap, when you burn calories, the fat of your body also will decrease.
But in women with breastfeeding, the body may have a unique ability to protect some amounts of fat for the purpose of producing milk. If breastfeeding does help lose weight, the effect may be not too significant.
Regardless to this issue, breastfeeding should be your top choice after birth. It may not only be effective to restore your ideal weight but also very crucial to provide essential nutrient for the first 6 months growth of your baby after birth. Furthermore, other studies also found that it may help reduce your risk of getting cancer of ovarian.
You should not use breastfeeding itself as part of your weight loss program. If it does help you lose your post-pregnancy weight, this is a bonus in providing essential nutrient to your baby. How about with weight loss diet, when you should start it?
If you to choose breastfeed your baby, you need to completely understand that the quality of milk produced from your body is very closely associated with foods that you eat. In other words, if you skip some healthy foods from your diet due to you take a weight loss diet, this can affect the quality of your milk and eventually also will be bad for the continuously supply of nutrient to your baby.
If your post-pregnancy weight doesn’t come off as fast as you want, take comfort in remembering that you are doing the appropriate step to provide best nutrient for your baby.
As mentioned before, you should eat healthfully foods in a healthy diet and forget about any weight loss idea if you choose to give exclusively breastfeeding. Furthermore, your body needs to get used to the new balance after birth.
So, don’t start your diet too soon – make sure your body is ready for it (about 2 months after birth if you don’t exclusively breastfeed your baby or 6 months of postpartum if you choose to give exclusively breastfeeding).
But if you choose to reduce calorie when you still have exclusively breastfeeding with your baby, make sure you cut the calories carefully and will not affect to the quality and quantity of your milk. And always remember that you should never use the tag of ‘breastfeeding’ to eat whatever you want.
How long it takes to get back the pre-pregnancy weight can vary from woman to woman. But commonly, it can take about 12 to 18 months of postpartum. Ideally, you should lose the weight gradually for about 1-2 pounds /week.
The answer is dependent on how you deal with breastfeeding (during and after it). Breastfeeding itself has not a direct link with weight gain as long as you can you eat well (with a balanced diet – eat what you need in appropriate size). Instead, it may help burn more calories – as noted before. The problem is many times women lose control about ‘what’ & ‘how much’ of foods that they should eat during breastfeeding.
So, will you lose weight faster after stop your breastfeeding? Yes, you will. But again, the answer also varies from woman to woman.
Once you completely stop your breastfeeding (about 12 months after birth), you can more focus on your weight loss program, and skip specific foods high calories that you cannot do during breastfeeding. Your body is also now more strong and ready to take exercise, even for some types of heavy exercise. In other words, there are now more options of weight loss that you can do so thus you should be able to make your excessive fat melt away faster.
How about if you do and don’t breastfeeding – which one that can help you lose your post-pregnancy weight faster?
While some studies found that breastfeeding can help burn more calories, other studies showed that there is no a significant difference when it comes to losing post-pregnancy weight between women who choose to breastfeed their baby and other who don’t.
After completely stop your breastfeeding, there are now lots of options you can explore to help and reach your weight loss goal. These can include eating right (particularly about ‘what & how much’), sleep well, avoid stress, and do appropriate exercise.
Here is a complete guide that you can follow to help restore and get back your pre-pregnancy weight safely and healthfully!