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Now that your bundle of joy has arrived, I am sure you are eager to lose all that baby weight. Your initial loss of weight can be exciting, but what about those last 5, 10 or 20 pounds that weren’t exactly baby weight that just happened to creep up on you doing those last few months of pregnancy? It is good to be eager to get your pre-baby body back but losing weight while breastfeeding is a whole different ballgame.
While breastfeeding my son, I found that if I cut too many calories my supply would drop and I always felt that I was in a constant tug of war between my weight and breast milk supply. Eventually after trying a few different things, I did figure it out and was able to lose weight while still keeping my breast milk supply. I thought I would offer some helpful tips to you that helped me!
Focus on Fitness, Not the Scale: Instead of counting calories, try to focus on getting back in shape and being healthy. Limiting too many calories can affect milk supply for some, but exercise is an excellent choice. Not only will it help you tone muscle so you can more easily burn fat it will also boost your mood. Once your doctor gives you the ok to exercise again, try to squeeze in exercise when you can.
Take it Slow: Getting back into shape can be hard after pregnancy and child birth. Be sure to ease back into your exercise routine. You likely won’t be able to do as much as you did before pregnancy, but with consistency and hard work, you can get back to your fitness levels in no time.
Load up on Protein and Fiber: Protein and Fiber are excellent choices to help keep you feeling full longer. When breastfeeding, your baby demands a lot of calories and nutrition, which makes some moms feel hungry all the time. Try to load up on protein and fiber rich foods to help prevent overeating.
Work on Your Core: Your core really takes a beating during pregnancy; your abs get stretched out to accommodate your baby and if you have a c-section, your abdominal muscles are cut during delivery, which makes recovery even harder. It is important to build back up strong core muscles (once your dr. says it’s ok), so you can get back in shape. With a weak core, I found everything to be harder; from running to weightlifting to even picking up my baby, so I found it important to make working on my core a priority.
Don’t Buy Junk Food: If you don’t buy junk food, you can’t eat it. While at the supermarket, focus on a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein to help keep you feeling good and to help you shed those last few pounds.
Fad Diets or Diet Pills are NOT Good for You or Your Baby: This is not the time to try fad diets or diet pills (if there ever is a good time for that). Diet pills and fad diets can be very dangerous for both you and your baby, so DON’T DO IT!
Make Small Changes: It is amazing what small changes can do for your health. Just making small changes like swapping mustard for mayonnaise or cutting out soda can reap major benefits to your health and whittle your waistline!
Don’t Go Hungry: This is not the time to starve yourself, not only for your baby but also for yourself. You will need a sufficient amount of calories to keep up with your baby and provide enough milk and nutrition to her. Try to listen to your body; if you find you are always starving, you should be eating a little more.
Drink Plenty of Water: Drink plenty of water helps boost your milk supply and helps keep you feeling full longer. Many times what we think are hunger triggers are actually triggers for thirst. Try to drink at least 8-10 glasses a day. A helpful tip is to drink a glass of water every time you nurse to ensure you drink enough water each day.
Be Patient and Stay Positive: Don’t expect to get your pre-baby body back overnight. It took 9 months to gain the baby weight and unless you have ridiculously good genes, it will most likely take 9 months to lose all of it and feel like your old self again. Be patient with yourself and celebrate all of your small victories towards your fitness goals.
*This advice should not replace the advice of your doctor.