One of the first things new mothers think about is losing the baby weight. While joy of holding your newborn is one of the best things in life, many women can’t help but wonder when they will start feeling — and looking — like themselves again. If this describes you, know that you’re not alone. Even if you’re breastfeeding, you can lose weight and get your body back.
Breastfeeding Burns Calories
You read that correctly. Breastfeeding burns calories. A lot of them. It’s commonly believed that breastfeeding can burn up to 400 calories a day, which is the size of modest meal like a hearty sandwich or a bowl of soup. So, while you’re breastfeeding, feel free to eat that extra snack here or there and know that it won’t throw off your weight loss.
In order to lose weight you need to take in less calories than you burn. Normally, this type of balance is achieved by going to the gym. If you don’t increase your food intake while breastfeeding, those special moments with baby add up to a pretty intense gym session. Take advantage of it and enjoy spending time with your baby while knowing that they are helping burn calories.
Another natural way that breastfeeding helps promote weight loss is by encouraging the mother to maintain a healthy diet. Typically, breastfeeding women are conscious of their eating habits and they try to consume healthy foods for the baby. They abstain from alcohol – a huge source of hidden calories – and go light on caffeinated beverages. Another thing breastfeeding moms do is drink a lot of water, which is vital to any weight loss program.
Switch To a Healthy Lifestyle
If your diet isn’t that healthy to begin with, it’s important to switch to a lifestyle that is beneficial to both you and baby. Adding in more fresh vegetables and lean meats will ensure that the baby will get the nutrients it needs and you’ll also get the nutrients that you need.
Finally, breastfeeding encourages you to be active. It’s a lot of work to take every single feeding throughout the night and to constantly get up with a newborn baby. That constant up and down routine is actually great exercise. Then, you get even more exercise holding the baby to nurse and supporting its weight.
Light Exercise Routine
If your doctor says it’s okay, you can also begin a light exercise routine. Walking with your newborn or just doing exercises at home can help tone muscles for better definition.
The combination of increased exercise and a healthy diet are terrific, but when you add in a calorie-burning milk machine to the mix you have a whole other ballgame. Breastfeeding is not only healthy for the baby, it’s also great for the mother. The psychological and physical benefits of breastfeeding are numerous, especially for new moms hoping to lose weight.