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To want to lose weight whilst breastfeeding?

(25 Posts)
Whatsername17 Mon 27-Mar-17 17:02:35

With dd1 I had lactation failure. My milk didnt come in at all which led to supplementation with formula leading to eff after the first two weeks. I gained 2stone 4lb and the weight fell off to the point that I was lighter than before. With dd2, I gained 1st13lb in pregnancy. I managed to establish breastfeeding and 2 weeks post partum I was within 7lb of my pre pregnancy weight. In the early days I made a real effort to eat regularly so that I could establish a good milk supply. Once bf was established in found myself craving biscuits and chocolate. I also feel hungry all of the time. Dd2 is now 9 weeks old and I've gained 7lb! Meaning I now need to lose a stone to get back to where I was before! I'm in a vicious circle really - I daren't risk losing my supply but I'm clearly eating too much. Over the last couple of days I've cut out any crap food and I'm eating healthily at around 1800 calories, never going longer than 2 hours without eating. No diet foods, or lighter options - real nutritious food. I've also started a 20 minutes exercise dvd. And I feel hungry all of the time! My boobs aren't doing the weird tingly let down thing either but I'm not sure that is related as it's been happening for a week and I think dd is having a growth spurt. Rl people tell me not to worry but I am a recovered bulimic. Maintaining a healthy weight is very important to my mental health. Can anyone please share any advice?

Whatsername17 Mon 27-Mar-17 17:56:32


JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 27-Mar-17 18:02:53

I haven't got much advice sorry. If you are a recovering bulimic, have you got someone to talk to like a counsellor or helpline?

If it's any consolation, I think at around 9 weeks I was at my heaviest. Yiur boobs will weigh more and your body won't be fully recovered.

1800 isn't a huge amount of food for someone who is breastfeeding, could you be actually eating too little to lose weight?

One thing that helped me was trying to ditch the car and walking as much as possible. I lost my muffin top and felt fitter too. Would that be worth a try?

Whatsername17 Mon 27-Mar-17 18:08:01

Thanks for the advice. I read that I should eat between 1500 - 1800 when bfing so I'm staying at the top of the range. Where I live makes walking to anywhere difficult and I've tried walking round the village but it depends on dd's mood. The exercise dvd is more doable. I'm not in trouble with my former ED just yet, but I'm starting to feel down about the way I look so I have to be careful and proactive. Maybe it's a bit early and I just need to keep going with eating well.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 27-Mar-17 18:15:27

I'd say that 1800 was at the lower end, not the higher. Have a read of this.

Neverknowing Mon 27-Mar-17 18:15:46

I am exactly the same! The cravings are bloody awful, worse than pregnancy for sure. I feel tired all the time too, what helped for me was not to eat chocolate and sweets for two days and the cravings went away for the most part, eating an apple or drinking a glass of water when you're having a craving helped me too.

Neverknowing Mon 27-Mar-17 18:17:02

I still have more chocolate now than before I was breastfeeding and I'm losing weight because it's only slighly more. Good luck btw!

Purpleraindeer Mon 27-Mar-17 18:22:00

I exercised 5x per week and ate 1200-1500 Cals per day when bf and I had no problems with milk supply. My logic was that in countries with less plentiful food supply than uk mothers feed their babies fine on lower cal intakes so no physical reason I couldn't lose weight and bf at the same time.

user1487070016 Mon 27-Mar-17 18:30:29

Gosh 1800 is very little: you use about 600Kcal a day just breastfeeding if you're doing it exclusively so you'd have to be really light (around 50kgs) to be meeting just your metabolic base rate needs to manage on 1800Kcal. In the earlier days of bf I found that I "needed" to eat over 24 hours rather than just during the day.

Maybe try spacing out your food and make sure you have things ready near where you feed at night (that was they tend to be healthier). I also try to eat before I'm really hungry as I make better choices that way and tend to eat less.

If you do want to lose weight the advice is that it shouldn't be more than 1lb/500g a week if bf in order to maintain milk production. I should also say that I didn't/couldn't lose weight in the first 3 months but have lost 6kg in the last 3 months without really trying.

itsmeyouknow Mon 27-Mar-17 18:31:49

Just one thing to think about - try and lose slowly, as hormones are stored in your fat stores so losing fat very quickly can lead to drops in your mood. X

NerrSnerr Mon 27-Mar-17 18:36:41

I breastfed my daughter for 2 years (after age 1 it was about 2-3 times a day). I found that up until 4-5 months I needed the extra calories as I was so knackered but it settled down and by the time my daughter was 6 Months the milk was firmly established and it didn't make me so hungry and I lost weight. I was still eating about 2000 calories and sometimes more with limited exercise (apart from having to get out of bed 5 times a night and pacing the flood getting her back to sleep). I know others need to eat less but you might not need to.

ImGonnaSingTheDoomSongNow Mon 27-Mar-17 18:37:21

1800 sounds too little calories to be honest but I've never done calorie counting weight loss so can't really give you advice there. I would say however that if you're feeling that hungry it's because you need more food.
Make sure you are drinking plenty of water too as BF is seriously thirsty work.

If you can, try carrying baby in a sling rather than pushing a pram, if you are rural this will mean you can go places inaccessible with a pram and it is excellent excercise carrying a wee one around!
Good luck and look after yourself.

Whatsername17 Mon 27-Mar-17 18:41:53

Thanks that's really helpful to hear of others experience and that link is helpful too. I'm going to keep going with the exercise and try to lose weight slowly. Hopefully the exercise will keep me in a positive frame of mind. I'm definitely cutting out the sweet crap. It makes me feel worse long term.

TeaBelle Mon 27-Mar-17 18:44:49

It's hard to loose that last 'little bit' of weight while bfing, as your body will hold onto just in case, except in dire starvation situations. As such you might loose weight quickly but then maintain. You will loose quickly whenever you choose to atop feeding

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 27-Mar-17 18:45:56

Exercise will definitely help your mood. Don't forget thoughthat you will put on muscle which is heavy so your weight may not go down but you will get healthier. Instead of weighing yourself, could you measure your waist and hips instead?

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 27-Mar-17 18:48:14

Incidentally I am roughly the 50 kilos mentioned above and I needed way more than 1800 when I was bfing, I'm not big on counting calories but I think at 9 weeks with my first I could have been eating twice that which is what made me think you could be eating too little to lose any weight.

bananamonkey Mon 27-Mar-17 19:48:01

DD is 6 months old and just started weaning but not eating enough to drop a feed yet. I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight but still need to lose a stone so am following SW, with all the bfing extras you can have it's a lot of food and I must be easily having >2000 calories. The weight is coming off slowly but surely, about 1-1.5lbs per week which I'm happy with as was also worried about supply. I gave up cake, chocolate and biscuits for lent which has helped massively in helping me stick with it!

I'm also walking a lot, your exercise plan sounds good and I wouldn't worry about counting calories right now, good luck.

Banderchang Mon 27-Mar-17 19:53:15

I found that I retained weight while BF. I fed DS until he was 2 and a half (just a bedtime feed for the last year), and it was only after I finished feeding that I got back to my pre pregnancy weight. He was a terror for only napping in the buggy as well, so I was walking around 10miles a day for his naps in the early days.

janeje Sat 01-Apr-17 13:37:57

You need at least 1200 cals for successful breastfeeding and with this you may stuck with your weight but I had found mummy magic weight loss tea a great support that helped me shedding my pp weight without troubling my supply. This is a preservative-free herbal supplement that is totally harmless.

areyoubeingserviced Sat 01-Apr-17 13:41:22

I gained weight when I was breastfeeding as I was famished.
It's a myth that all women lose weight whilst bf.

MatildaTheCat Sat 01-Apr-17 13:44:10

I came home from hospital at my preprgnancy weight and then promptly gained ten pounds during bf. I do believe your body holds onto the weight as a reserve during lactation. Some lucky people lose weight but ime most don't.

Once I stopped feèding I had no trouble getting back to normal. I say relax and stop counting calories but try to satisfy your cravings with more healthy options.

FlappyRose Sat 01-Apr-17 13:47:04

I also found it impossible to lose weight when breastfeeding. Of course it uses a lot of calories, but I was so hungry I was replacing them and more. I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight when I stopped bf.

SkiBike007 Sat 01-Apr-17 13:50:15

I lost 40lbs over a year whilst breastfeeding, I ate 1600 a day and walked an hour plus 2-3x shreds DVD a week. I didn't start until DD was 3mths old so milk supply well established. She's my second, as on my first the cravings were awful I got stuck in a sugar/carbs loop driven by extreme sleep deprivation from a non-sleeping baby. Second time baby much more settled, drunk a lot of fluids water and decaf Tea. Drink LOTS that's the key keeping hydrated when BF.

outofmydepth45 Sat 01-Apr-17 13:53:31

With breastfeeding I don't feel your body allows you to loose weight until about 6-9 months in (my experience anyway) I found porridge and lost of calcium rich foods stopped/reduced the sugar craving's.

If you can you really shouldn't worry to much about weight at this moment in time your baby is still small and it will come off naturally when you start to wean

FindingNormal Sat 01-Apr-17 14:02:44

I breastfed exclusively until dd was 15 months and didn't start losing weight until weaning meant we dropped a couple of feeds. It did start coming off quite quickly at that point though. I did eat a lot of chocolate in the first months however although not sure if that was because of feeding or sleep deprivation. I walked everyday for miles so didn't find exercise helped. About the time I got back to my pre pregnancy weight.... I got pregnant again!

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