Losing Weight While Breastfeeding


Why Can’t I Lose Weight During Breastfeeding?

There’s this belief that all the extra fat and weight gained during pregnancy gets lost during breastfeeding. People encourage nursing mothers to breastfeed their babies actively to lose weight. While I am not disputing this belief, it doesn’t always work this way. Yes! The body tends to use more calories while breastfeeding due to the extra mouth getting fed, but sorry to burst the bubble. There is no guarantee you’d lose weight. The question is why?.


Below are three reasons you can’t lose weight while breastfeeding.

1. Hormones. 

It is no news women experience raging hormones, especially during pregnancy and after childbirth. Prolactin is one of such hormones. During breastfeeding, the body produces ten times more prolactin. After all, it is the chief agent in the production of milk. Apart from prolactin being responsible for the increase in appetite, it also suppresses another hormone called adiponectin- A hormone that breaks down fat and hastens metabolism. This function prevents the body from losing weight it would have otherwise lost.


2. Stress

Let’s be honest there’s no escaping from stress for a nursing mother. Tending to your little one, taking care of yourself, and catching up with life outside parenting can get overwhelming and stressful. Stress releases cortisol (a stress-related hormone), and increased cortisol levels in the body can lead to weight gain.


3. Eating habits.

As a nursing mother, you are eating for two. It is no surprise if you develop a raging appetite and begin to eat a lot. Eating more food, however, means more calories in the body. No way you’d be losing weight in this case.

The funny thing is not eating enough would not help your case either. How? You may ask. One thing about the human body is it works smartly. If it notices a reduction or shortage in its food supply, especially during breastfeeding, it stores up for rainy days!. It has to ensure there’s milk for the newborn to feed. If you try to eat less to lose weight, the body will store more fat. Hence, you can’t lose weight.


In conclusion, different strokes work for different folks!. You should study and follow what works for your body while eating healthy and resting well.

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