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Losing Babyweight While Nursing

by Katie Moore
(Fowlerville, MI)

I had a baby 5 months ago, and am breastfeeding. I have lost 40 pounds simply by eating right and making sure to be active throughout the day.

For the first few months, the weight seemed to just melt off on its own. I seem to have stopped LOSING weight, however, and would like to lose the last 10 to 12 pounds of unwanted weight.

I have heard that too much exercise will build up lactic acid in breast milk, and I cannot cut out any calories from my diet without hurting my supply.

What kind of exercises can I do that will not result in bitter milk?

Comments for Losing Babyweight While Nursing

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A doctor's advice for breastfeeding
by: Danuta Jackson, M.D.


I can only give you some general advice without knowing more details, but...

If moms want to lose weight while they are breastfeeding they should only take in about 500 calories more than they did before they got pregnant. That will give them plenty of calories so their baby doesn't go hungry.

Babies double their birth weight by about 4 months. So if your baby was 7 pounds at birth (about 3.5 kg) then she would be about 14 pounds (7 kg) now.

Babies need about 115 calories/kg each day at birth, and it goes down gradually to about 95 calories/kg each day at around 12 months.

So a newborn baby needs about 400 calories per day. And a 5 month old would need about 700 calories per day.

Are you supplementing your baby's diet with formula or solid food? If so, then you subtract that from the 700 calories that your baby needs.

I have a lot of women that breastfeed in my practice. They don't into trouble with decreased milk supply when they exercise unless they have excessive calorie restriction and excessive weight loss. A safe rate of weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week.

The main problem they run into that affects the milk supply is sleep deprivation. They just don't get enough sleep. And they have too much stress.

As far as exercise causing the milk to taste bitter, moderate exercise shouldn't be a problem. With more intense exercise there may be some lactic acid that would affect the taste, but this should disappear in about 90 minutes.

I advise to exercise after nursing rather than before. Use a mix of cardio to keep your heart strong and strength training to keep your bones strong. Do this and you should be fine, and so should your baby.

Exercise and Milk
by: Anonymous

First of all, congratulations on choosing to breastfeed. The weight loss is definitely a bonus. I was able to lose a lot of my baby weight, too.

I was worried about the lactic acid and my daughter refusing the milk, too. I did some research and I found that most doctors will say that unless you are doing really exhaustive workouts, that the lactic acid will not negatively affect the taste of your milk.

Some things that I found out though,through my own experience, is that it might make a difference comfortwise if you nursed before you exercise. Having full breasts and exercising can be painful.

Also, sometimes babies can be turned off by the salty taste of the sweat on your skin if you don't shower before you try to nurse again.

The plateau is frustrating, but don't give up!

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