Can I diet while breastfeeding?

Can I diet while breastfeeding?

Dr. Stan (Stan Cohen MD)

Is a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Children’s Center for Digestive Health Care / GI Care for Kids, whose books on nutrition for parents led him to start Nutrition4Kids with his co-founders.

Moms can rejoice, there's no need to diet while breastfeeding! If you are anxious to lose the post-baby weight, breastfeeding is the safest, most natural way to restore your pre-pregnancy weight. Milk production can burn up to 500 – 900 calories every day. That's the same as a 150 pound mom running 5½ miles or jump roping for a full hour . So, if you follow what to eat while breastfeeding, and drink an extra glass or two of milk each day to maintain your calcium supply, you should lose about 1 pound every week.

Important to note: do not try to lose more than one pound a week by limiting calories or over exercising! This can cause harm to the health of  you, your baby, or both. To make sure you stay healthy, have your doctor monitor your weight as well as your vitamin and mineral supplements. To make sure your baby stays healthy,  you should have her or him weighed every 2 weeks. Babies need to gain at least a ½ ounce per day or approximately 1 pound per month

Bottom Line: Milk production burns a lot of calories and you should lose weight easily.  But dieting while breastfeeding can be harmful to you and your baby. Maintaining your normal eating patterns can result in a 1 pound weight loss each week.

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