Healthy Weight Loss Program for Nursing Mothers - Health Education - DesiMD Healthcare - India

Healthy Weight Loss Program for Nursing Mothers

Dr.Neeraj Mehta profile Authored by Dr.Neeraj Mehta on 18 Apr 2016 - 10:38.

post- pregnancy-diet

If your concern post-delivery, is about losing those extra kilos you gained during pregnancy, worry not.  It is every mother's desire to lose weight and get rid of all the baggy materneity clothes. The good news is that the body addresses it (partially), and expects you also to also work towards it to some extent.

Losing baby weight is not a very difficult task, but it requires patience to wait for at least a couple of months, because it takes time for the mother's body to recover from childbirth. Her body needs enough time to establish a healthy milk supply. Breastfeeding the baby, burns 200-500 calories (on an average) per day, above what you need to maintain your pre-pregnancy weight. So, just remember that you are burning extra calories even without a weight loss programme.Research findings say that frequent and longer breastfeeding increases maternal weight loss.

During nursing, mothers can lose weight up to approximately 3 kilograms after the second month without affecting the milk supply or baby's well-being. It is important to take good care of her calorie intake (do not consume less than 1500-1800 cals a day) although it may vary from person to person. Calorie intake should be decreased gradually.

Caveat: Losing baby weight can be a nightmare for some, but it is highly recommended that you do not go for quick fix solutions like liquid diets, low carbohydrate diets, fad diets or weight loss medication.If you stick to such solutions then you might lose weight too quickly but it might not be good for mom's nutrition and health.Excessive dieting too, can lead to reduced generation of breast milk.

Diet recommendations post delivery:

The changes in diet are necessary in order to lose weight. The mother has to keep a check on the fat intake which should be decreased up to 25% but the intake of proteins should be high in order to maintain mass of the muscles. It is recommended that nursing mothers should consume atleast 60 grams protein per day for the first six months.This ‘'after delivery'' time can make you starve and crave for any type of food (breast feeding makes you feel hungry) but instead of two to three meals;you could try 6 smaller meals with snacks in between.You need to check the snacks you eat.

Instead of hitting dominos go for popcorn.Instead of having packaged cereals go for oatmeal.Oatmeal is a great breakfast for a breastfeeding mom who is trying to lose weight.It keeps you full for a long period of time and also keeps the insulin levels stable.Starchy vegetables,such as baked potatoes,can also satisfy your hunger for carbohydrates. Brown and wild rice are good side dishes and snack options too.

Weight loss is different for different mothers

The rate of losing weight is different with different people, so don't get discouraged if you don't lose weight like some celebrity moms. A healthy diet must be maintained because the body draws nutrients from its reserves (which eventually gets finished up) and also because mothers need all the energy,stamina and strength to handle her new-born.

Diet Tips:

A balanced diet which includes starchy foods such as bread and rice, wholegrain varieties (fibre), plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meat, eggs, pulses,fish(at least once a week) and some low fat dairy foods such as yoghurt or a glass of milk is considered best for a nursing mother. Although milk and dairy products are an important source of calcium, be sure that your diet includes calcium from other sources such as broccoli, nuts, spinach and canned salmon. Drinking plenty of water (avoiding caffeinated drinks) is a must as the hormone released during breastfeeding (oxytocin) makes you feel thirsty.

If you feel that you need to lose a lot of weight and more quickly,consulting your medical adviser or a dietician for advice on a balanced weight-reducing-diet is never a bad idea. Be watchful of the snacks you eat and your temptation to buy high sugar or high fat snacks. Use smaller plates for your meal.Choose foods that contain little or no added sugar.

Exercise and fitness:

Along with proper diet, a little bit of exercising is a must. Before you start dieting, take up light exercise. Aerobics and cardio workouts help a lot in losing weight.Brisk walking is also helpful as it helps you reduce some weight you acquired during pregnancy, plus you can use this time to take your child out for some fresh air.Some studies have shown that getting a sound sleep also helps in shedding the weight.


Always remember that you gained weight slowly and you should lose weight slowly. Don't try to do something drastic to lose weight faster. Work on establishing healthy eating and fitness habits that will allow you to maintain a healthy rate of weight loss. You will always be in a better position to look after others if you are looking after yourself. A healthy mother makes a healthy family. 




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