The Breastfeeding "Diet"

This week’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop topic is Dieting While Breastfeeding

“Breastfeed and lose 500 calories a day!” “Nurse the pounds away!” “All you have to sit there!”

Um, not quite. While I did lose a good amount of weight in the 12 weeks I stayed home with E and nursed exclusively, it all came back when I went back to work. I was no longer nursing on demand all day long – I was pumping instead, which doesn’t remove milk as efficiently as a baby, which means I wasn’t burning calories because my body didn’t have to make as much… yeah. It’s a vicious cycle! The one size smaller work slacks I excitedly bought were becoming difficult to button. I put them in the back of the closet and realized I’d need to work harder to lose weight.

Look at the size of those grapes! Those are some big ass grapes!

Being back at work meant that I was exposed to all kinds of temptations: vending machines with sodas and snacks, the occasional catered lunch, and the dreaded service anniversary celebrations. Those are always filled with cupcakes and I would always get the red velvet. I succumbed to the siren song of junk food and was back at my don’t-want-to-look-at-the-scale pre-pregnancy weight.

I tried to implement changes in my diet, but being one of two working parents of a newborn is exhausting. We would eat out way too often and it hurt our wallets and waistlines more than anything else.

Then our work started offering Weight Watchers meetings at work. I didn’t even have to go anywhere! WW is great. It taught me to change the way I eat. As cliched as this sounds, it’s more than a diet, it is a lifestyle change. I’m able to eat what I want, within moderation. More attention is paid to portion sizes and quantity than anything else. It’s not about denying yourself milk and Oreos the indulgences, but making sure you don’t go crazy.

WW also accounts for nursing mothers; whether you’re nursing exclusively or supplementing with formula or solids, you are allowed extra points per day. Since a breastfeeding mom should have a minimum of 1800 calories, I felt that the WW plan fell within the parameters. I was losing weight safely, in a way that was not detrimental to my milk supply.

Half of losing weight is diet. The other half is exercise. I’ve started my Couch to 5K program and will be signing up for a 5K in September! I’m really excited. I haven’t seen a huge drop in the numbers on the scale since I’ve started, but I can feel the difference in other ways. My energy level is up, I don’t get as tired, and my clothes are fitting a little differently too. If I keep this up, I may be able to pull out those work pants from the back of my closet!

Have you dieted while breastfeeding?


One thought on “The Breastfeeding "Diet"

  1. I tried the whole dieting while pumping with my son but it was so hard. With my daughter, second time around, i find myself sticking to a low carb diet – it's hard but it's easier to stick to fruits, vegies, and healthier carbs like wheat bread of brown rice, etc. It is hard when someone brings in birthday cake to the office but I have myself trail mix and yogurt in my mini fridge (that I use to also put pumped breastmilk) to satisfy any of those sweet cravings!


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