Breastfeeding and breast pumping provide so many benefits for the mother and the baby. Firstly, you know that the baby will end up gaining the nutrients needed through breastmilk. And even though formula will also meet the infant’s nutritional needs, it can never be natural such as breastmilk. And it is a great thing that formula does exist because not every mom can or wants to breastfeed.
However, breastfeeding and breast pumping can provide the mom with many benefits, and one of those benefits for the mom is that it can help with weight loss. Let’s talk more about how breastfeeding or breast pumping can help with weight loss.
How Does Breastfeeding Or Breast Pumping Help With Weight Loss?
Whenever a mom breastfeeds or breast pumps, she burns anywhere from 500 to 700 calories per day. If you are that mom that expresses milk through feeding and pumping, or if you exclusively pump, you are burning plenty of calories. That is a lot of calories to burn. You burn calories from your body recovering after birth in addition to functioning and living alone.
Not to mention, you will be burning calories from being active by caring for your baby alone. Think about it. When your baby cries, you have to get up and tend to your baby physically, and this happens a lot over the day – and the night during the early months.
Therefore, when you are extremely active this way, you can expect to burn a lot of calories in addition to expressing breastmilk through pumping or feeding. That is why moms need to make sure they take in enough calories to recover after birth and function.
How Many Calories Should Breastfeeding Moms Take In?
The ideal number of calories that moms are exclusively pumping or breastfeeding should take anywhere between 2,000 to 2,700 per day. For moms that are incredibly active and express milk, each day should consume closer to 2,700 calories a day. The moms who are more sedentary and rely on their babies can consume 2,000 calories a day.
However, these moms should not count calories. The best thing to do is to eat a balanced diet and only eat when hungry. And moms that pump or breastfeed will find themselves hungry throughout the day since that burns plenty of calories.
However, it is essential for moms not to lose weight during the first eight weeks after delivery. That is the time when their bodies are healing and producing a healthy milk supply for their infants. After eight weeks pass, moms can work on a diet or weight loss plan, and the best thing they can do is work with a dietician. They must avoid fad diets as they aren’t healthy for the mom and the baby.
It is essential for breastfeeding or breast pumping moms to stay hydrated by drinking water or milk throughout the day. It is also advisable for moms to limit caffeine intake as that can dehydrate them. Limiting high-calorie foods with little nutritional value, such as pastries, candy, or potato chips, is the right thing to do for these moms. That will cause weight gain. When it comes to alcohol, moms should avoid it.
Moms should also add in exercise as the infant matures and can be left alone more often. That is because the mom won’t be tending to the infant as often. Therefore, when these moms can add more physical activity to their day, such as brisk walking, weight loss can help. Moms can consume more calories, as well.
However, these moms should not do any rigorous working out to cause lactic acid to build up in the milk supply. And if breastmilk contains lactic acid, the baby will reject it.
However, if the pumping or breastfeeding mom is not losing weight despite eating healthy meals and exercising, she must see her doctor. There may be an issue with the thyroid, which will need examination.
It is also essential for moms to not replace exercise with pumping milk for too long, either.
How Long Should A Breast Pump Session Last?
The average time that a breast pump session should last for these moms is about 15 to 20 minutes. However, some moms may require to pump for a half-hour, especially within the first six weeks after birth. That is when the milk supply is just coming in. The time to know when to stop pumping is when the milk begins slowing down, and the breasts feel drained.
Therefore, moms should not pump for any longer than they possibly can for the sake of burning calories. If there is not much milk left in the breasts, then the pumping session must end.
Breastfeeding moms reap benefits from breastfeeding their infants‘ as well as pumping their milk. One of the benefits they reap is that they lose weight from expressing milk because it burns plenty of calories. However, breastfeeding moms and moms that exclusively pump should not only rely on that for weight loss.
These moms must also eat healthily, and only when they are hungry, in addition to being moderately physically active. By doing all of those things combined, then moms can lose weight during their postpartum period. It is also advisable that these moms work with a dietician who can properly guide them by choosing the best foods and the best physical activities to do. If weight loss fails to occur despite all of these things combined, the mom must see her doctor.