Allaitement, tire-allaitement et perte de poids post-partum : mythe ou réalité ? - Élhée

Breastfeeding, breastfeeding and postpartum weight loss: myth or reality?

Whether it's a question of physiology, diet, energy expenditure or state of mind, pregnancy pounds are easier to lose for breastfeeding mothers. In any case, this is the meaning of the feedback provided by those who have chosen to breastfeed their child. But beyond the myth, can breastfeeding or even breastfeeding really help you lose weight more quickly after giving birth? If yes, how ?


The “true or false” of nutrition during breastfeeding

“You should eat more, eat less, or eat better, drink more water, or avoid certain foods.” In baby, pregnant or breastfeeding trials, there is no shortage of advice and injunctions as to what you should eat or not, and do or not. So much so that it can be complicated to disentangle fact from fiction, advice beliefs and myth from reality.

  • A breastfeeding mother should eat more than before

This is true and false . What is true is that breastfeeding whets the appetite . In fact, to produce breast milk, your body burns several hundred calories every day. However, it is not necessary to really eat more, but rather to eat better .

In reality, the diet of a breastfeeding woman is approximately the same as that of a pregnant woman, minus the restrictions linked to cheese, fish and cold meats: varied, balanced and as natural as possible (exit, therefore processed products). It is the quality of your diet as well as good hydration that determines your milk production.

  • Breastfeeding requires a restrictive diet

It's wrong . Taste of milk, intolerances... Although we know that mothers' diet directly influences the taste and composition of breast milk, a strict diet is not necessary during breastfeeding or breastfeeding.

Your milk can change taste from one feeding to the next and that's great , it's the start of an incredible taste adventure that lasts a lifetime. As for food intolerances, it is never a question of breast milk, but rather of the proteins (eggs, wheat, seafood, meat, etc.) that pass through it. Approximately 0.4 to 0.5% of infants are affected by a reaction, which elimination feeding during breastfeeding does not prevent .

the facts and falsehoods of eating while breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding or breastfeeding can lead to deficiencies

It's wrong . If you maintain a healthy and varied diet, breastfeeding will not cause any deficiency in vitamins or trace elements, not even calcium.

  • Breast milk may be too light or too fatty

It's wrong . Breast milk changes from one feeding to the next and even during feeding. Its composition can also change depending on the volume of milk produced and the mother's diet, but it is always enough to meet the baby's nutritional needs up to 6 months .

  • Certain foods slow down milk production

It's true . They are called anti-galactogens. These include sage, parsley, peppermint and artichoke.

  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of baby obesity

It's true . Doctors generally observe a lower risk of obesity in babies and children who are breastfed or who have been breastfed. The Belgian SPF (federal public service) indicates that this protection could be linked to the protective agents of breast milk, the fact that it contains less protein and feeding on demand .

  • An infant who is breast-feeding should drink additional water

It's wrong . Until the age of 6 months, breast milk is sufficient to cover all of the baby's nutritional needs, including good hydration . When it's hotter in the summer, you just need to breastfeed more often. However, from 6 months, once dietary diversification has begun, babies can drink a little mineral water from a bottle or using a training cup .

  • Breastfed babies suffer from colic more often

It's wrong . Currently, science has not yet been able to explain infant colic . Feeding during breastfeeding, too strong an ejection reflex, changing breasts too quickly during feeding, but also immaturity of the digestive system, crying discharge or growing pains, there are many hypotheses. On the other hand, young parents are the first to notice that all babies are affected , including bottle-fed babies.

This is why, at Élhée, we have chosen an innovation focused on the well-being of infants and babies, with the anti-colic bottle . Made from soft silicone and equipped with a physiological teat, it considerably reduces the risk of colic.

So, does breastfeeding help you lose weight?

eating well while breastfeeding, a set table and a bottle elhee

One thing is certain, to produce breast milk , the body draws on the reserves accumulated during pregnancy . Breastfeeding mothers who maintain a healthy diet in reasonable quantities (without going on a diet) therefore regain their figure a little more quickly after the birth of their child . This is especially true if you practice exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months.

We must still keep in mind that each woman is different, and that other factors, such as metabolism, affect weight loss or not, during breastfeeding. Also, pregnancy pounds don't just set in to annoy new mothers. The mechanism of weight gain is directly (but not exclusively) linked to breastfeeding and the fact that the body anticipates energy expenditure by making reserves . As at almost every stage of pregnancy, hormones also play their role in this development. Kindness is therefore required towards the body which has just recently given life.

Also note that private diets are not recommended as they risk causing fatigue, deficiency and reduced lactation. To lose your pregnancy pounds faster, prefer to return to gentle sport from the second or third month postpartum, after consulting your doctor or midwife.

What about the breast pump?

The principle is the same with the breast pump since the overconsumption of calories comes from the energy demand linked to the production of milk by the female body and not from the way the baby consumes it. Breastfeeding pump also rhymes with easy slimming .

5 tips for gentle and caring postpartum weight loss

  • Eat healthily and in reasonable quantities (like before your pregnancy).
  • Drink plenty of mineral water.
  • Move, walk, climb the stairs, swim... In short, resume gentle physical activity (compatible, if necessary, with pelvic floor rehabilitation exercises).
  • Breastfeed your baby, for his good above all, and for yours (you can also breastfeed).
  • Be patient and kind to your body.
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