Your Questions About Weight Loss Plan For Breastfeeding Mothers

by Maricela on January 8, 2013

Sandra asks…

can i drink a lil bit of slimfast if im breastfeeding?

i dont breastfeed that that much anymore but i just want to know if 2 cups a week will be fine?

Maricela answers:

Yes you can. Slimfast isn’t dangerous to the baby… The only real concern is losing weight too fast which can cause a drop in your milk supply.

I have actually used Slimfast for weight loss while breastfeeding. If you follow the recommeded diet on their website (which does include an option for nursing mothers) and keep an eye on your milk supply… It should be fine.

ETA: When you register on the site it asks “Are you breastfeeding” … If you answer yes it puts extra calories on your diet plan.

Chris asks…

can i take i pill while am breast feeding?

is i pill a mini pill i mean with the progestin that will not affect lactation?

Maricela answers:

The decision about birth control is very personal. When deciding, you may think about your past experience with different types of birth control. You may also consider your future plans for children, religious beliefs, and whether or not you are solely breastfeeding. By learning about birth control, you can choose methods that work best for you and your family at each stage of your childbearing years.

Barrier Method:

Barrier methods prevent pregnancy by blocking sperm from entering the uterus. They are widely used by nursing mothers because there is no worry about medications that could pass into the breastmilk or affect milk supply. Male and female condoms, contraceptive sponges and contraceptive gels are sold over-the-counter. The diaphragm is a cap that fits over the cervix. A doctor or midwife fits it to the cervix at least six weeks after the baby is born. The diaphragm must be refitted after each pregnancy and after any weight loss or gain of more than 15 pounds. Barrier methods are not as reliable in preventing pregnancy compared to birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives.

Non-Hormonal Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)

The copper IUD is a reliable, long-term, reversible method of birth control. Unlike hormone containing IUDs, the copper IUD has no effect on breastfeeding (1). It releases copper, causing the lining of the uterus to shed more often than normal. This blocks the implantation of fertilized eggs. In a few women, the copper IUD may cause heavy vaginal bleeding and anemia (low blood count). Compared to non-nursing mothers, breastfeeding mothers experience less pain during insertion of the copper IUD and have lower removal rates due to bleeding or pain (2).

Progestin-Only Contraceptives:

The mini-pill (Micronor, NOR-QD, Ovrette, Microval), the Depo Provera shot and some IUDs (Mirena, Progestasert) contain only the hormone progesterone. These are good choices for breastfeeding mothers who wish to use birth control medication.

Each Depo-Provera shot provides contraception for up to 12 weeks and is highly effective in preventing pregnancy. It may cause spotting between periods or other undesired side effects in some women.

The progestin-containing intrauterine device (IUD) works by keeping eggs from implanting in the lining of the uterus. Unlike other progestin-only contraceptives, the IUD delivers its hormone directly to the uterine lining. As a result, it is very effective and has fewer side effects. It should be placed at least four to six weeks after the baby is born.

Progestin-only pills have a higher rate of failure than combination pills. They must be taken at the same time each day to work. Even taking the mini-pill a few hours late could result in pregnancy. Because of this, some mothers use a barrier method as extra protection while taking the mini-pill. If the mini-pill is used, the mother should contact her doctor or midwife when the baby is weaned. At that time it may be best to switch to combination birth control pills.

Goodluck in what BC option you choose is right for you.

Nancy asks…

which formula milk is good for newborn?

im 37+ 4 weeks preggo and im planning to bottle feed i want to know which formula milk is good for newborn

Maricela answers:

Babies can often have a difficult time with formula in the beginning, and it is best for you and baby if you breastfeed for at least the first couple of weeks. Babies need the colostrum (or premilk) from their mother to build antibodies and immunities, and this is something that you will not find in manufactured formula. The AAP recommends that you breastfeed for the fist 6 months of babies life, and the WHO recommends that you offer breast milk to children for the first 2.5 years. If you cannot breastfeed exclusively for 6 months, it is still beneficial to breastfeed for the first 2-4 weeks for baby’s health. If you’re having trouble, you can always see a certified lactation consultant or talk with your midwife/OB.

Here is some information directly from the AAP:

“Most health professionals are familiar with the benefits of breastfeeding. The AAP continues to support the unequivocal evidence that breastfeeding protects against a variety of diseases and conditions in the infant such as:

* bacterial meningitis
* bacteremia
* diarrhea
* respiratory tract infection
* necrotizing enterocolitis
* otitis media
* urinary tract infection
* late-onset sepsis in preterm infants
* type 1 and type 2 diabetes
* lymphoma, leukemia, and Hodgkins disease
* childhood overweight and obesity

There are also maternal health benefits to breastfeeding such as:

* decreased postpartum bleeding and more rapid uterine involution
* decreased menstrual blood loss and increased child spacing (lactational amenorrhea)
* earlier return to prepregnancy weight
* decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers

Breastfeeding is also a great benefit to the environment and society. Breastfeeding families are sick less often and the parents miss less work. It does not require the use of energy for manufacturing or create waste or air pollution. There is no risk of contamination and it is always at the right temperature and ready to feed. “

William asks…

breastfeeding mom need to lose weight?

I need to lose weight. I’m 5’4″ and weight 180lbs. I’m feeling a lot of stuff like back pain and chest pain. I just had my baby 3 mos ago and I’m brreastfeeding. We have a family history of diabetes, hypertension and some heart problem too. I’m only in my 20’s and I’ve been feeling a lot of stuff. What should I do? Should I start on exercising? Howboutmy diet?

Maricela answers:

You are exclusively breastfeeding, or breastfeeding with formula? Continue breastfeeding for as long as your child tolerates it (obviously introduce foods at the appropriate time). That alone burns 300-400 calories a day, sometimes even more.

Unless there is a medical reason why you have not been told to exercise, there is no downside to exercising and it will help you manage your weight in the long term. In the short term, cutting your calorie intake by around ~500 calories from your needs will result in a loss of about 1 lb/week. Since you are breastfeeding, I wouldn’t recommend cutting calories at this stage.

Use the following equation:
Female: BMR = 10×weight + 6.25×height – 5×age – 161
Weight is measured in KG (2.2 lb = 1 kg) and height in CM (1 inch = 2.54 cm)
Multiply your answer by 1.2 to get your estimated calorie needs for the day. Subtract from there and you’re set.

As far as eating is concerned, be sure your diet is balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, etc. – an all-around “healthy” diet. Consider using MyPyramid for Moms as a good starting point.


Finally, consider a vitamin D supplement – many mothers are deficient and it doesn’t appear at high concentrations in milk, so supplementation is suggested for both children and mothers.


For more nitty-gritty I would speak to your doctor for a referral to a dietitian specializing in women/infants. If you qualify for WIC that would be another way to get good information.

Jenny asks…



Maricela answers:

Weight Loss While Breast-Feeding
Moderate Weight Loss OK for Overweight Moms Who Breast Feed

Overweight mothers who breast feed their infants may lose weight through a sensible diet and exercise program – without fear of harming their infants – a study by NICHD-funded researchers has found.

“Being overweight may cause serious health problems,” said NICHD Director Duane Alexander, M.D. “This study shows that it’s safe for overweight women to begin a sensible weight loss program without posing a risk to their infants.”

Dr. Lovelady explained that weight gained during pregnancy might contribute to obesity later in life. Losing this extra weight soon after pregnancy may help many women to avoid later obesity and its long-term health effects. An Institute of Medicine report earlier had concluded that overweight breast-feeding women could probably lose about 2 kg (4.4 pounds) per month without affecting their production of milk. However, Dr. Lovelady pointed out, no studies existed to prove whether this assumption was true.

Dr. Lovelady stressed that a woman who is breast feeding should first consult her physician and nutritionist before undertaking any weight loss program. She added that breast-feeding women should not attempt to lose weight if they are only a few pounds overweight.

“Breast-feeding mothers who are only 5 pounds overweight shouldn’t try to lose weight,” she said. Unless a woman has sufficient fat reserves, dieting may hinder milk production and also cause the woman to feel fatigued.

“In conclusion,” the authors wrote, “a program of moderate exercise and energy restriction was successful in inducing weight loss in overweight, lactating mothers without harming the growth of their infants in the early postpartum period.”

The study builds upon the findings of an earlier study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, on February 17, 1994. This study found that breast-feeding mothers could not lose weight if they began an exercise program without also cutting the amount of calories they consumed.

“You’ve got to have the caloric restriction if you’re going to see weight loss,” Dr. Lovelady said

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