One of the biggest things on most new mum’s minds after settling down with baby is how they can get the baby weight off and get back into their regular wardrobe. For a breastfeeding mum, the struggle comes in knowing if and how you can diet.

The main concern is getting enough nutrients and calories to take care of both yourself and your baby.

The good news is that mums can definitely go on a diet while breastfeeding, but you need to take some things into consideration.  When you are eating for two, you get to stop counting the calories. If you’re worried about eating too much, you’re not focusing on nutrition. Instead of worrying about how many calories you just ate for lunch, focus on eating when you feel hungry. Your body knows much better than your brain or any calorie counting chart how much food and nutrients are needed. When you snack or eat meals, fill them wholesome foods.

Empty calories will only leave you feeling hungry and won’t help you lose weight.

Eat wholesome foods – A healthy diet for breastfeeding mothers is simple wholesome foods in healthy portions. Eat raw and whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Also be sure to include whole grains and dairy, if able. You may find that some foods to avoid when breastfeeding include gluten, dairy, raw and spicy foods.

Your baby’s stomach is sensitive so some items, so introduce common allergic foods one at a time. Another item you’ll want a lot of is protein. Baby is growing rapidly and will be putting on fat and growing muscles, so your body will need to stay extra strong. Plus, the extra protein, especially in lean meats like turkey or chicken, will go towards strengthening the muscles that haven’t been used as much for the past few months.

Don’t rush it – It took you 9 months to put on the baby weight, it may take you 9 months to lose it. Harmful dieting and exercising, while it make get you back to your pre-baby body quickly, puts undue stress on your bones and muscles. Let your body shed the weight naturally. Once you feel ready to incorporate exercise, introduce simple tasks like walking, light jogging, or body weight movements at first.

Breastfeed whenever necessary – Don’t stress over a rigid schedule, denying a hungry baby food because it’s too early or not the right time. Some research shows that mothers who breastfeed as much as possible are better able to drop the baby weight. Your body works very hard to produce the healthy milk your baby needs and this means extra calories burned just by sitting down and enjoying your little one. Having a healthy snack mix beside your nursing station may help curb cravings as well.

Enjoy the process – Fretting over getting the weight off as soon as possible is bound to cause stress, which not only makes you more liable to eat unhealthily, but may impact your milk production. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the time you get to spend breastfeeding your new baby.

The weight will not come off overnight, as much as you may wish it would, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus each day on healthy eating and habits. Over time, you’ll be back in your regular clothes and looking great.

Do you have anything else to add to the above? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • yeah try to snack healthy and drink plenty of water


  • I think healthy eating is the way to go.


  • I guess the answer is yes but I wouldn’t call it a diet – I’d call it eating healthily.


  • I lost all my extra baby weight with breast feeding and of course having a fresh fruit & veg diet along with all natural foods, no processed ones. But no diets either and I found that walking my babies in their pram to settle them gave me all the exercise I needed to stay trim and keep my muscles in good shape. I’ve had four children and am now 154cm and 55 k – so at 71 I’m not doing too badly.


  • For me my weight came off when I was great feeding. I guess I was just lucky.


  • just limit the junk food, if you are breast feeding you need the extra nutrients anyway


  • it would be nice to see an article that address breastfeeding 12 months postpartum (and dieting).


  • Don’t forget baby has stretched your stomach so it maybe awhile before it returns it previous shape.


  • Eat healthy food and excerise


  • you should just eat healthily and exercise

    • I agree with you – balance and moderation in foods and with exercise.


  • Fad diets are a bad thing. And I found it a bit harder to shift the weight with each pregnancy.


  • I personally lost all baby weight (17 kg) thanks to breastfeeding. I’m naturally slim and although put on a lot of weight during all 4 pregnancies I found that breastfeeding s d eating good food really helped.


  • I like your article and I agree that mums should take their time, consume a healthy nutritious diet, and enjoy the process. This is a time to enjoy being a mum.


  • The pressure for mums to lose weight and to diet is sad. It is a time for mum and bub to bond and concentrate on good nutrition. Maybe unrealistic celebrity pictures sets up the cycle?


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