How to Burn Fat Without Dropping Your Breastmilk Supply

After giving birth a mom is breastfeeding her newborn.

How to Burn Fat Without Dropping Your Breastmilk Supply

When it comes time to start your training or diet plan postpartum, it’s very common for moms to worry about how it will affect their breast milk supply.

I can relate. As a new mom committed to breastfeeding both of my sons as long as possible, I promised myself that if I noticed a decrease in breast milk production after starting my postpartum workouts, I would stop immediately. To me, losing the baby weight just wasn’t as important as having a healthy child.

Excessive dieting can reduce your milk supply, but the good news is that when it’s done in the right way, you can burn fat without dropping your breastmilk supply.

To start, here are a few things that you need to know:

1. A breastfeeding mom needs an average of 300-500 extra calories per day in order to maintain a healthy milk supply.

2. Through a combination of the proper diet and right kind of exercise to burn extra calories, a healthy, well-nourished breastfeeding mom can safely lose up to 1 pound per week without impacting her breastmilk supply.

How to burn fat without dropping your breastmilk supply:

As breastfeeding moms, our goal is to give our babies nutrients that will promote their growth and health. Here are 8 ways to ensure you burn fat without dropping your breast milk supply.

1. Drink up!

It’s important for breastfeeding moms to stay hydrated. Drinking water can help to reduce appetite, causing you to burn more calories, so be sure to drink frequently, preferably before you feel thirsty, and to drink more if your urine appears dark yellow. I like to make sure I have a glass of water nearby when I breastfeed–and I carry around water with me throughout the day, as well.

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2. Eat enough.

On average, most moms need an additional 300 to 500 calories a day to keep up their energy and milk supply. You don’t need to count calories (what busy mom wants to or has time for THAT?!). Just make sure you’re fueling yourself and are monitoring your hunger, energy, and cravings.

3. Eat real food.

Rather than processed foods, opt for a variety of whole foods with a focus on lean protein and plenty of fruits and vegetables. (Note: make sure to wash your fruits and vegetables to reduce exposure to pesticide residue). Foods that are less processed generally have a higher thermogenic effect, so you literally scorch calories as you chew!

4. Try a variety of different foods!

You’re more likely to stick to your fat burning nutrition plan when you incorporate a variety of foods into your diet. In addition, changing up the foods you eat will change the flavor of your breastmilk, and this will expose your baby to different tastes, which might help him or her more easily accept solid foods down the road. I focus on eating an assortment of different flavors, herbs, spices, and foods . . . And now that we’re introducing Jackson to solid foods, he has done fabulously! No picky eaters here!

5. Take a prenatal vitamin if needed.

If you’re unsure that you’re getting all the proper vitamins and minerals while breastfeeding, you may consider continuing to take a daily prenatal vitamin until you wean your baby. In addition to keeping your baby healthy, the chemical reactions that burn fat require the help of certain vitamins and other nutrients, so providing ample amounts of those key nutrients may increase your fat burning.

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6. Limit caffeine.

I love my morning coffee as much as the next mom, but too much caffeine can be troublesome. Limit yourself to no more than 2 to 3 cups (16 to 24 ounces) of caffeinated drinks a day. Caffeine in your breastmilk might agitate your baby or interfere with your baby’s sleep (which is something NO breast-feeding momma wants!). From a fat burning perspective, sleep is crucial.  With less sleep, the body seeks to meet the increased metabolic needs of longer waking hours by shifting into a lower gear, so to speak, that burns fewer calories and less fat. Limiting caffeine may help with sleep, and thus your body’s ability to burn fat.

7. Understand alcohol.

If you choose to drink alcohol, avoid breastfeeding until the alcohol has completely cleared your breastmilk. This typically takes two to three hours for 12 ounces (340 grams) of 5 percent beer, 5 ounces (142 grams) of 11 percent wine or 1.5 ounces (43 grams) of 40 percent liquor, depending on your body weight. For optimal fat burning, however, it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether. The extra calories from alcohol consumption are likely to stall fat loss. So cut the calories and look for calorie-free options like flavored or sparkling waters instead.

8. Watch for allergies.

Certain foods or drinks in your diet could cause your baby to become irritable or have an allergic reaction.  If your baby becomes fussy or develops a rash, diarrhea. or congestion soon after nursing, consult your baby’s doctor. These signs could indicate a food allergy. Consider eliminating dairy products or other allergenic foods or ingredients, such as: cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, or fish.

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Remember, there’s no need to go on a “special diet” while you’re breastfeeding. If you’re consistent with postpartum exercise and focusing on making healthy nutrition choices, you and your baby will reap the rewards.

About the Author /

Kate has a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science and is our Baby Chick Fitness expert. As a fitness professional with countless years of experience helping women transform their bodies, Kate gives moms the tools needed to reach their health goals.

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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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