Hopefully, if you are having a baby, you have heard about the benefits of breastfeeding. If not, I will share with you a few. Breastfeeding helps your baby’s immune system and protects them from illnesses. It is said that breastfed babies may have less issues with illnesses when they are older as well. They may have less allergies and be less likely to be overweight as a child and beyond.
From experience I know that my daughter, who was fed pumped milk for 10 months, was only sick once when she was an infant and it lasted only 2 days. On the other hand, my husband was breastfed and I was not and he has more allergies than I do and neither of us had weight issues (although we work at it). Obviously there is more going on with your health than just breast milk.
However, I think everyone can agree that breast milk is better for your baby than formula. I am not going to guilt trip you into breastfeeding. I was not able to breast feed either of my two children. Breastfeeding was important to me however, so I made the commitment to pump for as long as I could. With my daughter I pumped for 10 months. I would get up in the middle of the night to pump even when she slept through the night to keep my milk supply going. Safe to say I did not like pumping. I counted the days until I was going to let myself stop.
With my son I was more determined to breastfeed so I would not have to see that pump again. Unfortunately, again it did not work. Both times I saw a specialist and things would seem be be alright however my kids were still not gaining weight and I was in terrible pain. So with my son I got out the pump again. With him I made it 6 months. Having two kids and being attached to a pump several times a day was just too much to go any further for me.
I understand how hard breastfeeding is. So if you are not able to breastfeed or pump your child will be okay. However if you are able to do it, give it a try. It is better for your baby and for you.
So what about breastfeeding and weight loss? Well, what they say is true. Breastfeeding will help you lose weight after you have your baby. Breastfeeding can burn up to an extra 500 calories per day! After my first pregnancy I was not prepared for how true this was. I was very surprised to learn that I actually lost more weight than I planned to at about 9 months postpartum. It was fun to add more food to my diet. When I was breastfeeding I ate more than I ever had before. I even burned more calories when I was breastfeeding than I did when I was pregnant. Maybe this is because I could move around more after having the baby.
Now I know that some women don’t lose weight even though they breastfeed. Without knowing how they eat or exercise it is hard to say why this would be true. I wouldn’t say that if you just breastfeed without adding exercise and healthy eating to your routine you will lose weight. You must exercise and you must eat healthy to help your journey. I wonder if the same is true regardless of breastfeeding. If you don’t know how to exercise and eat to really burn calories then breastfeeding or not you may not be helping yourself. If you are one of those people who are having trouble losing weight take a look at the other tips and topics that I discuss on this site. Think about what happens after you have a baby. Not to look at the negative but you are older, you have not been able to workout as you may have before, and therefore may have some muscle loss and you have more weight on. All this will make it harder to lose weight. Also you may have gotten used to eating a bit more when you were pregnant and can’t get out of that habit.
The bottom line is try breastfeeding if you are able and see the benefits. If not, you will be fine and your baby will be fine as well. You also will be able to lose weight if you work hard and set your mind to it. Finally, try to relax as much as you can and enjoy that new little bundle of joy that is now a part of your world!