Does nursing give you thinner thighs?

I have heard that at around the ninth month of breastfeeding, moms start losing the fat on their thighs easier than at any other time. Is this true?


Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

This is an excellent question! I had to laugh when I read it. We all wish the "nine month thigh fairy" would pay us a visit, and we would be magically transformed. Women often find they have become wider in the hips and thighs following the birth of their baby. Does breastfeeding really help to give you thinner thighs? Actually, there has been research done in regard to this issue.

Findings from two small studies suggest that femoral (thigh) fat stores appear to be more metabolically active during lactation. This means that women who breastfeed their baby for at least 6 to 12 months have a better chance of reducing their thighs than they would at any other time. This is probably due to two fairly complicated sounding mechanisms -- greater lipolysis and reduced LPL activity. (Lipolysis occurs in the cell when the stored fat is broken down so that it can re-enter the bloodstream. LPL is an enzyme, which enhances the uptake of fat into the fat-storing cells.)

Though the mechanisms involved in fat mobilization aren't important to most of us, it is good to know that while nursing our little ones, our bodies are quietly at work slimming our thighs. Wishing you thin thighs!

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