Still difficult to lose weight after weaning

During breastfeeding, I know it was necessary to increase calories to meet my body's demands. I have since weaned the baby, but the weight seems to be hard to get off. How long should I give myself to be back to my pre-pregnancy state. I didn't seem to have this problem with my first baby. I was just wondering if this had something to do with the breastfeeding.

Thank you for your time.

Lisa

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

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

Dear Lisa,

Some mothers will have difficulty returning to their pre-pregnancy weight while nursing or even after weaning. Women who have never nursed their babies can also have this same problem.

Many mothers are able to enjoy a higher calorie diet during lactation while still losing or maintaining their weight. It is quite common to have a good appetite at this time. Depending on food choices made, and calories consumed, a nursing mom can gain weight. Once the baby is weaned, a woman's diet will probably need to be adjusted. If she continues to eat the amount of food that she did while nursing her baby, and she's not burning those extra 200 or so calories that are associated with making milk, she may begin to put on weight (or stay at the same weight.)

With two children you may also not be as active as you were after your first baby. Increasing your activity level through daily aerobic exercise will help you to begin to return to your pre-pregnancy weight. Walking is an excellent exercise choice and is easy to do with your children. You could use a double stroller, or place your older child in a stroller and use a backpack or sling for your baby. The fresh air and time out in the sun will make all three of you feel better. Some studies show that people who exercise in the morning are more consistent in their exercise program. You might want to try taking a walk before getting too involved in your day.

Be patient with yourself. Gradual weight loss is always best for your body.

Warmly,
Debbi

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