One of the biggest concerns I hear from recently postpartum moms who are trying to breastfeed is ‘How can I safely lose the weight without having my milk supply drop?’ EAT and DRINK WATER is the answer!!
However, let me paint a picture for you: You have a newborn who seems to want to eat every two hours. You’re kind of new at the breastfeeding thing, or at least your little one is, and therefore it’s not a quick process. Feeding can take 30 minutes plus and that means you have 90 minutes or less to do laundry, dishes, get a shower, give some attention to another little one (or maybe even your spouse?), take a nap, etc. – you get the picture – until you’re back feeding the baby again. Oh wait, you also need to eat yourself! If you’re like me, the only time I get to eat is while I’m sitting feeding my newborn. Then comes the problem of FAST, healthy foods (remember, we’re trying to get back in shape here) AND foods you aren’t going to drop into those newly forming baby rolls! (Aren’t they THE cutest?!) Confession: I have found bits of leftover meals in Kellen’s neck rolls. Don’t judge!
Food wise – I try to prepare meals ahead of time as much as I can. I stick with a (mostly) Paleo/Whole 30 approach. In other words, whole, non-processed foods. I also have been keeping my fat up higher as I feel this helps with my supply. To do this, I eat whole eggs versus egg whites, beef over chicken, etc. I try to not limit these foods. I eat as much as I want, within reason, so that I am feeding my body what it needs to be able to supply my son with what he needs. I want to get most of my calories from good quality foods – proteins, veggies and fruits.
With that said, I do use supplements as well to keep my caloric intake up. I know a lot of women, including myself, are of the thought process of eating as natural as possible while pregnant and then breastfeeding. Not to burst your bubble, but I KNOW some of you are also hitting up the drive through for some chicken nuggets or ordering takeout pizza – maybe not the most natural of choices. (I’m not pointing the finger because I have so been there!) This brings me to my point – when I can’t prepare an actual meal, I choose protein shakes and protein bars over fast food every time. It’s healthier for my baby (priority one), healthier for me (priority two) and helps me work towards my weight loss goals. This is why I chose to introduce them into my diet. I carefully monitored how my baby reacted while trying one supplement at a time. Also, I chose the best supplements I could. Click here for the protein powder I use. Stuck with this a week or two and had no problems for me or Kellen. Next, I introduced a protein bar and have not experienced any side effects either (and turns out I prefer these over candy bars!). At this point, I feel that this is enough supplement options. I can get in calories and protein without relying on fast food when I’m in a time crunch.
To recap, it is 100% possible to lose the baby weight while successfully breastfeeding, but the key is to keep your calories up with quality meals. Yes, stick to good meats, veggies and fruits when you can! However, when you can’t, using a trusted supplement to help you work towards your goals has been a great option in my experience. As always, double check with your doctor to make sure this is the best option for you and your baby.
A quick disclaimer – I am 100% of the belief that fed is best! I am fortunate enough that breastfeeding has worked well for our family and I am so thankful for that. However, that is just MY journey. It may not be YOUR journey and that’s OK!