Does breastfeeding help you lose weight? Some women lose pounds readily and some women maintain body fat for awhile. You will always do well to enjoy wholesome nutrition and exercise.
The fact is, breastfeeding can help you lose fat, specifically visceral fat. This is very important. There’s a distinction between subcutaneous and visceral fat.
Subcutaneous fat is what you can easily pinch with your fingers. It pads your arms, thighs, hips, buttocks and breasts. Our bodies put on some fat in preparation for nourishing our babies. Some of that is necessary and some of it is not.
Visceral fat is not as obvious as subcutaneous fat and has more of a profound influence on your health. Visceral fat surrounds your major organs: your heart, liver, lungs, intestines. This causes inflammatory responses and can lead to metabolic disorders, diabetes and heart disease.
The good news is that women who breastfed for three months or more have less visceral fat than women who never breastfed. This is more important than getting skinny.
There’s more good news. Wholesome food and using your body (walk, stretch, etc.) every day benefits your health. And you can do this without special equipment or prescriptions.
Getting ‘into shape’ is important… and that shape can be curvaceous or lean. Padded thighs and buttocks and a little ‘squishiness’ can be a nice thing. My young daughter used to call my upper arms my ‘squishy’. She would squeeze my arm to indicate when she wanted to nurse. What a sweet and unique communication.
Love what your body can do and build from that.
• Nurture yourself and your family with wholesome food.
• Get outside and play.
• Continue breastfeeding.
The benefits are plentiful.
Breastfeeding and subsequent maternal visceral adiposity.
McClure, CK, Schwarz EB, Conroy MB, Tepper PG, Janssen I, Sutton-Tyrell KC
Obesity (Silver Spring) 2011 Nov;19(11):2205-13