To answer some more specific questions on how do you lose weight when breastfeeding and other nutritional questions, Lose Baby Weight has recruited the esteemedand successful Exercise and Nutrition Scientist from The Right Balance – Kathleen Alleaume.
Kathleen is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Nutritionist, has her B.S. degree in Exercise Science and a Master’s degree in Nutrition and is the founding principal of The Right Balance Consultancy Ltd.
Kathleen has operated a private practice in the Sydney CBD for over eight years. We hope the below Q&A’s will answer some of your common queries on how do you lose weight in a healthy way when breastfeeding. You can also see more information on safe weight loss when breastfeeding here.
Q. Why is breastfeeding good for mothers?
A. There are a variety of reasons as to why breastfeeding is good for you and these include;
- It helps you get back into shape faster – your uterus goes back to its normal size more quickly. You may also get back to your pre-pregnancy weight more quickly.
- It may help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and weak bones.
- It’s free.
- It’s so convenient – no bottles, no equipment to keep clean (easier for night feeds and getting out and about).
- You don’t have to worry about breast milk being too strong or too weak – it’s always just right.
Q. Why is it so important to in take in the right nutrition when you are a new mum?
A. Eating well is important to provide the right nutrition for you and your baby because many vitamins and minerals in your diet transfer into the breastmilk. All you have to do is eat foods from each of these food groups every day (The Healthy Mummy Smoothie is a great way to get a wide range of nutrients in a quick and easy way):
- bread, rice, pasta, noodles and other grain foods
- vegetables and legumes (legumes means dried beans and peas, lentils and soy foods such as tofu)
- milk, yoghurt, cheese or soy, rice or oat milk if lactose intolerant
- meat, ﬁsh, poultry, eggs, and nuts.
Q. Does a mum’s nutritional requirements change when breastfeeding?
A.Breastfeeding increases the nutritional needs of mothers while providing a baby with all the important nutrients it needs. Breastfeeding mums need to eat more protein, calcium, other vitamins and minerals including iodine, calcium and iron.
- Protein is vital for the growth and health of body tissue. Having protein in your diet is important to ensure an adequate amount of protein in breast milk. Protein is found in a wide range of foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, dairy and nuts.
- Calcium has many uses including keeping our bones and teeth strong. While breastfeeding it is important to have 3 serves of dairy or fortified soy products everyday. Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, or calcium fortified soy products are the best sources of calcium. Other foods such as salmon (bones included), sardines, tofu (soy bean curd), tahini (sesame seed paste) and almonds also contain calcium. If you are unable to eat the recommended serves of dairy foods or fortified soy products each day, you may need a calcium supplement.
- Iron is necessary for making red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. Pregnancy and childbirth can reduce your body’s iron stores and low levels of iron can cause fatigue. To ensure you are getting adequate iron include 2 serves of red meat, poultry and fish or meat alternatives (e.g. legumes, nuts or eggs) daily and eat wholegrain breads and cereals regularly. If you are concerned, ask your doctor to check your iron stores and if necessary take an iron supplement.
- Iodine is important for hormone production and your baby’s brain development. Good sources of iodine include seafood, eggs, dairy foods and iodised salt. Aim to eat 2–3 seafood meals per week and 3 serves of dairy foods each day. If using salt, use iodised salt. It is currently difficult to meet the recommended daily intake of iodine by diet alone. It is therefore recommended that breastfeeding women take a daily iodine supplement of 100–200ug. Those with thyroid conditions should seek their doctor’s advice prior to commencing iodine supplements.(Eastman, C. Australian Thyroid Foundation 2005)
- Finally, due to the loss of fluid from breastfeeding, it is also important that breastfeeding mothers ensure they are getting enough fluids each day.
Q. Can getting the right nutrition really make a difference to my tiredness and energy levels?
A. Absolutely. It is important to take time to look after yourself, to conserve your energy levels and maximise breast milk production. The following ideas may help.
- Take time out each day for a rest
- Eat regular meals, and balanced and nutritious snacks
- Eat to your appetite § Drink water often
- Prepare meals ahead when you have time
- Accept offers of help
Q. Why is it important not to lose weight too quickly – some diets say you can lose 4 kilos a week?
A. We all know ‘diets’ don’t work! Gradual weight loss of up to 1 – ½ kg per week through healthy eating and regular physical activity is reasonable and should not affect your breast milk supply. If you have concerns about your body weight, talk to your doctor or dietitian.
If you are ready to lose weight then the Lose Baby Weight plans offer a healthy and safe exercise and diet routine that are safe in breastfeeding and can help support your milk supply
And don’t forget to check out our current promotions and discounts page to see what specials we have on this week on our Healthy Mummy product range
*This material is for information only and not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. Please consult with your Doctor before starting any weight loss program and do not begin any exercise routine unless you have your Doctor’s clearance.
We also recommend talking to your Doctor if your baby suffers from Colic before starting any diet plan as certain foods may exacerbate the Colic if you are breastfeeding.
The owners of Lose Baby Weight shall have no liability or responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused, or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly by the information contained herein