There are a lot of things to worry about when you're breastfeeding: Are you going to pump? Do you want to build up a freezer stash? Is your baby's latch OK? Can you massage away that clogged duct? But the very last thing you should be worrying about is going on a diet. There are so many reasons you shouldn't worry about weight loss and breastfeeding and all of them will remind you of what's really important.
Postpartum weight loss is a huge topic of conversation, but it can be incredibly pressuring to new moms. The idea that you have to fit back into your pre-pregnancy jeans soon after giving birth sounds crazy, right? But with society's obsession over postpartum bodies and the desire of moms all over to shed the baby weight, it's easy to get caught up in the idea that you should lose weight while breastfeeding. Not to mention, everyone claims that breastfeeding is some type of miracle, causing moms to shed weight like it's nothing. Ever found yourself furious when a celebrity attributes all of their weight loss and toning to breastfeeding? Yeah, me too.
But hey, remember what's important here — you're a mama. Not only does your child look to you for self-confidence and body image, but you're also busy. There are at least 11 reasons why you shouldn't worry about weight loss and breastfeeding, but the most important one is that you're amazing just like you are. Keep that in mind on the tough days and then get some rest. That always seems to help.
1. Breastfeeding Makes You Ravenous
Breastfeeding made me hungry and there's a good reason why. According to KellyMom, you're burning about 200 to 500 calories per day breastfeeding, which could explain why you are so ravenous. It's always a good idea to have healthy snacks and ready-to-eat foods around so you can satisfy that hunger, but don't worry about your weight while you're doing so.
2. Breastfeeding Is Hard Enough Already
Seriously. You're dealing with cracked nipples, waking up every two hours, and pumping breast milk in your office while answering emails behind a door that doesn't always latch. Do you really want to add your weight to that list?
3. Losing Weight While Breastfeeding Isn't Guaranteed
I don't care what anyone says — it's not guaranteed that you'll lose weight while breastfeeding. According to The Daily Mail, experts never use weight loss as an incentive to breastfeed because every mom is different and it's never a guarantee. So breastfeed because you want to, not because you think it's going to help you drop some weight.
4. Sleep Deprivation Can Make You Crave Carbs
Seriously, you're exhausted. Why do you want to worry about your weight loss while you're already so tired? That fatigue can also make you crave carbs according to The Bump. Eat the pancakes, enjoy the pancakes, and then get some more sleep.
5. It Can Be Distracting
Weight loss is distracting on its own, but now you have a baby, you're breastfeeding, and your whole life is different. Cut yourself some slack and focus on the important things like your role as a mother and finding yourself in parenthood.
6. Losing Too Much Too Quickly Can Affect Your Milk Supply
Many women focus on their weight loss each month, hoping for a pound or two weight loss. But if you lose too much, you may be ruining your milk supply. Parenting noted that nursing mothers should lose no more than a pound of fat per week if they don't want to decrease their milk supply.
7. You're Too Exhausted To Worry About It
Come on. You've got enough going on and you can barely remember what you needed to email a co-worker about, let alone if you dropped any weight this week.
8. You Can Be Active & Healthy Without Worrying About Weight Loss
It's true, you know. Not worrying about weight loss doesn't mean you can just eat whatever you want and live a sedentary lifestyle. Take your baby on a walk, pack healthy snacks for lunch, enjoy yourself and your life — just don't fret over how much you weigh.
9. Cutting Too Many Calories Can Put Your Supply At Risk
It's easy to get obsessed with weight loss, but if you're cutting too many calories, it can affect your supply. KellyMom noted that a breastfeeding mother needs between 1500 and 1800 calories in order to keep up your milk production.
10. Severe Calorie Restrictions Can Release Toxins In Your Milk
Again, weight loss can make you obsessive. It's easy to slip into bad habits of cutting a lot of calories, but severely restricting yourself can lead to poor health for both you and baby. KellyMom noted that a severe caloric restriction can cause your body to release toxins from body fat into your milk. Scary, right? So eat things in moderation and keep a relatively healthy diet to be sure your milk is staying as good as it always was.
11. Because You Deserve A D*mn Break
What other reason do you need? You just had a baby for crying out loud and you are keeping that baby nourished and well-developed with your own body. Hats off to you, mama.