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Breastfeeding is an encouraged practice that stimulates healthy growth for the child. Your breast milk has the ideal nutrition to help your baby grow and build a stronger immune system.
You may find yourself eating more than your pre-pregnancy portion when you breastfeed. Therefore, you might be worried that this will cause weight gain on top of the postpartum weight that you may be already experiencing.
However, you do not have to worry about such matters, as producing breast milk and taking care of a newborn requires a lot of energy, so it is common to feel hungry more often during breastfeeding.
In fact, breastfeeding could help you to lose weight! How? This article would enlighten you on how breastfeeding affects weight loss and how you can improve your lactation.
How Breastfeeding Affects Your Weight Loss
Quick trivia! Did you know that your body uses up 500 kilocalories a day to produce breast milk? Well, now you know! Your body burns extra calories in order to produce more breast milk.
While it is not an entirely sure-fire way of losing weight, it serves as the perfect foundation for you to begin your postpartum weight loss journey. But that is not all, breastfeeding would also help shrink your womb to its original state better due to the release of oxytocin hormones. It also reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as a few of ovarian and breast cancer.
It also goes without saying that your breastfed newborn would also have a stronger immune system and is properly nourished for healthy growth. If you are interested to enjoy a smoother breastfeeding experience, MumChecked offers a wide range of popular breastfeeding essentials!
Now that we have covered how breastfeeding would affect your weight loss, let’s move on to the tips on improving your lactation.
Consume Lactation-Friendly Food
When you are breastfeeding, your body consumes extra calories in order to generate more milk supply. Hence, it is essential to have lactation- friendly confinement foods in order to boost your breast milk production.
So what is confinement food going to do for your lactation? For instance, it will increase your breastmilk supply through food by achieving a balanced, varied and healthy diet which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and a good source of proteins. Plus, it also helps in providing sufficient fluid intake per day.
Although limited, there is some evidence on supplementing the diet with natural galactagogue ingredients to boost breast milk supply. To name a few, they are ginger, garlic, fenugreek and fennel.
Researchers have also found that certain breast milk nutrients are affected by mom’s diet. Studies show that when mothers lack nutrients such as DHA, Choline, Iodine, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin A, the levels in breast milk decreases. These nutrients are vital for your baby’s growth and your health. Some of the foods that are high in these nutrients are seafood, eggs, soybeans, soy products, chicken, fish and meat.
Breastfeed More Often
One of the keys to increasing your breast milk production is to simply breastfeed more! Your body produces breast milk based on the concept of supply and demand. When you breastfeed your child more often, it would stimulate your body to lactate more in order to keep up with the demand (needs) of your child as well.
If you feel that there is still an abundant supply of breast milk after nursing, you can opt to pump your milk into a portable container. This would not only keep your breast milk fresh but also serves as a convenience if you are unable to breastfeed physically.
Be Properly Rested
Sometimes, you might have overworked yourself to the point that rest becomes a luxury to you. While your child’s needs stand as one of your priorities, you will need to catch your breath once in a while.
Plus, a fatigued body wouldn’t be able to help you produce as much breast milk as you would want for your child. Make some time for yourself, watch a movie, snack healthily or maybe read that novel you have always shelved. When you take care of yourself, you are taking care of the baby too. Show yourself some love!
Seek Professional Help
In case of severe low milk supply or problems with latching, you might want to consult your doctor for further advice or treatment. A lactation professional would be able to help you determine if you need further assistance with your breast milk supply and thus formulate the right method to solve your issues.
All in all, breastfeeding your child does not only promote better growth and a stronger immune system for your child, it also helps you to stay healthy and stay in shape naturally. Do not fret too much on the changes that happened to you, embrace it, and keep faith in the process. It will all work out well for you.
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