Breastfeeding is a natural and healthy way to feed your baby. It provides numerous benefits for both the mother and child, including boosting the immune system, reducing the risk of infections, and promoting bonding. However, many women wonder if breastfeeding can also help them lose weight after giving birth. In this article, we explore the relationship between breastfeeding and weight loss and answer some common questions about this topic.

Breastfeeding is a natural process that provides numerous benefits to both the mother and the baby. Apart from strengthening the bond between them, it also helps in providing all the necessary nutrients to the newborn. However, many mothers also wonder if breastfeeding can aide in weight loss. In this discussion, we will explore whether breastfeeding indeed leads to weight loss or if it is just a myth.

The Science Behind Breastfeeding and Weight Loss

Breastfeeding burns calories, and this can contribute to weight loss. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, breastfeeding can help new mothers lose weight by burning up to 500 calories a day. This is because producing milk requires energy, and the body uses stored fat to fuel this process.

However, it’s important to note that not all women experience weight loss while breastfeeding. Factors such as diet, exercise, genetics, and hormonal changes can affect weight loss outcomes. Additionally, some women may actually gain weight while breastfeeding, especially if they consume too many calories or engage in a sedentary lifestyle.

How Much Weight Can You Expect to Lose?

The amount of weight a woman can expect to lose while breastfeeding varies. On average, women lose about 1-2 pounds a month while breastfeeding. This means that it can take several months to reach pre-pregnancy weight. However, some women may lose weight more quickly, especially if they have a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

Breastfeeding and Belly Fat

Many new mothers are concerned about losing belly fat after giving birth. While breastfeeding can help reduce overall body fat, it may not specifically target belly fat. Belly fat is stubborn and can be difficult to lose, even with diet and exercise. However, incorporating strength training and other types of exercise into your routine can help tone and strengthen your abdominal muscles.

Common Misconceptions About Breastfeeding and Weight Loss

There are many misconceptions about breastfeeding and weight loss. Here are some of the most common ones:

Breastfeeding can contribute to weight loss by burning up to 500 calories a day, but individual outcomes vary depending on factors such as diet, exercise, and genetics. Losing belly fat may require incorporating strength training and other types of exercise into your routine. Breastfeeding does not cause sagging breasts or nutrient deficiencies, and a healthy diet and regular exercise are important for weight loss and overall health. To successfully lose weight while breastfeeding, it’s important to eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated, engage in physical activity, get enough rest, and seek guidance from a healthcare provider or lactation consultant.

Myth: Breastfeeding Causes Sagging Breasts

One of the biggest misconceptions about breastfeeding is that it causes sagging breasts. However, this is not entirely true. Breasts naturally change in size and shape during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but this is due to hormonal changes and other factors. Wearing a supportive bra and doing chest exercises can help maintain breast shape and firmness.

Myth: Breastfeeding is the Only Way to Lose Weight

Breastfeeding can certainly contribute to weight loss, but it’s not the only way to shed pounds after giving birth. A healthy diet and regular exercise are also important for weight loss and overall health. Additionally, some women may choose to use supplements or medications to aid in weight loss, but it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before using these products.

Myth: Breastfeeding Causes Nutrient Deficiencies

Another common myth about breastfeeding is that it causes nutrient deficiencies in the mother. However, this is not necessarily true. Breast milk is rich in nutrients, and the mother’s body prioritizes the baby’s needs, so the mother’s nutrient levels are not significantly depleted. However, it’s still important for breastfeeding mothers to eat a healthy, balanced diet and take any necessary supplements to ensure optimal health.

Tips for Successful Breastfeeding and Weight Loss

If you’re looking to lose weight while breastfeeding, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other fluids.
  • Engage in regular physical activity, such as walking, jogging, or strength training.
  • Get enough rest and sleep to support your body’s recovery and energy levels.
  • Consider working with a healthcare provider or lactation consultant to develop a personalized weight loss plan that is safe and effective for you and your baby.

FAQs – Is Breastfeeding a Way to Lose Weight?

Can breastfeeding help me lose weight?

Breastfeeding can help with postpartum weight loss for some women. This is because breastfeeding can burn up to 500 extra calories a day, depending on how frequently you breastfeed and how much milk you produce. However, weight loss is not guaranteed and the amount of weight loss can vary from person to person.

How long does it take for breastfeeding to help with weight loss?

It can take some time for breastfeeding to help with weight loss. Most women lose about half of the weight gained during pregnancy by six weeks postpartum, with the rest coming off gradually over the next several months. It’s important to remember that breastfeeding is just one factor that can aid in weight loss and a healthy diet and regular exercise are also important.

Will breastfeeding cause me to lose muscle mass?

Breastfeeding alone is not likely to cause significant loss of muscle mass. However, if a mother is not consuming enough calories, her body may break down muscle tissue to provide energy for milk production. To avoid this, it’s important for breastfeeding mothers to consume an adequate amount of calories and maintain a healthy diet.

Can I breastfeed and still lose weight if I am not in good physical condition?

Yes, you can still lose weight while breastfeeding even if you are not in the best physical condition. However, it’s important to approach weight loss in a healthy way and not put too much pressure on yourself. Small lifestyle changes like adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet or taking a daily walk can make a big difference in achieving weight loss goals.

Can breastfeeding make it harder to lose weight?

For some women, breastfeeding can make it harder to lose weight due to increased appetite and cravings. Additionally, some women may hold onto weight due to hormonal changes associated with lactation. However, this is not true for all women and some may find that breastfeeding actually helps with weight loss.


By Samantha

Samantha is a dedicated mother, passionate writer, and the inspiring force behind As a young mom herself, she understands firsthand the joys, challenges, and uncertainties that come with parenthood. Fueled by her own experiences and a deep desire to help others, she founded as a safe haven for young mothers to connect, learn, and grow together. While embarking on her own motherhood journey, Samantha discovered the transformative power of shared experiences and the importance of a supportive community. With a background in journalism and a heart full of empathy, she set out to create a platform that would empower young moms and provide them with the resources, encouragement, and camaraderie they needed to thrive. Samantha is committed to delivering content that is both practical and inspiring. She works closely with a team of fellow mommies, as well as healthcare, education, and psychology professionals to ensure the blog offers a wide range of insightful articles and valuable resources. From navigating the ups and downs of pregnancy to tackling the complexities of raising a child, Samantha is dedicated to providing her readers with the knowledge and support they need to make informed decisions and create a loving, nurturing environment for their families. When she's not managing or writing her next heartfelt post, Samantha enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, exploring the great outdoors, and indulging in her love for photography. She is a firm believer in the power of self-care and makes a conscious effort to practice mindfulness and embrace life's simple pleasures. Samantha's unwavering dedication to her fellow young mothers is evident in every aspect of Her warm, empathetic nature and relentless pursuit of knowledge make her the perfect guide for young moms navigating the beautiful, messy, and rewarding adventure that is motherhood. Join Samantha and her vibrant community of young moms at, and become part of a movement that celebrates, uplifts, and empowers women in their most important role—motherhood.