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Thread: Exercising while breastfeeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Default Exercising while breastfeeding

    I just went to a personal trainer and she said I should aim to intake 1,800 calories a day in food while burning 400 calories/day, 5 days a week, in exercise to lose 1-2 pounds a week. I am concerned that no one I consult seems to really know how much is "safe" to lose per week without jeapordizing my milk supply. We have personal trainers that don't know how to factor in breastfeeding when offering nutrition/fitness advice. Then we have those who know a ton about nursing who don't know how to factor in safe nutrition/fitness so that a woman who wants to lose weight safely can do so...can someone help offer an informed perspective that can balance the two (successful nursing and fitness)? Exercise is such a part of my life and I want to continue being healthy.

    Also, for me I don't seem to lose the last 5-10 pounds of pregnancy weight until after I stop nursing. I think my body wants to hang on to some excess fat stores for energy to ensure great milk production. Yet so many women tell me their fat melts away when nursing. I just don't get it -- that isn't the case with me, and I eat healthy and exercise, too! Do any of you have a hard time losing that last 5-10?

    dslzest

  2. #2
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    Jul 2007
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    Swartz Creek, MI
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    Default Re: Exercising while breastfeeding

    Here you go check this out....
    Married mama with 4 kiddos...2 girls (11 & 6) and 2 boys (21mo & 3mo)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    2,866

    Default Re: Exercising while breastfeeding

    Quote Originally Posted by dslzest View Post
    I just went to a personal trainer and she said I should aim to intake 1,800 calories a day in food while burning 400 calories/day, 5 days a week, in exercise to lose 1-2 pounds a week. I am concerned that no one I consult seems to really know how much is "safe" to lose per week without jeapordizing my milk supply. We have personal trainers that don't know how to factor in breastfeeding when offering nutrition/fitness advice. Then we have those who know a ton about nursing who don't know how to factor in safe nutrition/fitness so that a woman who wants to lose weight safely can do so...can someone help offer an informed perspective that can balance the two (successful nursing and fitness)? Exercise is such a part of my life and I want to continue being healthy.
    How old is your baby? Is your baby exclusively breastfed?

    1800 calories would be on the low end for most active mothers. In fact, some experts recommend not dropping below 1800, and many mothers find they need to eat a bit more in order to feel their best and lose at the recommended 1/2-1 lb per week rate.

    If you want an idea of what your personal caloric needs might be, you could try this:
    Use the BMR calculator here:
    http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/
    And then use the Harris Benedict Equation (link on the page) to see how many total calories you need to maintain your current weight. Then add 500 for nursing. Now, you have a solid number to work from. Perhaps your trainer can help you then decide how many calories you will need to take in for a healthy weight loss.

    Here's some helpful resources:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/diet.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/mo...eightloss.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/health/lifes...-exercise.html
    http://www.amazon.com/Well-Lose-Weig...5861166&sr=1-1


    Quote Originally Posted by dslzest View Post
    Also, for me I don't seem to lose the last 5-10 pounds of pregnancy weight until after I stop nursing. I think my body wants to hang on to some excess fat stores for energy to ensure great milk production. Yet so many women tell me their fat melts away when nursing. I just don't get it -- that isn't the case with me, and I eat healthy and exercise, too! Do any of you have a hard time losing that last 5-10?
    I don't think it's that uncommon! Just check out the weight loss board here, and you'll find many mothers experiencing the same thing. I don't have any evidence based information to offer on the topic, but my personal thought is that there might be a biological reason for this phenomonon. Perhaps it's like an insurance policy that energy will be there to fuel your milk production, even if you weren't getting enough to eat.

    HTH!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    532

    Default Re: Exercising while breastfeeding

    I would go through Weight Watchers because they have a nursing mother's program and their leaders are trained to know what is safe and what isn't. I did weight watchers when I had my first son 3.5 years ago and I am currently doing it now with baby number 2. Safe weight loss for a nursing mother is ONLY 1 pound a week or so if you don't want it to affect your milk supply. Go to weightwatchers.com and you can look up more information. You can even do it online. I work out as well but I follow their program. I work I spend 30 minutes on the treadmill and just now added the nautalis 3 times per week and I do see results. The first time I did this 3 years ago I lost all my maternity weight and an additional 40 pounds. Now I am back on it and have so far lost about 12 pounds which is right on target since I started when baby was 3 months old. If you need more info I can probably help you out. Good luck trying just don't try to lose to much to fast. For me a good rule was it took me x amount of time to gain it and it will probably take me x amount of time to lose it. I would worry about what the personal trainer said if she hadn't nursed or had training.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    96

    Default Re: Exercising while breastfeeding

    Trainers aren't registered dietitians and I wouldn't rely on their advice. WW is good, but it also doesn't factor exercise into the equation that well especially if you exercise more than 4 points a day (in my country). Before pregnancy I still swam competitively and trained for triathlons - and always went to a registered dietician (they have RD after their names) for advice. I really, really recommend it - just a session or two. You could even combine his/her recommendations with the weight watchers program. You just want to make sure you are eating enough and taking into account exercise. A lot of dieticians recommend only losing 1 pound a week while breastfeeding and just being gentle with your body good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    8

    Default Re: Exercising while breastfeeding

    Thanks for all of your many suggestions and links! I figured out my caloric needs to maintain my current weight and then multiplied that number by by 1.5 to factor in my activity levels, then added 500 for nursing. If I am to lose weight I need to reduce my caloric needs by 15% of this number for starters. I will definitely try to contact a registered dietician to help me figure out if these numbers are safe and correct...thanks again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Swartz Creek, MI
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    Default Re: Exercising while breastfeeding

    Quote Originally Posted by home executive View Post
    Sorry I forgot to add the link, but info was very similar to this site.....glad you figured out what you need!!!
    Married mama with 4 kiddos...2 girls (11 & 6) and 2 boys (21mo & 3mo)

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