Moms: anyone lost weight after weaning (from breastfeeding)



  • mizzzc
    mizzzc Posts: 346 Member
    I had a very difficult time losing weight while breastfeeding. I was stressed, in school then working, trying to always pump for my son while he was in daycare. It was stressful. I found it easier to focus on weight loss once I was done but honestly don't think it would have made a difference either way.
  • csec6pak
    csec6pak Posts: 54 Member

    I lost all my baby weight while nursing. For whatever reason, I could eat whatever I wanted and still lost weight, and it didn't hurt my supply. Lucky me.

    Once my son was about a year old and nursing had tapered off, I did not adjust my eating and gained quite a bit of weight. He finally weaned this past April, leaving me with 30 extra pounds. In July I started counting calories and I've lost 25 pounds since then. So yes, I did lose weight after weaning, but it wasn't because I weaned. It was because I started counting calories and eating at a deficit.

    For what it's worth, breastmilk is 20 calories per ounce and a typical baby who is not yet on solids eats about 20-30 ounces per day. So you'd want to add 400-600 calories per day to be at maintenance while nursing. I would think that with some trial and error, you should be able to figure out the exact calories you need to maintain milk supply while losing weight. I suspect that most women who think they cannot lose weight while breastfeeding probably could do it, if they figured out the exact calories required. It's still about calories in, calories out, except that you have an extra outlet for "calories out." But is it worth it during this period of your life? Eh, personal choice, but probably not for most women.
  • pink_mint
    pink_mint Posts: 103 Member
    edited October 2014
    Thank you for all your replies, ladies.

    I wrote the original post 4 months ago. Now baby is 6 and 1/2 months, and I've been doing really super great at... maintaining :| My baby is massive, and while he does get a few solids, he depends on me for a good 90 (at least) percent of his nutrition. I have basically maintained the exact same weight (30 lbs above pre-pregnancy) since about 2 weeks postpartum. I don't know what explanation there could be for my predicament other than hormones. My diet is actually better than it's been for a while because I want to keep a clean conscience. I eat plenty, and don't restrict or go hungry (ain't nobody got time for that while breastfeeding) but I have forged some good habits and let go of bad ones because I really dislike this stuffed-sausage figure I'm sporting, and still the good eating habits have done absolutely nothing to affect weight loss.

    I'm going to persevere to my breastfeeding goal of 12 months, and try to have a good perspective about it. One good thing that is coming out of this is that I am less judgmental about those who struggle with weight problems. It's not so black and white as "calories in/ calories out".
  • Hil12188
    Hil12188 Posts: 9 Member
    I held onto to 25lbs for dear life while breastfeeding!! Then my period started when I was 14 months pp and I thought "yes maybe now I'll finally be able to loose weight" but instead I gained another 7lbs, 4 inches on my belly and retained water like crazy. I constantly looked bloated and felt tired even though I was eating extremely healthy and working out!! It was so crazy!! My daughter stopped Nursing August 10th 2015
  • prachibankar12
    prachibankar12 Posts: 1 Member
    Does the weight loss after weaning have anything to do with periods getting to normal? I am a second time mom and I did not loose much weight during breastfeeding. I got my periods after 2 months PP and they are pretty regular. Should I expect weight loss after weaning? My baby is 8 months old and I will continue breastfeeding till at least 12-14 months. I am eating pretty healthy diet.
  • robininfl
    robininfl Posts: 1,137 Member
    With the first two babies, nursing used too many calories for me, so I got underweight (we were poor and i could only eat what we could get). With the second one, I felt like she was eating me, got too skinny and had to cut her off a couple of months early.
    With #3, I maintained - weight dropped slowly while nursing, felt healthy.
    With #4, I gained more and she was very big, my body held on to extra weight until she was weaned - about 15lb, then it started to go back down, then I got rid of the copper IUD and resolved the serious anemia it had caused, and then the rest of the weight came off.

    Those babies spanned a lot of years though, age may play a part - i was 24 with the first but nearly 40 with the last, and our financial situation improved so food wasn't a problem with the second two.

    Each of them nursed for 1.5 years, tapered off for that last half year; and for me periods did not ever return until they were all the way weaned. Also i hemorrhaged the first 3 times, bedrest for a couple of weeks, maybe the resting does something to convince the body it's ok to lose the fat.

    It can go either way, yes. And YES be hopeful, if your body holds onto fat while nursing, it will likely get a kickstart when you stop.
  • annahath150
    annahath150 Posts: 8 Member
    It takes a little while to get into regular clothes after having a baby, no matter what you do. A lot of the weight will come off on its own in time, but if you really want to jump start it, just go take your LO (little one) out walking, or walk on a treadmill. It's really too soon for you to do any strenuous workouts. Also, you can lose your weight and tone up by drinking Mummy magic weight loss tea. Give your body time, it will start getting back to normal in a few months!
  • WanderingRivers
    WanderingRivers Posts: 612 Member
    Nope. All I did was gain and gain and gain. Topped out at 180. Calorie reduction has me at 156 right now and I'm hoping to drop another 25-30 lbs by end of the year.
  • boppymj
    boppymj Posts: 1 Member
    edited January 2018
  • ohrtorah
    ohrtorah Posts: 1 Member
    I was 125 pre-pregnancy, then gained 33 lbs (so up to 158). I lost 20 lbs within the first week post-partum, and since then (baby is 6 months old) I haven't lost a thing! My weight hasn't dropped below 137.5, no matter how little I eat. I also haven't gone higher than 142, now matter how much I ate. I've been weaning for about a month (dropping one feeding a week) and haven't expressed any milk for a week, but the weight still hasn't budged! I've also been super strict about not eating more than 1200 calories for about two weeks. This is totally not normal for me. Normally I lose up to 2 lbs a week if I stick to a 1200 calorie diet.

    Do I need to wait til my milk dries up? Does this seem consistent with other people's experiences?
  • Septimusbean
    Septimusbean Posts: 1 Member
    I have 6 children. The youngest are my twins, born when I was 42 years old. They are 18 months now and I just weaned. I have NEVER been able to lose much weight while breastfeeding. I always felt guilty because everyone goes on about how it’s easy to lose weight while bf, but I was always the opposite. My naturopath doc says some women just work that way...that’s it’s your body’s way of making sure you have some reserves. When I wean, I can slowly lose the weight, but it takes longer the older I get. Coming from a mom of six, I know it’s frustrating, but such a sweet time that goes too fast. I finally decided to let go this time and quit stressing about it. As an interesting point, I always held onto 10 or so pounds with each single baby...but it’s been 20 with the twins. Makes sense, I guess!
  • kraisner
    kraisner Posts: 3 Member
    @ohrtorah can you give me an update on what happened while slowly weaning? I’m starting the process now, dropping one feed every 3 days and I’m hopeful to start losing but so far I’m just gaining. 😫😫😫. I’m a fanatic exerciser, clean eater. I’m 5’7 128 pre pregnancy. Gained about 20lbs then dropped it all the first couple weeks postpartum- down to 124. Then with no control myself I gained back up to 130ish, going up and down a few lbs with no ryhme or reason. My baby is 7 months and I’m ready to be done breastfeeding and have my hormones back under control.
    Can all the previous posters give updates? 😀
  • OblasMummy
    OblasMummy Posts: 40 Member
    I’m currently nursing my third and have lost 17lbs since January very slowly. I have about 12lbs to go and then maybe some vanity weight. What works for me is eating at maintence calories and letting breastfeeding create my deficit. I use MFP and weigh everything that I eat and measure liquids. Forgive me, but I see a lot of mention of eating clean and not eating much but no reference to how many calories are being consumed and accurately tracked? I’ve just this week channged my goal to lose 1/5lb a week as she is 13 months and not nursing too much. Even with this I get to eat 1800-2000 calories a day as I ensure I get 10,000 steps outside of my exercise.

  • Beeingthin
    Beeingthin Posts: 40 Member
    Yes for me. I actually never lose any weight until I wean completely. My body holds on to the extra fat every time.
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,812 Member
    @kraisner what is your goal? Are you wanting to maintain your weight after weaning? You just have to adjust your calories as you go. I found my weight fluctuated more when breastfeeding because of the water retention, ex. how much baby ate before weighing. I weaned really slowly while I was losing, we were down to 1-2 feeds for a few months.. then eventually none. I just dropped about 200cals or so from my intake (basically a snack) and kept losing as usual.
  • kraisner
    kraisner Posts: 3 Member
    I guess my end goal is probably to maintain once I’m down to 125. I’m finding as I drop feedings, my body feels super weird and gross and bloated. I’m wondering if anyone tracked their weight AS they were dropping feedings and how dropping feeds affected body weight as the body adjusted for producing less and less milk. It’s more of a curiosity thing I’m so fascinated by how the body does its job.
  • VioletRojo
    VioletRojo Posts: 595 Member
    I couldn't lose at all until I stopped nursing. But as soon as I stopped, the weight just came off, practically by itself. I think for some women, the hormones involved in breastfeeding make it really hard to lose weight.
  • youngmomtaz
    youngmomtaz Posts: 1,075 Member
    I did not lose weight until I was done breastfeeding each time. I breastfed three children. The first 6 months, the second nine months and the third a year and three months. Each time I was JUST SO HUNGRY. I could workout, I hiked, biked, ran, lifted, boot camp type stuff, etc at least 4 times a week aside from our daily walks. The second I reduced food intake even a little with the first two kids my supply would tank, honestly when I think back on it that is probably why they started “refusing” and fighting when they did and we weaned. With the third child it was the same. I was a student, renovating a new home, 3 kids, and starting a small business, with a husband who works 80 hour weeks. The second I cut food a little bit my milk supply tanked and I was ravenous. When I was not careful about calories(intake) my baby did not sleep well either. So I maintained my 210lbs throughout breastfeeding. The month after he weaned I was down 20lbs without trying. And the month after that. Unfortunatly then I had to start working, and have been ever since. Lol!!

    Every mother is different, and every baby is different. You are still early on in breastfeeding and may find once babe is taking in more you lose a bit, or you may find you just have to work on fitness until babe is weaned and then worry about lowering calories. Some trial and error will tell you fairly qiuckly.
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,178 Member
    pink_mint wrote: »
    I am not going to wean any time soon since my baby is only 2 and 1/2 months old. I just want some kind of hope. Has anyone had a substantial weight loss after weaning? I don't mean "those last 5 lbs". Anyone lose a significant amount after weaning?

    Breastfeeding just adds such a huge complication to weight loss for me. I am absolutely not one of those women who lose weight easily while breastfeeding. Whatever it is; hormones, body type, insatiable hunger etc. breastfeeding just makes me fat and painfully hungry. This is my 3rd baby, 3rd time breastfeeding. First baby I got pregnant before I weaned him. Second baby I did lose a lot of weight after she weaned but it also coincided with me starting Wellbutrin and I'm positive it was the medication that made me lose weight, so I don't know what my body will do after weaning this time with no meds and no pregnancy.

    I'm feeling depressed and angry about this. Restricting calories compromises my milk supply, so it's like I am trapped. Seems like the only way I can lose weight is by losing milk supply too.

    Everytime I breastfed, I lost an insane amount of weight by breastfeeding alone and the big struggle was not to gain when weaning. Restricting calories, as in eating e.g. 1000 calories will affect your supply. But eating just at maintenance will not affect your supply at all and not counting in the 300-500 calories of breastfeeding will create a nice deficit to lose weight.
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,812 Member
    kraisner wrote: »
    I guess my end goal is probably to maintain once I’m down to 125. I’m finding as I drop feedings, my body feels super weird and gross and bloated. I’m wondering if anyone tracked their weight AS they were dropping feedings and how dropping feeds affected body weight as the body adjusted for producing less and less milk. It’s more of a curiosity thing I’m so fascinated by how the body does its job.

    I wish I could provide data but I did not track my weaning, plus I was bulking from 7-15 months pp so my weight was all over the place!