When Is It Safe for Breastfeeding Moms to Begin Losing Baby Fat?
Feb. 16, 2000 (New York) — Overweight new moms who need to get back in shape can safely start taking off the pounds with diet and exercise within weeks of giving birth, even if they are breastfeeding, a new study shows. However, one researcher feels that women should wait until their newborn is 4 to 6 months old. “There are women who are afraid of dieting while breastfeeding because they are worried about harming the milk supply,” lead author Cheryl A. Lovelady, PhD, tells WebMD. “This study shows that women who are overweight and breastfeeding can get back into shape slowly — losing an average of about one pound a week — without affecting the weight gain of the baby.” Lovelady is with the department of nutrition and food service systems at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The 40 women in the study were overweight, though not obese. All were at least 20% over their ideal weight, with the average woman being about 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 145 to 175 pounds. Fo