The last thing you want to do is diet when you are breastfeeding.  Losing weight too quickly creates a detoxification effect, releasing toxins into your bloodstream, which can impact the quality of your breast-milk.  In fact, your body is working so hard to produce breast milk you actually need more calories, not less.  Listen to your cravings, feed your body and use the principles below to lose weight slowly and safely (the International La Leche League recommends safe weight loss as one pound per week).

Keep breastfeeding

Your body is burning extra calories to make breast-milk.  Continuing to breastfeed at a steady pace for six months to one year will have you back at your pre-pregnancy weight at a healthy rate.

Exercise with your baby

Moderate daily exercise will not only help you burn calories, but it will help to combat postpartum depression by flooding your body with endorphins.  Exercise is also a great way to be social and meet other moms.  Find out if you local area has a Program for Early Parent Support.

Eat more to lose more

Your body actually has higher caloric needs while breastfeeding, so cutting yourself short can mean less nutrition for you and your baby. When we starve our bodies we tend to hold on to weight, so plan on eating frequently throughout the day and include lots of whole grains, lean protein, fresh vegetables and fruit.  With each meal and snack, be sure to include a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat to keep your energy and metabolism steady.

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