Breastfeeding Can Help New Moms Lose Weight

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It’s a happy thing to have a baby – and for moms who struggle to lose weight, breastfeeding may now be another reason to celebrate the birth of a child. The United States Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines for new mothers say that breastfeeding may help Mommy shed those extra pounds of “baby weight”.

(Guys, we’re talking about breastfeeding a baby. Don’t get any ideas.)

Data accumulated by the USDA indicated that women who breastfeed their children lose more weight between six months and one year after giving birth than mothers who bottle-feed their bambinos.

Why, you may ask? Because breastfeeding burns extra calories. A lot of the fat that women put on naturally during pregnancy is used as a source of food energy to make breast milk. And since breast milk is an extremely rich food – packed with protein, carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals – a mother’s body burns off that fat quickly while producing it. This increases her overall metabolic rate, and thus her ability to shed even more extra pounds.

Besides burning more calories, breastfeeding mothers may experience other positive health benefits.  For example, some evidence suggests that moms who breastfeed  have a lower risk of hip fractures and osteoporosis later in life – an important benefit to those who have undergone weight loss surgery, which can lead to loss of bone density if you don’t eat enough.

And many breastfeeding mothers report an overall increase in their self-confidence and feelings of closeness and bonding with their infants – which, of course, can be of immense value to patients recovering from obesity and its well-known self-image problems.

And then there’s the fact that breast milk is the perfect food for a baby – it’s convenient, it doesn’t require midnight warm-ups or frantic trips to the grocery store, it boosts the baby’s IQ potential and immune system, and it may even cut a child’s risk of developing obesity later in life.

If you want to know more about the benefits of breastfeeding, and how it can help moms lose weight, visit the USDA’s nutrition website at

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