This post probably contains affiliate links, to items I am in love with, and I am confident you will too! For any health advice I give on nutrition and wieghtloss, make sure you check with your doctor, as I am not a health professional. I am just a mama with lots of health and fitness knowledge and experience.
Losing the baby weight while breastfeeding, with a low milk supply isn’t an easy task. If you struggle with a low milk supply, and you are constantly worried your supply will dip at any moment, then the idea of trying to lose weight becomes too risky. In all reality, our milk supply and weight loss don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. If you have a low milk supply, there are lots of things you can do to pump your milk supply up that don’t have to do with diet or exercise.
As a Pre/Postnatal Fitness Specialist and a mom of three wild boys, I know milk supply and losing weight can be totally scary, or overwhelming. So, I am putting together 5 really smart tips to help you lose weight while breastfeeding with a low milk supply. I want you to know it can be done, and so many mamas are having lots of success in my program + app, which is an app that details your breastfeeding meal plan, grocery lists, recipes, and other awesome tips and tools to help you feed your body properly while losing the baby weight. If you think you need some extra help, see what other mamas are saying!
Let’s get into 5 super smart tips to help you lose the baby weight while breastfeeding with a low milk supply:
Tip #1: Don’t Be Afraid to Use Milk Boosters:
There are some amazing herbs and natural remedies that really do work to boost milk supply. The Mother’s Milk Tea, with fenugreek worked really well for me, and it is a great weight-loss friendly item because tea is zero calories! This tea had a bit of a black-licorice flavor, which can be difficult for some, like me, but I made it with almond milk and Stevia, and found it to be great! These new lactation bites are also my top choice for you to try! I just tried them, and they literally have every lactation-boosting ingredient in them you could want! They taste like a soft, sweet-almond butter flavor, and are 150 calories each. PERFECT breastfeeding snack to seriously give you a boost, without a bunch of extra calories and sugar you find in some of the lactation cookies out there. And, they are full of real, wholesome ingredients that are amazing for your body too. The Nourishing your body while breastfeeding is super important to losing weight. I will get more into that next!
Your might like:
Tip #2: Lactation Protein Shakes:
These are a secret weapon in my opinion, to help lose the weight while breastfeeding, as well as ensure you are getting lots of nutrients as a breastfeeding mama. Protein is really important to breastfeeding and milk supply. I highly recommend this protein powder for mamas with low milk supply because it has TONS OF MILK-BOOSTING INGREDIENTS!!! Seriously, it is amazing, and so much more than a protein powder. If you take anything from this post, nutrients are key. This protein powder is more than just protein. It has essential vitamins and minerals to support your postpartum body, a full-spectrum of lactation-boosting ingredients like fennel, fenugreek and sesame seed. There are more, but I know from experience how awesome fenugreek is alone. In addition, you get the pre/probiotcs your gut needs to function and keep your immune system healthy, as well as digestive enzymes , which help you digest and absorb the nutrients. This stuff is lovely, but a little on the pricier side, so I also recommend this amazing protein powder that is sweeter in flavor, and easier on the budget. It doesn’t have the probiotics or lactation blend, but because it has some awesome fruits and greens combined with the protein (as well as a few grams of more protein per serving), you are getting a lot of great nutrients to support your breastfeeding body, and I highly recommend it for weight loss while breastfeeding, if you aren’t suffering from a super low supply. I have a FREE Protein Smoothie Challenge over at my other blog, this is WONDERFUL to help you see if these work well for you!
The reason that protein shakes can be super helpful for weight loss with a low supply is you can blend them up with more nutritious, and high-fiber fruits and veggies, which will make you feel super full, on a super healthy snack or meal. I say snack or meal because it depends on what you blend. We have lots of protein shake recipes, in my program, and I highly, highly recommend them for breakfast while working on losing weight.
Tip #3: Breastfeed On-Demand/More When Adding Workouts:
This is one key factor many mamas don’t know when they add in workouts. If you add in working out to your weight loss program, add in more nursing sessions. This is going to tell your body to make more milk. Your body WILL make more milk for baby, but it may feel like your supply drops a bit at first, because it will take your body just a few sessions to catch up to the new demand. Don’t panic. Use your lactation bites, or protein powder, or tea to help, and add in one session per 20-30 minutes of working out. Now, if you are just walking, you may not need to do this, but if you are running/jogging like me, this really helps. While nursing my third, I was jogging 4-5 miles at a time, with the stroller, and I just added in more nursing sessions to compensate for more activity. It worked like a charm! And, you don’t have to buy or eat anything. Babies are usually pretty good about nursing on demand, but I know as they get older they can nurse slower because they get distracted. That’s okay, just be patient and try to get more nursing out of them, and things will balance out.
Tip #4: Focus On Nutrition More Than The Workouts:
I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but your 20-40 minute workouts are not going to affect your weight loss much – at all. It is your hours of eating and moving around that affect it more. If you can’t fit in workouts, don’t have access to a gym, or terrible winter weather for walks, put more energy into eating better food. Do some Pilates moves, or my ab rehab program is great of squeezing in some HEALING workouts while the kids are napping, playing, or watching a small show. I try not to use television, but for 15 minutes, so you can heal your abs and pelvic floor, I think is totally worth it! This will help you maintain muscle, and if you are eating lots of nutrient-dense foods, you can totally lose the weight without working out much at all. Stay as active as you can during the day (which isn’t hard if we are home with the kids!), and if you work, be more diligent with your diet. If you have an hour lunch, walk for 30 minutes at least, which will help you have less time to eat too much, and get your body moving.
Tip #5: Get Help If Needed:
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from anyone, or a professional! Every person has unique issues to their body. If you are really struggling, it could be your body’s reaction to the hormone levels while breastfeeding to store fat. This isn’t common, and most would rather blame something uncontrollable than really look at their diet and food intake, but there are cases where your hormones, thyroid or other health issues are affecting your milk supply and weight loss. This is where doctors, naturopaths and nutritionists can really help you. If you can’t afford the professional help, which I know can be an issue, research some ways to balance out your hormones naturally. I wrote a post to help mamas balance mood and postpartum hormones, and sometimes things are out of wack, and need some extra help. I know a lot of mamas just need a program like mine to get them started, and a community of other moms for support (we have a private Facebook group), which got them going and on their way to feeling better and keeping up their milk supply. Sometimes the hardest part is to ask for help, then you will realize how amazing it feels to have some help and relief of knowledge!
No matter what, providing your baby with nutritious breast milk is the most important job we have with new babies. Taking care of ourselves and our bodies is a big part of achieving that goal. If your body isn’t cared for and loved, it is harder for it to care for another body. It is basically a symbiotic relationship, and if we care for ourselves with half as much energy as we care for our babies, both baby and mama will be much happier!