Breastfeeding is blissful. But it comes with a massive toll on your body.
If you are a new mom, breastfeeding your baby is exhausting. And it drains a lot from you, resulting in significant weight loss.
Thus, new moms often inquire about how to gain weight while breastfeeding.
To gain weight while breastfeeding, you must add extra fat and calories to your diet. Include proteins like fish, egg, poultry, and meat 2-3 times daily. Oatmeal and whole wheat will help to gain weight. Dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and milk will also help to gain weight while breastfeeding.
You already got an idea about what to eat to gain weight when breastfeeding. However, there is more you need to know. It’s not only about food; your lifestyle and mindset also play a vital role in breastfeeding weight gain.
Stay with me to have a comprehensive journey through the most blissful part of motherhood: breastfeeding!
Table of Content
How to Gain Weight While Breastfeeding?
Losing weight while breastfeeding is a common scenario for new moms. It’s a grave concern about how much weight do you retain while breastfeeding. Losing weight can severely affect your and your baby’s health.
Therefore, you need some proven tips to gain weight after delivery, especially breastfeeding. Let me share some proven factors to help you gain extra pounds while feeding your baby.
1. Know Your Body
The first thing you should know is your own body. You might be thinking, why am I losing weight after delivery? Well, it’s normal. There is no other way to gain proper weight while breastfeeding but this.
As you know, women face multiple challenges and hormonal ups and downs. So, knowing your body type and the need for it is essential.
That’s why you need to focus on it, which will be the first thing you should do. Moreover, it would help if you took proper nutrients according to your body type. Monitoring your body and weight in the right way is compulsory, especially when you are breastfeeding.
And for that, you need to be prepared for the upcoming challenges. And to give your newborn baby proper food and also keep yourself healthy, maintaining all these things is necessary. But the first step will be self-enlightening.
2. The Perfect Diet
Plan a chart of diet for breastfeeding. It will help you to gain weight in a healthy way.
If you are underweight, then breastfeeding might be a difficult task to do. Also, it might affect your health. That’s why you need to be healthy. And to keep fit, you need an ideal diet plan.
There are several things that you need to consider when you are planning your diet. Consult with your doctor and nutritionist. Your nutritionist will suggest what your body will need while breastfeeding.
You will need good calories to balance your weight while breastfeeding. Your nutritionist can suggest the ideal amount of calories you must take daily.
You can have vegetables, potatoes, bread, lots more stuff. Try to take the right amount of dry fruits as well.
Try different types of salads. It will provide lots of calories. And if you want to add more calories to your body, you can try cheddar cheese. Sprinkle some cheese or mix it with your food.
Add milk to your diet. It’s necessary when you are into breastfeeding. You can also take fat-free milk if you want. It has a lean protein that will be effective for your health.
Milk gives you some more calories and your baby more calcium. If you are making soup, mix fat-free milk powder into it. It will make the soup creamy and give you extra nutrition.
Carbs and Natural Sugar
Overall, you need to take a proper amount of calories to gain weight and give your baby complete nutrition. Try to take fish oil, honey, and carbohydrates. You can have bread as a quick meal. Also, put honey or jam onto it to make it more delicious.
Last but not least, drink lots of water. It will keep you hydrated. You can take juice or smoothies when you don’t feel like eating.
Consult with your doctor before starting any supplements to gain weight while breastfeeding.
3. Know Your Eating Limit
Gaining weight doesn’t mean eating whatever you want. Overeating doesn’t do any good to your health. It even makes you fat and unhealthy.
And when you are breastfeeding, it will also be harmful to your baby’s health. That’s why you need to know how much you should eat for a proper diet.
After losing your baby weight, you need to concentrate on your body weight. You need to take 500-600 calories per day. Also, for your baby, you need to boost your breast milk to have the entire daily nutrients it needs.
And after 6 months, when your baby can eat food, you can manage your diet at that time.
4. Regular Exercise
You could start exercising only if you had a normal delivery without complications. In that case, you can begin within a few days. Otherwise, you can’t do any exercise until your body gets healed. It might increase the complications if you do it.
Also, exercising won’t be appreciated if you have a breast infection or heavy bleeding problem. So, in that case, you must avoid it.
Consult your doctor before getting into any exercise method. And if you want to work out, then start with free hands. Don’t force your body. It would help if you did that by doing proper rest between every set.
You can also do warm-up and slight stretching if you want. It will be easier and more effective for you.
Moreover, try to pump your breast milk before starting your exercise. Also, you can wear breast pads if you are concerned about breast milk leaking.
5. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol will do no good to your body. It will become more harmful after giving birth. Alcohol will severely impact the fluctuating hormone levels and will make things worse.
You may lose appetite in the first place and will gain bad fat in the body. Yes, you will see a rise in the body scale, but they are not in a healthy way.
Alcohol will disrupt your sleep pattern. It will end up in mood swings, bad temper, and malnutrition.
Pro Tips: Read this CDC Guideline About Breastfeeding Just After Tacking Alcohol
Keep a thing in your mind that alcohol doesn’t stay in your milk. And when you are sober, the alcohol will be gone from it. But in the case of caffeine, it can pass into your milk, but it won’t affect the baby much.
But if you want to gain weight, then this should be totally avoided. It is because it’s essential to have a healthy body, but if you take alcohol, you cannot achieve that.
6. Keep the baby’s health first
No matter what you eat to gain weight, the baby’s health should be considered first. Your baby will get the elements of what you eat. So, always keep that in your mind.
And to gain weight, you need to consult a nutritionist. He will tell you what elements will be appropriate for your weight gain and your baby’s sound health.
And to do it, you need to eat a proper meal. First of all, try different and delicious food that has different flavors in it. The reason is that flavors will also be present in your milk.
Further, eat colorful foods such as different kinds of vegetables and all the natural food you can have. Also, eat fish daily. Fish oil is vital for your body. It would be best to consider other types of fish like tuna, bluefish, salmon, bass, and flounder.
But there are some foods to avoid while breastfeeding:
- King mackerel
- Red pepper
- Sugary drinks
Furthermore, take care of whether the baby has an allergy or not. So, avoid eating that element that your baby has allergies to. Overall, you need to make the weight gain by keeping your baby’s health in mind.
7. Take Proper Sleep
Eating a proper meal as a breastfeeder’s diet is essential. But one of the most important things that should be considered is adequate rest.
You should fully complete your sleep. The reason is that if you are not resting properly, no matter what you eat, it won’t work well.
All the nutrition of food will sit on your body if you take a sound sleep. That’s why you need to sleep correctly and thus you can gain weight.
We know that having a baby is not easy. It’s a tiresome responsibility. You cannot sleep properly when you have a baby beside you. It will irritate you and also need you throughout the night.
But apart from all these things, you must sleep whenever possible. Also, your hubby should have some responsibilities too. You both should share the duties and take good care of the baby. And by maintaining everything, you need to rest appropriately for your own sake.
Prolactin and Weight Gain while Breastfeeding
Due to the prolactin surge right after giving birth, you may gain weight instantly. In fact, a study shows breastfeeding moms gain 20 to 25 pounds in the first year of motherhood.
However, as nursing mothers are more concerned about their health and avoid alcohol and caffeine, they tend to lose pregnancy weight faster than non-nursing moms.
Moreover, breastfeeding requires extra calories that are produced by prolactin. When your baby stops breast milk, the prolactin surge subsides, and you start getting the old body back.
What should I eat to gain weight while breastfeeding?
You need to take proper meals every day if you want to gain weight while breastfeeding. Dieting when breastfeeding is also helpful. You will need lots of protein and calories to gain weight and build up milk for your baby.
And that’s why we eat different types of food including vegetables, fish, meat and lots more. Try to eat green and yellow vegetables daily. Eggs, poultry, dry fruits, and beans will complete most of your needs.
Besides, bread, oatmeal, pasta, and cereal will also add some calories. And lastly, drink lots of water daily. All these things will help to gain weight in a healthy way.
Can you gain weight while breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is very common and tiresome for a woman’s body after having a baby. Generally, the mother feels hungry when she’s breastfeeding.
The reason is the hormonal changes that she has to face throughout this time. So, the weight naturally increased. But you will lose weight if you won’t take proper food or fulfill your hunger. You will also feel weak.
But gaining weight is possible if you maintain your diet. There are some myths that people believe. And one of them is that women lose weight while breastfeeding. But it’s not totally accurate.
That’s why you have to know how to gain weight while breastfeeding. So, the myths might be cleared at last. Overall, if you want to gain weight, you must follow the things we have shared with you before.
How many calories do I need to gain weight while breastfeeding?
When breastfeeding your baby, you need to take a proper amount of calories per day. You need to consume 2200-2500 calories daily to get perfect weight.
When having a newborn baby, you need to feed it 8-10 times a day. And that’s why you will need more calories for your body.
On the other hand, when your baby can eat food instead of milk, you will need to feed less than before. At that time, you can focus more on yourself. Just take the ideal amount of calories, and then you can get your desired weight.
How can I maintain my weight while breastfeeding?
The only way to maintain weight is to follow the dieting rules and the diet chart. Overall, it would be best if you had lots of calories. You must take extra 450-500 calories per day.
You can have oatmeal, cereal, and whole grains as your meal. Also, it would be best to eat lots of fruits, veggies, a generous amount of meat, and lean protein. All these things help more to gain weight and maintain it naturally.
To conclude, we have shown you some information so you can have a detailed note about how to gain weight while breastfeeding. We all know that being a mother is not an easy task. But women have the power to accept all the challenges.
You can also do it. Just have faith in yourself. Also, it’s essential to take care of yourself. Take proper meals and proper rest too. Remember, if you are healthy, your baby will also be beneficial.