Study Shows Breastfeeding Helps With Postpartum Weight loss

By JustMommies staff

A new study proves what many breastfeeding moms already knew; breastfeeding helps moms with postpartum weight loss.  More than 25,000 moms participated in the Danish study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

According to a report on CBS news, the study collected information on the moms’ breastfeeding history and scored the results based on the length and intensity of breastfeeding.  What researchers discovered was that the moms who had the highest breastfeeding scores were more likely to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight within the first six months of giving birth.

The amount of weight gained during pregnancy was also an important factor in postpartum weight loss.  According to the CBS news report, 38% of American moms gain more weight than is recommended during pregnancy.  Moms who gained an excessive amount of weight were less likely to take the pregnancy weight off in six months.

Researchers found that moms who breastfed exclusively were likely to lose all of their extra baby weight within six months of giving birth, provided that they had not gained excessive weight during their pregnancies.  As long as they had a reasonable amount to lose, exclusively breastfeeding helped them to lose the baby weight faster than moms who didn’t breastfeed.  

According to the study, moms who didn’t breastfeed retained an extra 4.4 pounds of baby weight at six month postpartum, compared to the moms who were still breastfeeding at six months.