Postpartum weight loss rate and duration depends on the weight gained during pregnancy. A mother who has not gained much weight in pregnancy may lose excessive weight during breastfeeding and not have enough milk. On the other hand, a mother gaining 9-12 kg in pregnancy can regain her former weight at the end of first 6 months or in maximum one year as a result of balanced nutrition and active breastfeeding. However, mothers gaining excessive weight such as 18-30 kg in pregnancy will take a longer time to return to their normal weight. The most important way of weight loss during breastfeeding is to not gain excessive weight in pregnancy and have regular meetings with a nutrition specialist starting from pregnancy, because mother’s health is just as important as baby’s health. Therefore, planning should be made from the very beginning for both maternal and infant health prior to gaining excessive weight in pregnancy and causing an imbalance in the body.

Foods to be consumed by mothers for a healthy weight loss

Heavy diets for quick weight loss negatively affect breast milk. Carbohydrate and protein-poor nutrition reduces breast milk. Protein and calcium-rich milk, yoghurt, cheese and egg are very important foods for the mother. Meat, chicken or fish should absolutely be consumed every day. It is more correct to meet carbohydrate needs with full grain products rather than simple sweet carbohydrates.

Unconscious weight-loss attempts reduce breast milk. Breastfeeding mother should be informed on changes in her body weight during breastfeeding. Breastfeeding mothers should not lose more than 2 kg within a month. Inadequately nourished mother uses her own sources of nutrients if her body cannot meet the increasing energy and nutritional elements with diet. As a result, mother’s health may gradually get impaired and milk secretion may decrease. Milk secreted in breastfeeding is a product of foods consumed by the mother. Necessary foods for milk secretion should be deemed an addition to her own nutritional needs. Energy requires the consumption of proteins, vitamins and minerals.