Will I Lose Weight When I Stop Breastfeeding?

Will I Lose Weight When I Stop Breastfeeding?
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Key Points

  • The article discusses about losing weight after stopping breastfeeding, highlighting that while breastfeeding burns calories, weight loss is not guaranteed due to factors like metabolism and diet.
  • Hormonal changes play a significant role, as prolactin levels decrease after weaning, potentially reducing hunger.
  • Weight loss success varies individually and is influenced by lifestyle, sleep, and physical activity.
  • Breastfeeding should not be stopped solely for weight loss.
  • Practical tips include mindful eating, staying active, and seeking support.
  • Embracing body changes and setting realistic goals are emphasized.

Breastfeeding is a profound journey that brings numerous benefits to both mother and baby. But as this chapter comes to an end, many mothers are curious about the changes they might experience, particularly regarding weight. One common question is: “Will I lose weight when I stop breastfeeding?” The answer isn’t straightforward and involves several factors, including metabolism, diet, and lifestyle changes.

Understanding Losing Weight After Stopping Breastfeeding

The Breastfeeding-Calorie Connection

Breastfeeding burns calories. On average, a breastfeeding mother uses about 300 to 500 extra calories per day to produce milk. This increased calorie burn can contribute to weight loss postpartum. However, it’s crucial to understand that breastfeeding alone isn’t a guaranteed weight loss strategy. While some women lose weight quickly, others may find it more challenging.

Hormonal Shifts

Hormones play a significant role in weight regulation. During breastfeeding, the hormone prolactin helps with milk production. Prolactin also has an appetite-stimulating effect, which can increase calorie intake. Once breastfeeding stops, prolactin levels decrease, potentially reducing hunger and calorie consumption. Additionally, other hormonal changes post-breastfeeding might impact metabolism and fat storage.

Also Read: Lose Belly Fat After Stopping Breastfeeding: Causes & Tips for Moms

Understanding Post-Breastfeeding Weight Loss
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Factors Influencing Weight Loss Post-Breastfeeding

Individual Metabolism

Metabolism varies widely among individuals. Some women may notice a boost in their metabolic rate after weaning, leading to weight loss, while others may experience a slowdown. Genetics, muscle mass, and overall health can all influence metabolic rate.

Dietary Adjustments

Diet plays a critical role in weight management. During breastfeeding, many mothers increase their food intake to meet the demands of milk production. After stopping breastfeeding, maintaining the same calorie intake without the additional calorie burn can lead to weight gain. Conversely, adjusting diet to align with new calorie needs can support weight loss.

Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is essential for overall health and weight management. Exercise can help burn calories, build muscle, and improve mood. Post-breastfeeding, finding time for exercise might be challenging but incorporating physical activity into daily routines can significantly aid weight loss efforts.

Lifestyle and Sleep

Motherhood often brings sleep deprivation and stress, which can affect weight. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate hunger and metabolism, making weight loss more difficult. Stress can also lead to emotional eating or reduced motivation for physical activity. Prioritizing sleep and finding stress-relief techniques can support a healthy weight.

Will I Lose Weight When I Stop Breastfeeding? Should I Stop Breastfeeding
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Should I Stop Breastfeeding to Lose Weight?

Many moms wonder: “Should I stop breastfeeding to lose weight?” The simple answer is No. Breastfeeding has lots of good things for both you and your baby. Like making a strong bond, giving good nutrition and keeping the immune system strong. The decision to wean should be based on personal and medical reasons rather than solely on the desire to lose weight

Will I Lose Weight When I Stop Breastfeeding?

Weight loss can be achieved through healthy lifestyle changes and does not necessitate the cessation of breastfeeding. In fact, stopping breastfeeding abruptly can lead to discomfort and other health issues. It’s important to consider the well-being of both mother and baby when making such a decision. Consulting a healthcare provider can offer personalized advice and support.

Also Read: When Does Breastfeeding Get Easier? A New Mom’s Guide

Practical Tips for Managing Weight Post-Breastfeeding

Mindful Eating

Being mindful of food choices and portion sizes is crucial. Focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and be cautious of emotional eating habits.

Staying Active

Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Even short bursts of exercise can be effective. Consider activities like walking with your baby, joining a postpartum fitness class, or doing home workouts. Consistency is key.


Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and can support weight loss. Drinking water before meals can help control appetite and prevent overeating.

Seeking Support

Support from family, friends, or a healthcare professional can be beneficial. Consider joining a support group for mothers transitioning from breastfeeding, where you can share experiences and tips.

Realistic Goals

Set realistic weight loss goals. Understand that every body is different and weight loss can be a gradual process. Celebrate small milestones and focus on overall health rather than just numbers on a scale.

Also Read: Lose Belly Fat After Stopping Breastfeeding: Causes & Tips for Moms

will i lose weight when i stop breastfeeding - Common Misconceptions
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Common Misconceptions About Post-Breastfeeding Weight Loss

Myth: Stopping Breastfeeding Leads to Immediate Weight Loss

While some women may experience weight loss after stopping breastfeeding, it’s not immediate for everyone. Hormonal adjustments, lifestyle changes, and individual metabolism all play a role.

Myth: Breastfeeding Guarantees Weight Loss

Breastfeeding can aid in weight loss for some, but it’s not a guarantee. Factors such as diet, activity level, and genetics also significantly influence weight loss during and after breastfeeding.

Myth: Weight Gain After Weaning is Unavoidable

Weight gain post-weaning is not inevitable. With mindful eating, regular exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices, many women successfully manage their weight after stopping breastfeeding.

Emotional Aspects of Weaning and Weight

Weaning can be an emotional process. The bond formed through breastfeeding is unique, and transitioning away from it can bring mixed feelings. It’s important to acknowledge these emotions and seek support if needed. Emotional well-being is closely tied to physical health, and managing stress and emotions can positively impact weight management efforts.

Embracing Body Changes

Motherhood brings about significant body changes, and it’s essential to embrace and appreciate these changes. Every mother’s journey is unique, and comparing oneself to others can be detrimental. Focus on your own progress and health.

Seeking Professional Guidance

If weight management becomes challenging, seeking guidance from a healthcare professional, such as a dietitian or personal trainer, can provide personalized strategies and support. They can help create a tailored plan that aligns with your lifestyle and health goals.


The journey of motherhood, including breastfeeding and weaning, is filled with unique experiences and challenges. Weight loss post-breastfeeding is influenced by various factors, including metabolism, diet, physical activity, and hormonal changes. Understanding these factors and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can support weight management and overall well-being.

Remember, every mother’s experience is different. While some may lose weight quickly after weaning, others may take longer. Patience, self-care, and realistic goals are crucial. Embrace your body’s changes, seek support when needed, and focus on overall health rather than just the number on the scale.

Ultimately, the well-being of both mother and baby is paramount. Celebrate the milestones of your motherhood journey and take pride in the incredible efforts you’ve made for your child. With time, support, and healthy habits, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight post-breastfeeding is entirely possible.


Is it easier to lose weight after you stop breastfeeding?

It’s a myth that breastfeeding burns a lot of calories making milk. While you do burn some stored body fat, your body keeps some fat for breastfeeding. Many women don’t lose all their baby weight until they stop nursing completely.

What are the side effects of stopping breastfeeding?

After stopping breastfeeding, some people might experience unusual symptoms such as difficulty sleeping (insomnia), sweating at night (night sweats), feeling very sad (depression), and feeling very worried (anxiety).

What happens if you stop breastfeeding suddenly?

Stopping breastfeeding suddenly can cause problems. A mother might still produce a lot of milk, which can lead to blocked milk ducts, breast infections (mastitis), or even abscesses. Sudden weaning can also increase stress levels, which might worsen symptoms of depression.

Do breasts get smaller after stopping breastfeeding?

Producing milk makes your breast tissue denser. After you stop breastfeeding, the fatty and connective tissues in your breasts might change. Your breasts may or may not go back to their original size or shape. Some women’s breasts remain larger, while others become smaller.

Why am I gaining weight while breastfeeding?

Gaining weight while breastfeeding can happen for various reasons. One reason is that your body needs extra calories to make breast milk. So, you might eat more than usual to keep up with this demand. Also, hormones play a role. When you breastfeed, your body releases a hormone called prolactin, which can make you feel hungry. Plus, sleep deprivation and stress, which are common in new mothers, can affect your weight. If you’re not eating a balanced diet or not getting enough physical activity, that could also contribute to weight gain.

Remember, everyone’s body is different, so what works for one person might not work for another. If you’re concerned about your weight, it’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

How do I lose belly fat after stopping breastfeeding?

Dr. Moskovitz suggests eating balanced meals with healthy foods to help you feel better. It’s also good to try to stay active when you can, to help your body handle hormonal changes.


  1. Lactation has persistent effects on a mother’s metabolism and mitochondrial function – https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-17418-7
  2. Losing weight while breastfeeding – https://llli.org/breastfeeding-info/weight-loss-mothers/
  3. Should I Stop Breastfeeding to Lose Weight? – https://milkdust.com/blogs/health/should-i-stop-breastfeeding-to-lose-weight
  4. How Do Your Hormones Change After Weaning? – https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-do-your-hormones-change-after-weaning-5097211
  5. Weight Loss After Stopping Breastfeeding – https://www.livestrong.com/article/247773-weight-loss-after-stopping-breastfeeding/
  6. 16 Effective Tips to Lose Baby Weight After Pregnancy – https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/weight-loss-after-pregnancy

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