Q: I am still breastfeeding my 2-year-old, and I’m planning on quitting soon, but I am worried that I’ll put on weight. How much weight do mothers tend to put on when they stop? On the other hand though, I heard that when you’re breastfeeding your body keeps some extra fat stores in the belly region and when you stop that will decrease. Is that true?
A: Keep in mind that once you stop nursing, you will need to eat a regular adult diet and will not need additional calories. If you eat the normal amount of calories recommended for your height and body size, and you exercise several times a week, you will probably not add weight. The recommended amount of calories for women age 15 to 50 is 2200 calories a day, and 2700 to 2850 per day if you are nursing. I don’t believe that most mothers who are nursing tend to put on weight after weaning, although women frequently do put on weight as they get older due to not exercising enough and taking in more calories than they need. The body usually holds 5 to 10 pounds which is generally lost over the first year of nursing. Consult a dietitian if you need help with making good food choices after you wean your baby.
By Ann Calandro
BSN, RNC, IBCLC Lactation Consultant