If you're nursing a baby and carrying a little extra weight, you may be tempted to join Nutrisystem's comprehensive weight loss program. Resist the urge. It may be unhealthy for you and your baby. Here's why:
Extra Weight After Pregnancy
Your extra weight after delivery is natural and provides an important source of energy for producing breast milk. You will likely lose your pregnancy weight gain over the course of six months to one year.
Your body will need extra calories to produce between 16 and 48 ounces of breast milk per day. That adds up to 400 to 1,000 calories per day, apart from your own body's needs for calories. Nutrisystem provides just 1,200 calories per day.
Dieting may decrease your milk supply, which can result in inadequate weight gain for your baby. Supplementing with infant formula can further decrease your milk supply by reducing the amount of time the baby is at the breast.
Exercise, Don't Diet
You can lose a bit of weight and remain healthy by combining a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet--approximately 1,800-2,000 calories a day--with 30 minutes of exercise three to four times a week.
The Bottom Line
Nutrisystem recognizes the health risks of dieting during breastfeeding. It's Agreement of Terms and Conditions states, "You may not use a Nutrisystem program if you are pregnant [or] nursing." Hold off on calorie restriction until you've completed breastfeeding or until your baby is receiving most of his nutrition from solid foods.
- Photo Credit mother and daughter image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com baby in nature image by .shock from Fotolia.com worried image by Dumitrescu Ciprian from Fotolia.com