I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl three months ago and I am thoroughly enjoying breastfeeding and bonding with her. I intend to breastfeed for at least one year, but I am also desperate to lose all the weight I have gained. I know I should not cut my calorie intake while breastfeeding and I have therefore taken to doing a lot of exercises. I have exercised for the last one month but have not lost any weight. Are there strategies I can apply to help me shed weight without reducing the quantity and quality of my breast milk?

Most women take six to 12 months to return to their pre-pregnancy weight. Breastfeeding increases the need for nutrients such as protein, calcium and folate. If you are on a diet, it may be difficult to meet these needs, which could affect your milk supply, and put your health at risk.

The other reason why dieting is not recommended while breastfeeding is because looking after a baby requires lots of energy so you need your full calorie intake. You should not worry about your weight until you stop breastfeeding. What you are doing – exercising – is good for you.

While the scales may not show weight loss because you are converting fat into muscle, you are preparing ground for a great body when you will be in a position to also diet. As muscle weighs more than fat, for now your weight may not change, but your body should be more toned.

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