Board-certified lactation consultant Leigh Anne O'Connor says that, generally speaking, a fully breastfeeding woman burns about 300-500 extra calories a day, however, this doesn't always equal weight loss.
"There are many factors to consider: age of mom, parity, pre-pregnancy weight, mom's diet and if the baby is exclusively breastfed or not," she explains, adding that it can even be different for the same woman with different children.
"Many women find they hold onto a bit of extra weight until they wean while others seem to experience their babies sucking the calories right out of them," she says.
Celebrity moms are quick to attribute their impressive post-baby weight loss to breastfeeding. Are they being honest in saying that breastfeeding is responsible for their ability to bounce back so quickly after childbirth, or are they also dieting, exercising and possibly even getting a little help from the plastic surgeon? Yes, some women have good genetics and are just lucky that way (and we might hate you just a little), however, most moms have to exercise and eat right in addition to breastfeeding.
There is no denying that breastfeeding is best and the possible perk of weight loss is a bonus, however, the best reason to breastfeed is for all the benefits to Baby.
Here are 10 celebrity moms who credit breastfeeding as helping them lose their baby weight — and one who is calling b.s. on it.
"I think breastfeeding really helped (me keep me figure). Some people here (in the U.S.) think they don't have to breastfeed, and I think 'Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?' I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months."
Image: C.M. Wiggins/WENN.com
"I honestly can say I owe it all to breastfeeding. I read somewhere that it's like running six miles a day. I know nursing is difficult for a lot of moms so it's easier said than done."
"I lost most of my weight from breastfeeding and I encourage women to do it; It's just so good for the baby and good for yourself. I'm proud that my waist came back so fast. I'm proud of that and happy, but that was mostly from the breastfeeding."
Image: Brian To/WENN
"I know it's a cliché, but I was eating just ridiculous amounts of food but still losing weight. I think I should just keep breastfeeding until she's 18. Is that weird? [If I] just keep pumping? No, I'm not going to do that. That was a joke. Please don't send letters!"
Image: Vito Amati/iPhoto/WENN
"Breastfeeding's a great workout!" she told Craig Ferguson after he told the new mom how great she looks. "Let me tell you!"
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