Updated: Jan 31, 2020
I highly encourage you to read through this entire piece. I know it's long, but it's packed with so much helpful information addressing a lot of the main issues I see mamas struggling with every day. I provide a link to my quick instructions on calculating your macros at the very bottom of this post.
Do you feel like every time you try to lose weight, your supply drops? Or that you just can't lose weight until you stop breastfeeding? Are you afraid of even trying? Or when you do try, you end up ravished and then cram anything and everything within arm's reach into your pie hole? Don't worry, you are not alone and this is pretty much the norm. There is a "right way" to do it (not to be confused with "one way"). I offer an in-depth and definitive ebook on navigating postpartum weight loss at www.milkmademacros.com Otherwise, keep reading below!
I first wrote this post in May of 2016, right before the birth of my second son. A few things have happened since then:
I've had my third son! And I've successfully provided breast milk for over a year (and counting) for the third time while losing weight at a slow and steady pace and maintaining a lean physique
I placed in my first (and likely last) bikini competition while exclusively pumping 30-35oz a day for my then 13 month old
I completed UC San Diego's Lactation Educator Counselor certification program (with a final grade of 98%!) and have completed other certification courses in pregnancy and postpartum nutrition, as well as pregnancy and postpartum exercise with Girls Gone Strong
I've worked with over 800 mothers on weight loss through lactation
I have hired a phenomenal assistant coach, Juliette Gibson, who will be working directly with clients to help them successfully navigate their postpartum weight loss journey. She is a mom of young two boys, a former client who lost 30+ pounds in four months through "the process," has defied the odds that doctors gave her with her PCOS, and just an overall invaluable member of our Facebook group!
Wow! A lot can happen in three years!
Oh and no, a Bikini Competition is not a wet T-shirt contest or Spring Break contest. What is a Bikini Competition, then? It's a category of figure competing that puts an emphasis on lean, firm physiques with a focus on muscle shape, symmetry, and aesthetics. Basically, I worked my butt off to build muscle and then decrease my body fat percentage to the lowest it's ever been in my life. I placed 3rd and 5th in my respective categories. Not bad as the only woman who'd had children, let alone was still breastfeeding!
A note before you continue reading:
This post is not to talk about whether “breast is best” or “formula is best”. Additionally, please don’t let anything about my ability to produce so much milk lead you to believe the process was easy. It was so hard! My first son had a lip tie that prevented him from being able to latch - even to bottles (his upper lipped curled under for nearly a year whether it was my boob or the bottle), so my nipples bled and peeled for over a month before they finally adapted. The pain was excruciating. On top of that, my son then got diagnosed with severe reflux AND a cow’s milk protein intolerance, so I had to cut out all dairy products for the next year or else he would poop blood. I was too busy as a mom of two-under-two to pump as rigorously as I did the first time, so I did not have an oversupply with my second and third babies like I did with my first. And also, which is more common than I realized, I would suffer from PPD during nursing sessions and have the most terrible thoughts and visions. I dealt with mastitis, clogged ducts, and overactive letdown that caused my baby to choke and gag. Breast feeding is NOT for everyone, and I get it. However, none of that is what this article is about.
SUMMARY OF TAKEAWAYS:
Be fair to yourself. Growing, delivering, and nurturing a baby is really. fucking. hard. Be sure to give your body the time it needs to heal, reset, and adapt to all the new demands in your life. I'm talking about some REAL time here. A year. Most importantly, do not compare yourself to other moms. Who cares if somebody else's weight melted off by 6-months postpartum? Comparison is the thief of joy. Don't rob yourself of the joys of motherhood in these very early and very fleeting stages of life.
It’s not your decision to breastfeed or formula feed that is affecting your weight loss; it’s whether or not you are eating too much or too little to support the demands of milk production. Eating too little will lead to adaptive changes that can hinder weight loss.
Let your weight loss expectations be realistic. Let go of whatever you were told about the weight “falling off” after you have a baby. It’s never that simple. A six to 12-month timeline is necessary. And you can hope to achieve an average loss of 0.5-1.0 per week. Some weeks you'll lose 2+ pounds and other weeks you may not lose any.
Full-time breastfeeding moms should never let their daily caloric intake fall below 1800-2200 calories per day if you want to keep up milk production. This is backed by scientific evidence. (There are exceptions to this rule.)
Remember, like every pregnancy and every child is different, every mom and her recovery is different, too. Do not compare yourself to other moms. You deserve better than that.
Eat the right foods to support breastfeeding and weight loss, and supplement with vitamins if necessary.
Enjoy exercising, but know that it’s not essential for weight loss. So if you’re in a situation where you can’t workout regularly because of injury, your schedule, poor sleep, or the demands of the baby, do not stress over it too much.
Breastfeeding is a love / hate kind of thing.
Nothing in my life has given me greater satisfaction, happiness, unadulterated joy, and feelings of unconditional love like being a mother has. To say that I’m absolutely obsessed with my babies is an understatement. At the same time, nothing has ever made feel as inadequate, undeserving, incapable, and insecure as parts of motherhood have made me feel.
In between the kisses, the coo’s, cuddles, and the overwhelming feelings of love for my son after they were born, I was second-guessing myself, questioning whether I was doing the best by my baby, and trying to get familiar with my new body, the needs of my new family, and the reality of my new normal. I was sleep-deprived, in pain, chronically hungry, and uncomfortable in my own skin.
You know you’ve seen it. The mother who, in-spite of having circumstances no different that yours, seemingly has her ish together. Her house is orderly, her baby latches perfectly and sleeps through the night, her hair and makeup is always perfect, the baby weight has “melted right off” of her, and she’s already back to her pre-baby weight (and maybe has even lost more).
It seems like our Facebook feeds are inundated with this type of false reality - and I say “false reality” because that’s often just exactly what it is. And while we’re told time and again that no two pregnancies or babies are the same, it’s impossible not to compare ourselves to others and wonder what we are doing that is so wrong that our baby won’t eat…or sleep…or stop crying…or that we still can’t fit back into our skinny jeans.
Ugh, I said the words. “Skinny jeans”. As if when we wear anything else, we’re in “fat pants”. We put so much pressure on ourselves to regain our former routines, our social lives, and our sense of selves, but nothing comes close to the pressure I hear moms feel to regain their pre-baby body.
Often times that pressure comes from society - we are bombarded with images of celebrities and models who are applauded and praised for their slim and svelte figures right after having a baby. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian waste no time in promoting their naked selfies with a “what, like it’s hard?” attitude, without acknowledging nannies, housekeepers, personal assistants, private chefs, personal trainers, starvation diets, financial motivation, and medical intervention that helped them to get there. She’s had a vampire facial done for Pete’s sake…you seriously don’t think a needle has ever been taken to her stomach?!?
Other times, that pressure comes from third parties - I know women in the military that are expected to regain their pre-baby body and weight within six months of having had their baby or else lose position within their careers. And as a daughter of an Asian mom, I’m constantly hearing how so-and-so’s daughter is skinnier than before she had her baby after just three months. And unfortunately, there are plenty of women out there whose significant others criticize and put pressure on them to lose weight faster than is reasonably achievable.
However, most times, the pressure comes from ourselves. We look in the mirror and we are not happy with what we see. We are not happy with how our clothes fit. We hate that we still look pregnant long after the baby is born. We wish to be the one posting pics about their weight loss success or downplaying compliments about how thin we look so soon. Most of all, we just want to live up to the expectations we created for ourselves while we were still pregnant and were certain would be the case for us. It doesn’t help that we’re drained emotionally and physically; God forbid that on top of it all, we’ve “let ourselves go” too. All of this takes its toll on us.
As a nutritionist, and more importantly, as a mom, here are the things I want you to know about losing weight after having your baby.
Be fair to yourself.
First and foremost, be fair to yourself. Creating and nurturing life is incredibly demanding on the body. Delivering a baby is traumatic, and I don’t know how we got to a place in our society where women are expected to leave a hospital in fewer than 2-3 days after giving birth to fend for themselves without any help. For nine months, we bask in attention, are called glowing and radiant, and encouraged to indulge and eat and gain weight. After the baby, the attention shifts to the baby, and we are expected to “bounce back” and our confidence is undermined by older generations of women who share how quickly they lost weight - it’s not widely known that women in the 1960s and 1970s were advised to gain only 15 pounds during pregnancy, a far stretch from the 25-35 pounds we’re advised to gain today. Obviously, 15 pounds is easier to lose than double that amount, especially when most (if not all) of those 15 pounds is composed of placental weight, amniotic fluid, a 50% increase in blood production, and the baby itself.
Additionally, it’s become a badge of honor to be back on your feet within days of a cesarean section or vaginal birth. Should we be embarrassed if we allow ourselves to rest after delivery?And what about peeing ourselves? We are told that urinary incontinence is “normal” (“normal” should NOT be synonymous with “common”). It is overwhelming and very intense to suddenly have to care for a completely dependent human while also trying to recover physically and hormonally. Postpartum depression is just now beginning to get the recognition is deserves, but it’s still so minimally understood. We are expected to “lean in” and do it all, and do it all without any complaints or show any weakness, both at work and during our “second shift” at home. But how is this fair?
Compare this to a back injury. Would we expect our husbands to be back on their feet the day after a surgery they had to correct nine months of physical impairment? Look, I’m not saying that pregnancy and childbirth are a chronic disability or comparable to a lifelong handicap, but yes, with all the hormonal, physical, emotional, and cognitive impact it has, they are still a disability and deserve to be treated as such. Be fair to yourself. It’s okay to admit that recovering after having a baby is hard. Because, guess what, it is. Your body is working hard to repair itself, adjust to widely fluctuating hormones, adapt to a significant decrease in sleep, and, if you’ve decided to breastfeed, to produce food for another life. This last thing I mentioned brings me to my next matter.
Your decision to breastfeed or not breastfeed isn’t what is preventing your weight loss.
I’ve heard it from both sides: “I couldn’t lose weight until I stopped breastfeeding.” Or “I formula fed, so I didn’t lose weight as quickly.” And I’ve even hear the almost suggestively accusatorial “You’re lucky you can lose weight because you’re breastfeeding” or the “Yeah, well it was more important for me to care for my child than to care about my looks.” WHAT THE HELL, MOMS???? WHAT THE HELL?!?!?!
Ugh, anyway, I digress. Here are some research-based truths about breastfeeding and weight loss.
A study at the Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati looked at two large groups of new mothers: breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding. Here are the most important details of the study to consider: We store the majority of fat gained during pregnancy in our thighs and our torso to be used after childbirth to support milk production. Prolactin, the hormone that promotes milk production, also stimulates appetite in breastfeeding women; however, breastfeeding women reported higher levels of activity (calorie expending) than non-breastfeeding women. This led to the following observation after six-month’s and then 12-month’s time: they found that after a time period of six months, both groups had lost weight at a similar rate, regardless of whether or not they breastfed. They then found after a total of one year, both groups of women exhibited the same rate of body weight loss and percentage of body fat lost.
How do I interpret this? Well, first of all, give yourself six to 12 months to lose the weight you gained after pregnancy. If after that point you still have not, then it’s time to consider other reasons you may not be losing weight successfully.
Secondly, 100% of my clients who have lost weight in my program has done so without compromising their ability to produce breastmilk no matter how many months postpartum they were, and I know it’s because they are eating the right amount of calories to do both. When I hear from other moms that their supply is suddenly dropping, the first thing that pops into my head is that they are not eating sufficient calories to support lactation. When you go into a calorie deficit while breastfeeding, whether intentional or not, one of three things is going to happen: (1) milk production will drop, (2) weight loss will be stalled to preserve milk production, or (3) some combination of these two.
This is just an approximation. A more accurate breakdown will take into consideration your
age, weight, height, age of baby, and activity level
Think about the foods most commonly suggested to promote milk production: oatmeal, dark beer, brewer’s yeast, lactation cookies, milk thistle/fenugreek tea or pills, avocado, coconut oil, and flax seeds. What do all of these have in common? They all are either extremely calorie-dense, require lots of water for consumption, and/or are high in b-vitamins, iron, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Yeah, yeah, so there are other biochemical components that help these to increase milk production, but the most influential factor, in my opinion, is the increase in calories, water, and b-vitamins that you consume with each of these.
On the flip side, breastfeeding isn’t a free pass to go overboard and overeat. It isn’t bad enough that prolactin stimulates the appetite at the same time that it stimulates milk production, but then we have the added affect of fatigue, the baby blues, moodiness, tedium, and the need for “comfort” in the form of food contributing to our desire to eat and make poor nutritional choices. If you overeat and have too much of a calorie surplus, it doesn’t matter how much you breastfeed, you won’t lose weight.
So what can you do?
Have a realistic timeline for your expectations.
It sounds cliche, but the saying “nine months on, nine months off” has a lot of truth to it. Regardless of how quickly it seems that someone else lost weight postpartum, give yourself at least nine months to a year to regain your pre-pregnancy body composition. Note that I said “body composition” and not simply “body”. You have to remember that things move around and change to accommodate our babies. There’s a very good chance that your hips will grow wider and stay wider. Forever. Your boobs may go up, then go down, then go back up, and then go way down. And don’t even get me started on my bellybutton or dinner plate areolas. But hey, that’s the beauty of our bodies and what it can do to create life!
Now, in my opinion, no attempts to lose weight should be made within the first three months after having a baby. Between your healing hoo-ha or cesarean surgery, a redistribution of hormones, establishing your milk supply, adapting to no sleep, and looking after a newborn, losing weight needs to be moved down in the priority scale for this critical and vulnerable time in your life. Attempting weight loss can be frustrating, so instead focus on eating nutritionally, resting, visiting with people that make you happy, spending quality time with your significant other, and most importantly, just relishing and being in the moment with your new baby. I know that while you’re in the throws of things, it seems like it has been forever and will never end, but in reality, it is such a small blip in time. It really does pass too quickly, and you can’t regain those unique and precious moments. Don’t rob yourself of happiness and these fleeting moments; you have the rest of your life to try and lose weight.
Lose weight and fat at a healthy rate - no more than 0.5 to 1.5 pounds per week - and do not cut your calories below 1800-2200 per day (again, there are exceptions to this).
There are several reasons for why a breastfeeding woman should not attempt to lose more than 0.5 to 1.5 pounds per week. In fact, you should try to let the weight come off as naturally as possible before you intervene with any sort of nutrition plan.
First, to quickly explain what accounts for actual fat loss: it takes a calorie deficit of roughly 3500 calories to lose a pound of fat. Averaging that over a week, that’s a deficit of 500 calories a day. Well, the average baby takes enough milk to require the mother to consume an additional 500 calories a day. See the conflict here?
Now, for whatever reason, the common misnomer is that women should consume no more than 1200 to 1400 calories a day to lose weight. I believe this stems from the FDA’s advice that women need a minimum of 1200 to 1400 to maintain their BMR.“BMR” stands for Basil Metabolic Rate, which is the amount of calories your body burns doing nothing but performing life-sustaining processes. In other words, it’s the amount of calories you would burn if in a coma, and it does not take into consideration the calories you expend while walking, playing with your babies, standing, sitting, shopping, thinking, digesting food, moving, etc etc. So to advise a woman to consume this few number of calories is terrible for so many reasons that I can’t begin to go into detail here, but in sum: yes, you will lose weight, but it will also adversely affect your metabolism, hormonal balance, reproductivity, and continued ability to lose weight and maintain weight loss. So unless you’re able to go through the rest of your life at only 1200 calories, then expect to gain the weight back and more because your body has become accustomed to 1200 calories, but you can no longer maintain that sort of lifestyle and end up eating at a surplus. Additionally, at some point your weight loss will stall, and then what? Do you go down to 1000 calories? No way! Because, craziness! At what point does a “diet” become reclassified as “anorexia”? Regardless, studies have shown that breastfeeding women maintain an ample supply of milk when they consume a minimum of 1800 to 2200 calories, and more specifically, consuming fewer than 1500 to 1800 calories caused the women in the study to experience a significant drop in their breastmilk production. There you go - evidence-backed research states it pretty clearly.
pumping while exclusively breastfeeding allowed me to eat 2800-3300
calories a day while still losing weight
Another reason to avoid aiming to lose a lot of weight at once is the simple truth that weight loss is not linear. Weight loss does not automatically translate into fat loss, and it will not be consistent week-over-week. There are many factors that influence your weight, including water retention, existing muscle mass, time of day, your menstrual cycle and hormonal balance. Weight loss can stall and, conversely, weight loss can build momentum and have an exponential, snow-ball effect. If you rely on a scale and focus on the numbers, then you are setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment. It is good to have goals in place, but you should avoid stepping on the scale more than once every one to two weeks. And then even still, do not put too much weight (no pun intended) on what the scale says.
Know what to avoid and what to seek out.
Avoid crash diets, cleanses, and promises of rapid weight loss from wraps, supplements, or “jump start” detox programs.
Seek out foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as high quality fish oils, wild caught fish, chia seeds, flax seeds, or algae oil. Eat a well-balanced diet and eat consistently throughout the day. I know this is easier said than done when you’re fending for yourself with a newborn, but spend 30 minutes a night making foods to have on hand to snack on throughout the day. Examples include hardboiled Omega-3 fortified organic eggs, Greek yogurt, nuts, fresh fruit, chopped chicken breasts, cheese sticks, cottage cheese cups, nitrate free deli meats, line or trill caught tuna packed in its own oils, a medley of vegetables, and beverages such as water, almond milk, sparkling water, and/or coconut water.
Do not let unnecessary comparisons steal your joy.
Don’t set your expectations for weight loss on another mom’s supposed success. As I’ve already covered, celebrities, models, and profession TV/media personalities lose weight as if their livelihood depends on it, because - well, it does. And they do it with the help of their management, agents, personal assistants, nannies, personal chefs, and personal trainers. And, let’s be real here, most likely medical intervention.
But what about that mom you know from class or that you follow on Instagram? Maybe your best mom friend seems to be shedding the pounds without even trying. Seeing this while feeling like you’re making no progress can really mess with your head and get you down. You have a new baby, this should be the happiest time in your life! Don’t let a fixation on the scale rob you of this joy.
Here’s a real life example of how things are so different for each mom depending on their lifestyle and circumstances. After I had my baby, the scale at my house didn’t budge for weeks. I had seen all this stuff about losing 15 pounds before you even leave the hospital, so imagine my surprise when I got home and I weighed exactly the same as I did before I delivered! Well, like most hospital deliveries, I was pumped full of saline through an IV and my body just did NOT want to let that water go, so naturally, I was heavier. I didn’t see the scale number start to drop for about a week, and it was at least another 8-10 weeks before I could even force my wedding rings back onto my sausage fingers. But after about the eighth week, then my body started to let go of the water and started to burn more fat. My milk supply was getting established and the hormones seemed to be settling into place. Before I knew it, I was one of those moms who was dropping weight like crazy. I had four other close girlfriends give birth within 8 weeks of me, and I seemed to be losing weight at twice the pace they were. Why do I think that was? Here are some of my thoughts: (1) I am the only one out of my friends that lifted heavy weights both before, during, and after her pregnancy, so I had more muscle mass on my body. More muscle mass means a higher metabolism, so I had that advantage. (2) My baby was EXTREMELY colicky and suffered from extreme reflux, and could not be put down, so all day long I had to wear him, bounce him, swing him, carry him, and rock him. I was moving ALL the time and barely ever sat down - I even had to eat standing up. I jokingly say that I literally bounced back, but it’s not really a joke. I bounced on an exercise ball for HOURS everyday trying to soothe my baby. (3) Since I’m a nutritionist and familiar with meal planning, I made sure to set aside some time (no matter how exhausted I was - I just wasn't prepared to accept excuses) to cut up grilled chicken, boil eggs, and have other easily accessible high protein foods in the fridge so that I had ample protein on hand to eat along with my dense carbs and healthy fats. I ate 6-12 lactation cookies a day and cups and cups of trail mix with M&Ms! But I was also eating plenty of proteins throughout the day to ensure I hit my protein quota. (4) I never supplemented my breastmilk and was also pumping 2-times a day to store. Since your body burns about an extra 20 calories for every ounce of breast milk it creates, I was burning about 1000 calories a day just in producing milk. I made sure to eat enough to compensate for this (I was able to eat about 2600-3300 calories a day on my highest production days!), and because my body was getting all the nutrients that it needed from the food I was eating to make milk, it didn’t need to conserve my fat stores for as long.
These are the things that I’m absolutely certain that I did differently than my friends. But you know what? By the time our little ones turned a year old, everyone was back to their pre-pregnancy bodies too, if not lighter, so just as the research has shown, the playing field is pretty much leveled by one year no matter whether your breast feed or not!
Continue to take your prenatal vitamins and/or other supplements.
Breastfeeding, like pregnancy, requires a lot of your bodies resources and nutrients. In order for you produce milk that is rich in vitamins and minerals, it has to come from your own nutrient stores. Common deficiencies that result from breastfeeding are that of calcium and iron. Sufficient iron levels will really improve your energy levels, so be sure that you are maximizing the nutritional content of your foods and supplementing if necessary.
Exercise if it’s reasonably manageable.
There can be a lot of things that affect your ability to exercise after you have your baby. Whether it’s accessibility to a workout program, lack of time, lack of energy, pain from birth, or just prioritizing other activities, your ability to lose weight is not conditional on being able to exercise. Regardless, there are a lot of benefits that can be gained from a well-designed workout plan, and even from basic activities such as walking! On my blog, I post a lot of pregnancy and postpartum-friendly workouts that can be done right in your homes and in just 20 minutes a day. Or you can just take a walk. Don’t overdo it and don’t push yourself faster or harder than you’re ready for. Exercise should be something that you enjoy and that is not a punishment.
Something that must be mentioned and noted regarding breastfeeding.
Being a first time mom and/or choosing to breastfeed for the first time can be overwhelming, to say the least. Nothing that we’ve experienced or have been told can fully prepare us for what’s about to happen to our world (I laugh now thinking back to when I thought having a puppy was getting me ready to be a parent - HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No. Just, no.)
One of the common misconceptions about breastfeeding is that, when our milk “comes in”, we’ll be making tons of milk right away. It’s very important to know that milk-production is a supply and demand process. The more milk you demand from your breasts from direct feeding or from pumping (the greater influencer being direct feeding as it’s more efficient), the more your body will begin to produce. So, any number of things can influence how much you produce based on supply and demand: (1) whether or not you’re supplementing with formula, (2) whether or not you’re direct feeding or pumping into a bottle (the latch makes a difference in the amount produced), (3) how old your baby is, and (4) whether you feed on a schedule or you feed on demand.
Only about 2% of women actually suffer from a condition that prevents them from producing milk, and in those cases, a doctor can often prescribe drugs to help them make milk (there have been cases in which adoptive mothers -and even a man- have been able to take this drug to begin lactation). Speaking with a lactation consultant can help to relieve fears that you are not producing enough milk.
So, it’s very important to note that right away, you may not produce a lot. A newborn’s stomach is about the size of a cherry and then grows to the size of an egg over the course of the next few weeks. So, naturally, your supply will grow to meet those demands - but only IF you give it the chance to. It’s easy to worry that your baby is starving and then try to supplement with formula. And if you do that, that’s fine, but realize that the less you allow baby to latch on and/or pump and instead formula feed for a couple of feedings throughout the day or night, then you will not create the milk demand for your body that is required to increase your supply. And more than likely, the cycle will repeat where your supply is short of the demand and you then supplement, thus further reducing the demand. If you do choose to supplement while breastfeeding, it’s important that you pump for at least 15-20 minutes at the same time IF you want to increase your supply. If you don’t care about exclusively breastfeeding, then don’t bother!
And know also that it will not happen overnight. I was able to donate and store as much I did because I made sure to pump after nearly every feeding for an additional 15 minutes. At first I’d only get an ounce or so, but then after a few months (the operative word here being “months”), I was getting 5-8 ounces or more from each breast in addition to what I was feeding my baby. This option is not for everyone - it was very time consuming and made me never want to buy commercial milk again because of how much I began to feel sorry for cows, but I’m so glad that I did it because I was able to help other babies in need, and I was able to continue to exclusively give my son breast milk after I weaned him off of nursing when we began to start trying for baby number two.
At the end of the day, just remind yourself that you are a great mom! And you're doing the best you can without an instruction manual. This is such a blip in the bigger picture, so just enjoy every precious minute and take each day one at a time.
This was a long post, but I felt like it deserved this much discussion and the research to support my statements. Thank you for reading, and I would LOVE to hear from you on this topic. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Behan, Eileen. Eat Well, Lose Weight While Breastfeeding. New York: Villard Books, 1992. Levine, M.D., Sheldon. Hello, Baby! Good-bye, Baby Fat! New York: William Morrow, 1999.
Huggins, K., Petok, E., & Mireles, O. Markers of lactation insufficiency: a study of 34 mothers. Current issues in clinical lactation 2000; 25-35. Retrieved from http://www.sonic.net/~mollyf/igt/
Debbie Miller, RN. Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines in the US - a Historical Overview. Doctors Lounge Website. Available at: http://www.doctorslounge.com/index.php/articles/page/14732. Accessed April 27 2016.
Neifert MR (2001). “Prevention of breastfeeding tragedies.” Pediatr Clin North Am 48(2): 273-97.
Wolk, Mel. Weight Loss while Breastfeeding. St. Peters, Missouri, USA; LEAVEN, Vol. 33 No. 5, October-November 1997, p. 115.
Wosje KS1, Kalkwarf HJ (2004). “Lactation, weaning, and calcium supplementation: effects on body composition in postpartum women.” Am J Clin Nutr. Aug; 80(2):423-9.