We might not traditionally think of pregnancy as something to get in better shape for, but for those women who are planning to conceive and committed to breastfeeding when the baby arrives, it could be a critical consideration. Preparing for a healthy pregnancy is vitally important. Unfortunately, about 25% of women in the U.S. are obese before pregnancy or gain too much weight during pregnancy.
There are many reasons for a woman to lose as much excess weight as possible before getting pregnant. Weight loss can improve the long-term health of both mother and infant. It can also increase the odds of a more normal and safer delivery for both Mom and baby.
Obesity can impact lactation
There is another rarely talked, about but excellent reason to lose weight before – and staying within weight guidelines during – pregnancy. According to a recent article in the Journal of Human Lactation, breastfeeding may be more difficult for an obese mother.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends: that new mothers breastfeed for at least one year. Many American women quit after a few months, and some are unable to breastfeed at all. Losing excess weight before conception may increase the chances of success by improving insulin levels that are often elevated in obese people.