Did Olivia Wilde’s Breastfeeding Help Her Lose Baby Weight?
In case you missed it, go pick up the September issue of Glamour magazine and check out the photos of this month’s cover star, the always beautiful Olivia Wilde. The new mom looks radiant on the cover less than four months after giving birth to her little bundle, Otis, but the most interesting (and to some, controversial!) shot is on the inside of the magazine. There she is, sitting in a diner booth, wearing a drool-worthy dress, and ever so tenderly breastfeeding her baby in a magazine that’s read by more than 2.3 million women each month. If that’s not an endorsement for public breastfeeding, I don’t know what one looks like—but it also might be something else: The answer to how Olivia dropped her baby weight so quickly!
If you’ve heard that breastfeeding is a solid way to lose weight after giving birth, I’m here to tell you that the whispers from your mommy group are 100 percent true. You burn several hundred calories a day breastfeeding—it all depends on how much your baby is taking in, but doctors estimate that for a baby who’s ingesting only breast milk, you could burn around 600 calories a day just from feeding time. That’s like going to a mega boot camp workout without even stepping foot in a stinky gym!
Still, it’s important to be realistic and understand that you may not get Olivia Wilde type results within your first four months of being a mom. First off, Olivia likely has a whole team including a personal trainer and a celeb nutritionist on her side to help her look and feel her best post baby, and more power to her for that—I mean, I think many of us would sign up for those things immediately if we could afford them! And you should also know that while you’re breastfeeding your little one, a hormone called prolactin is coursing through your body. Similar to some pregnancy hormones, prolactin reduces—but doesn’t completely get rid of—your body’s ability to burn through fat. Some think its purpose is to ensure that new moms have enough fat stores to supply fully nutritious breast milk, but it’s also helpful to understand that this breastfeeding hormone is the reason why after dropping most of their pregnancy weight, so many new moms have difficulty kissing those last 5-10 pounds goodbye until after they’ve weaned their little one.
All that said? Weight loss is a really nice bonus, not the main reason to breastfeed your tiny cutie. Breastfeeding benefits your babe first and foremost, giving her a nourishing, healthy start and an amazing bonding experience with her mother. So if you’re feeling frustrated about not losing all the weight you wanted while nursing, just know that once you’ve weaned your baby and the prolactin eases off, those final stubborn pounds will likely melt away, too.