Does Pumping Help You Lose Weight – [Exclusively Breast Pumping]

It is commonly seen that women gain weight during pregnancy. Don’t stress, this extra weight can be used to produce breast milk after delivery. If you are planning to feed your baby using exclusive breast pumping and losing those extra pounds, you might be wondering if pumping helps you lose weight!

Pumping can burn up to 500 calories in a day. Some lactation consultants and doctors suggest that exclusively breast pumping can help in losing post-pregnancy weight. Let’s discuss how pumping burns calories and aids in weight loss!

Read about the best birth control for weight loss if you are trying to avoid conceiving for now!

does pumping help you lose weight

Exclusively Breast Pumping

Exclusively breast pumping is the practice of using a breast pump to extract milk from the new mom’s breasts for either feeding the baby or storing it in bottles for later use, instead of breastfeeding. It is becoming more common for women who cannot or choose not to breastfeed for various reasons.

does pumping burn calories

There are many reasons why a mom may choose to exclusively pump:

  • She cannot be with the baby the whole day to breastfeed
  • She gave birth to a premature baby
  • The baby is having a latching problem
  • She may have low milk production issues
  • She may feel uncomfortable with the direct breastfeeding
  • The baby has some medical conditions (like cleft palate) that make breastfeeding difficult

Before choosing to pump for whatever reason, make sure to consult with your doctor or lactation consultants to seek advice for ensuring nutrients in the breast milk.

Pumping can be challenging in the early days, as it takes time to get used to the equipment and establish a good pumping routine. It is important to be patient and persist through the challenges. It can be rewarding, as it allows mothers to still provide their babies with breastmilk even if they are unable to breastfeed directly. It takes dedication and commitment, but many women find it to be a worthwhile endeavor.

Here’s a guide for mid-aged obese women to lose weight after their 40s.


Does Pumping Make You Lose Weight

Yes, breast pumping makes moms lose weight post-delivery. When you pump, you are using your muscles to extract the milk from your breasts. This process uses up energy (calories) and therefore burns calories. In fact, a woman burns around 500 calories a day producing breast milk.

Hence, pumping may help you lose weight faster by burning those extra calories just by extracting breast milk. A breastfeeding mom should consume between 2,200 to 2,700 calories a day, and ensure intake of this amount by consuming healthy foods that are full of nutrition to avoid nutrient deficiency.


How Much Weight Can You Lose Pumping Breast Milk

It is possible to lose weight by pumping breast milk, but the amount of weight lost will vary depending on a number of factors. The most important factor is how much milk is pumped, and how often.

In general, about 1/2 ounce of milk is produced for each minute of pumping. And, a woman can produce between 210 to 240 ounces of milk in a week. Each ounce of breast milk contains 20 calories.

One pound of body fat contains about 3,500 calories, so you would need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose one pound by pumping breast milk. If each ounce of milk contains 20 calories (which is typical), then you would need to pump 175 ounces of milk (5.18 ltr) to lose one pound. This means pumping can help losing more than 1 pound weekly.

As you can see, it is possible to lose weight by pumping breast milk, but it requires a significant amount of time and effort. You can either use an electric breast pumping machine or use a hand pump.

exclusively pumping schedule


Exclusively Pumping Schedule

Scheduled pumping helps with keeping up the breast milk supply. But the timing may vary depending on multiple factors including how much milk you produce, how frequently your baby eats and how your body responds to pumping.

However, there are a few general guidelines to create an exclusively pumping schedule that will help you maintain your milk supply and keep your baby well-nourished:

  • Pump frequently enough to empty your breasts and avoid engorgement. For most women, this means pumping every 2-3 hours during the day and 1-2 times during the night.
  • Listen to your body and pump when you feel the need. Many women find that they have more milk in the morning, so they may pump more frequently then.
  • Give your body a chance to rest. Studies have shown that pumping too often can actually reduce milk production, so be sure to include some breaks into your schedule.
  • Pump around the same times that your baby typically eats. This will help to ensure that your milk supply is evenly distributed throughout the day.

Below is the pumping schedule as per the baby’s age:

exclusive pumping schedule

  • Newborn: pump 8 to 10 times in 24 hours with a gap of 2-3 hours, avoid pumping more than twice at night.
  • 3 Months: pump 5 to 6 times in 24 hours with a gap of around 4 hours.
  • 6 Months: pump 4 times in 24 hours with a gap of 5 to 6 hours.


Does Breastfeeding Help You Lose Weight?

Yes, breastfeeding helps you lose post-pregnancy weight. In the early days after childbirth, breastmilk helps to shrink the uterus back to its pre-pregnancy size. This process, known as involution, requires a significant amount of energy, and as a result, mothers who breastfeed tend to burn more calories than those who do not.

In addition, breastfeeding helps to release the hormone oxytocin, which has been shown to promote weight loss. Oxytocin helps to break down fat cells, and it also suppresses appetite. As a result, breastfeeding mothers are often able to lose weight more easily than those who do not breastfeed.

Breastfeeding also enhances your metabolism because it requires additional energy, and this increased demand can cause your body to burn more calories.

Best of all, breastfeeding can reduce the amount of insulin in the body, which can lead to weight loss.

However, it is important to note that breastfeeding is not a magic bullet for weight loss, and mothers should still eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. But for those who are looking to lose weight after pregnancy, breastfeeding can be an effective tool.

If you are losing weight without trying, read the causes of weight loss in women to underly any serious condition.


Breastfeeding Vs Pumping Weight Loss – Which Burns More Calories?

New moms produce breast milk which can be extracted by breastfeeding or pumping. In the process of direct breastfeeding, the baby sucks the milk straight from the breast nipples (also called nursing). On the other, pumping actually mimics breastfeeding using sucking pumps and storing it in bottles.

breastfeeding vs pumping weight loss

Actually, a woman burns around 500 calories a day to produce milk, and that can be sucked by nursing or pumping – burned calories will be the same. In fact, pumping burns as many calories as breastfeeding.

However, a few studies show that breastfeeding may offer a greater potential for weight loss than pumping, but there is no scientific evidence to prove that claim.


Bottom Line

Pumping can help in losing post-pregnancy weight by burning extra calories, but it is not a quick or easy process. In fact, it is possible to lose more than 1 pound weekly by pumping breast milk. Yes, it is a slow and time taking process, but many women find it to be a worthwhile endeavor.

If you are considering pumping to lose weight, make sure to eat a healthy diet and consult with your doctor or lactation consultants to ensure that you are still getting the nutrients you need.


Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)

Can you lose weight while breast pumping?

Yes, you can lose weight while breast pumping by burning around 500 calories in a day.


How often should you pump to lose weight?

The pumping schedule may vary for different moms, and according to the baby’s age. However, in order to lose 1 pound weight by pumping breast milk, you would need to pump around 175 ounces of milk per week. A woman produces between 25 to 35 ounces of breast milk in 24 hours, and she can extract this much milk in 3-4 pumping sessions.


Does pumping burn same calories as breastfeeding?

Generally, pumping and breastfeeding burn the same calories because they both do the same job, extracting milk from the breast. In the process of breastfeeding and pumping, the muscles contract to push the milk out and these contraction burn calories.



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