Is It Safe to Take a Diet Pill While Breastfeeding?

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mother breastfeeding her baby

Are you looking for a safe diet pill while breastfeeding? Fun Fact: In 2015 nearly 85% of all newborns started with breastfeeding. That’s a large percentage that shows the majority of newborns are consuming breast milk during the first years of their life. As always there are some red flags to consider. How about dietary supplements like diet pills? On one hand, these products don’t contain the strong chemicals found in prescription drugs. So, in that sense, it won’t cause the same side-effects as Rx medicines. However, sometimes even OTC supplements include warnings about pregnant/breastfeeding women avoiding them. So, it’s a question mark.

It turns out most medications are safe to take when you’re breastfeeding. That includes pharmaceuticals. What if the baby consumes the chemicals through breast milk? In most cases, it’s a small amount that your newborn gets from breastfeeding so it isn’t a problem. That said, you’ll want peace of mind. So, it’s critical to have all need-to-know info about weight loss supplements while you’re breast-feeding. This will give you peace of mind about how safe it is. There are still question marks about whether or not diet pills are the best way to lose post-pregnancy weight.

What Causes Post-Pregnancy Weight Gain?

It might seem ironic that some women experience weight gain after giving birth.  In fact, some of the reasons are actually due to lifestyle factors instead of medical ones. Here are some of the various causes:

1. Age

It’s also common for women to gain weight after pregnancy due to other factors like age. These factors are normal. So, women shouldn’t feel guilty about weight gain due to motherhood. It’s natural for men and women to experience weight gain as they age due to factors like slower metabolism.

2. Binge eating

The formula for weight loss is quite simple: creating a “caloric deficit.” This means you consume fewer calories than you need for your current weight. You can also do exercise to boost weight loss.

The process is the same post-pregnancy. In fact, studies show that one common way new mothers put on weight is by eating their children’s leftovers. These are extra calories. So even if you’re watching your diet you could still gain weight if you eat some baby food at every meal.

3. Post-pregnancy weight gain

It turns out that it’s quite normal for women to never return to their pre-pregnancy weight. One study involving 30,000 pregnant women found that within 1-2 years they dropped to a “normal” weight. This is the bodyweight they would have had if they hadn’t become pregnant.

4. Sitting more

It’s important to have bonding time with your newborn/infant. It can benefit both the mother and her baby. However, one of the potential problems is a “sedentary lifestyle.” This basically means not moving enough.

For example, mothers might spend more time reading to their little ones or watching movies. That’s OK because it’s quality time with your son or daughter. The problem is if you’re spending lots of time doing these activities without doing physical exercise. This can cause weight gain.

Safe Diet Pill While Breastfeeding?

The answer starts with taking up how OTC diet pills work. There are different types. Some boost your central nervous system (CNS) to boost energy levels. Others cause you to lose water weight. Still, other weight-loss supplements boost your “feel-good” hormones. This causes you to eat less and feel full.

These diet pills usually provide short-term results. However, they’re not long-term diets like the Mediterranean Diet or low-carb diets like Keto or Atkins.

You should probably avoid the “diuretic” diets that boost the loss of water weight. The reason is the mother’s body requires enough fluids to make breast milk.

Another issue is even OTC supplements might have a negative effect on your breastfeeding baby. That’s s due to the substances in the diet pills. Even if they’re not synthetic ingredients they might cause problems.

There’s another caveat about information regarding the safety of dietary supplements and breastfeeding. There’s not enough. In other words, the safety information provided about different supplements might not be detailed or accurate.

One of the main reasons is the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) isn’t required to check new OTC supplements for effectiveness/safety before launch.

There’s solid evidence some diet pill ingredients have a negative effect on breastfeeding. They include stimulants like green tea and ginseng. So, if you’re a breastfeeding mother you should avoid products with these ingredients.  

Another ingredient to avoid when nursing is “5HTP”.” Studies show it might affect your child’s brain development.

If you want to be on the safe side then ditch all diet pills. Go with more holistic/whole-body options like breastfeeding. It can burn up to 600 calories daily.  

You can also go old-school by eating healthy meals and exercising regularly. Make sure you’re eating lean meats, whole grains, fruits/veggies, and some dairy. Try to do at least 30 minutes of light exercise every day like stroller walks.

Top Benefits of Breastfeeding

1. Lower disease risk

Some studies show that breastfeeding might help to lower the risk of diseases. However, the benefits are maximized if the infant is only consuming breast milk.

The risk of different illnesses/diseases might be reduced:

  • Breathing infections
  • Gut infections Ear infection
  • Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Infections
  • Cold

Studies also seem to show that the lower risk of these diseases continues as the baby becomes a child and adult.

2 Antibodies

There are lots in breast milk and they can help to keep bacteria/viruses away from your little one. This is mainly true of the first milk. This milk provides many kinds of antibodies that your baby needs during his/her early life.

It’s ironic that breastfeeding moms sick the flu might give their newborns antibodies so they’re able to fight the flu bug. This isn’t provided by milk formula.

3. Healthy weight

Various studies show that babies who consume formula are more likely to be overweight. The rate is almost one-third higher among infants who are fed formula milk.

This might be related to gut bacteria. The reason is breast-fed infants have more good gut bacteria. This might affect his/her fat storage, which could cause less weight gain.

4. Better nutrition

The majority of health experts suggest only breastfeeding during your baby’s first 6 months. It’s a good idea to continue providing mother’s milk for a minimum of one year. This is as you start giving your infant new kinds of solid food.

This is a good idea because breast milk has all the nutrients your baby requires during his/her first 6 months. In fact, the milk’s nutrients even tweak naturally during the baby’s first month.

The only supplement you should really consider is Vitamin D supplements. You could take it during the baby’s first month along with a safe diet pill while breastfeeding.

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