Health & Wellness

Special considerations: Breastfeeding mums

Information about following the WeightWatchers® program for women who are breastfeeding.
Published 28 May 2019 | Updated 26 October 2022

What if I’m breastfeeding?

Many new mums may want to jump straight into losing their baby weight. But there are things to consider to help keep you and your baby happy and healthy. Be sure to get the go-ahead from your doctor or health care professional before you begin trying to lose weight after the birth of your baby.

Recommendations might be different if:

  • You're breastfeeding more than one baby
  • You've noticed a decrease in your milk supply
  • You need or want to avoid specific supplements or foods

Your healthcare professional can also recommend a specific kilojoule requirement and give you other advice specific to your current needs.

When you and your health care professional decide you're ready to start losing weight, follow our special recommendations for breastfeeding mums:

1. The program is eligible to nursing mums no earlier than 2 months post childbirth.

The recommended rate of weight loss is no more than 2kg per month. To accommodate this healthy rate of weight loss, if you tell us that you’re breastfeeding at sign up or update your Food Settings (Profile > Settings > Food Settings > Are you nursing?), we will adjust your Budget to take into account the additional kilojoules you require when you’re breastfeeding.

If you’re breastfeeding multiple babies, you’ll need to add additional Points® to your daily Budget manually. Here’s how:

  • If breast milk is the sole source of nutrition for your babies, add 16 Points for each baby.
  • If breast milk is a partial source of nutrition for your babies, add 6 Points for each baby.

In order to adjust your daily Budget in the WW app, go to Profile > Settings > Food Settings > Current focus and change the focus to Healthy Habits. This will allow you to manually update your daily Budget.

Make sure that “Are you nursing?” has been updated to either “I am breastfeeding” or “I am not exclusively breastfeeding.” (If you supplement with formula or your babies or solid foods, choose “I am not exclusively breastfeeding.”)

Tap on “Daily Target” and adjust this number based on the number of babies being fully or partially breastfed. For example, if you are fully breastfeeding two babies, add +32 Points to your daily Budget.

Once weaning is complete, switch your food settings to that of a woman who isn’t breastfeeding in your WW app.

There is no change to your weekly Points Budget.

You can update your ‘breastfeeding status’ any time under Food Settings on the WW app or website.

2. Monitor your weight loss carefully.

A weight loss of up to 500g per week while breastfeeding is safe for you and your baby — losing weight more rapidly than this may compromise your milk production and your health. If you start losing weight too quickly try adding an extra 1 - 3 Points to your daily Budget for a week until your weight loss stabilises.

3. When you’re ready, move more.

Research has found that even high-intensity activity does not affect the ability to breastfeed and can help with losing weight and maintaining weight loss. But get your doctor’s approval before jumping into regular physical activity.