Do women who breastfeed lose more weight than women who don't?

Last updated: February 20, 2022
There is no consensus in the literature on this question. We encourage you to read the study summaries below or the studies themselves if you have access.
This short answer was generated by aggregating the answers that each of the studies below gave to the question (as indicated by State of K members) and adjusting for source quality and other factors. If key studies are missing or the answers attributed to individual studies are incorrect, the above answer could be wrong. For medical questions, don't rely on the information here. Consult a medical professional.
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YES ANSWERS
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NO ANSWERS
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NO DATA ON ANSWER


Chart summary of 3 studies examining this question

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All labels of Literature Reviews and source quality are assigned by State of K. All labels of High Quality Source are assigned based on whether the publication in which the article appeared was ranked as Q1 by Scimago Institutions Rankings. Certain well-regarded think tanks are also given this label.

Literature Reviews
Although we recommend you consider all of the studies below, we believe the following studies are literature reviews, which survey and evaluate many studies on this question:

SUMMARIES OF STUDIES
Total studies in list: 3
Sorted by publication year
1
Breastfeeding and postpartum weight loss
"Purpose of review Postpartum weight retainment is common in women, increasing the long-term likelihood of overweight and/or obesity. On the other hand, breastfeeding entails a high energy cost that contributes to the total energy expenditure of the mother, increasing the chances of a negative energy equilibrium that could potentially lead to weight loss. This review explores this association as depicted in the latest literature available.Recent findings Several studies reported a positive association between breastfeeding and postpartum weight loss while others reported no significant association. Several potential mechanisms, metabolic pathways and determinants have been described.Summary Even though several studies support the potentially beneficial role of breastfeeding in postpartum weight loss, more studies with robust designs are needed to reach a reliable conclusion. Healthcare providers should encourage breastfeeding, not only for its health benefits for both the mother and the offspring but also for its potential role in weight loss."
AUTHOR
Lambrinou, Christina-Paulina
PUBLISHED
2019 Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Literature Review
High Quality Source
Couldn't Identify
Couldn't Identify
2
Association between breastfeeding duration and postpartum weight retention of lactating mothers: A meta-analysis of cohort studies
"Background & aimsTo clarify the relationship between different breastfeeding duration and postpartum weight retention through meta-analysis.MethodsIn this study, all relevant studies that described the effect of breastfeeding duration on postpartum weight retention were identified from Pubmed, Cochrane, and WANGFANG databases and so on (1960–2016). This meta-analysis had been registered in International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (CRD42016038409).ResultsFourteen cohort studies involving 66 comparisons were included. Compared with bottle-feeding mothers, breastfeeding mothers had significantly lower postpartum weight retention of −0.38 kg (95% confidence interval: −0.64, −0.11 kg). Subgroup analysis showed that, mothers who were primipara, less than 30 years old or normal pre-pregnancy body mass index had lower postpartum weight retention. When breastfeeding duration were stratified into <12 weeks, 12 weeks–24 weeks, 24 weeks–48 weeks, and ≥48 weeks, postpartum weight retention in breastfeeding women presented a U-shaped trend: a decline during early breastfeeding duration (year 1) (from 0.23 kg at < 12 weeks to −1.58 kg at 24–48 weeks) and then an increase in the follow-up duration (from −1.58 kg at 24–48 weeks to −0.97 kg at more than 48 weeks).ConclusionsOur results indicated that breastfeeding including exclusive breastfeeding and mixed breastfeeding were inversely related to postpartum weight retention. The decreasing influence of breastfeeding was more significant when the lactating mothers were less than 30 years old, primipara, normal pre-pregnant body mass index, or breastfeeding duration for 6–12 months."
AUTHOR
Mingjun Jiang
PUBLISHED
2018 Clinical Nutrition
Literature Review
High Quality Source
Yes
Yes
3
Breastfeeding and Maternal Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
"AimTo evaluate the effect of breastfeeding on long-term (breast carcinoma, ovarian carcinoma, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes mellitus) and short-term (lactational amenorrhoea, postpartum depression, postpartum weight change) maternal health outcomes.MethodsA systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, Cochrane Library and CABI databases. Outcome estimates of odds ratios or relative risks or standardised mean differences were pooled. In cases of heterogeneity, subgroup analysis and meta-regression were explored.ResultsBreastfeeding >12 months was associated with reduced risk of breast and ovarian carcinoma by 26% and 37%, respectively. No conclusive evidence of an association between breastfeeding and bone mineral density was found. Breastfeeding was associated with 32% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Exclusive breastfeeding and predominant breastfeeding were associated with longer duration of amenorrhoea. Shorter duration of breastfeeding was associated with higher risk of postpartum depression. Evidence suggesting an association of breastfeeding with postpartum weight change was lacking.ConclusionThis review supports the hypothesis that breastfeeding is protective against breast and ovarian carcinoma, and exclusive breastfeeding and predominant breastfeeding increase the duration of lactational amenorrhoea. There is evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, an association between breastfeeding and bone mineral density or maternal depression or postpartum weight change was not evident."
AUTHOR
Ranadip Chowdhury
PUBLISHED
2015 Acta Paediatrica
Literature Review
No
No