For the Health Professional:

Signals of Possible Weight-Related Problems During Lactation

Consider diet counseling for women if any of the following applies:

All Breastfeeding Women

  • Abnormally slow infant growth despite frequent feedings and other appropriate breastfeeding techniques.

Women with Normal Prepregnancy Weight-for-Height

  • Weight loss in excess of 4.5 lb (approximately 2 kg)/month after the first month post partum.

  • Weight falling below normal weight-for-height.

  • Weight gain leading to high weight-for-height.

  • Preoccupation with weight combined with major fluctuations in weight. (Look for additional signs of an eating disorder.)

Women with Low Prepregnancy Weight-for-Height

  • Any weight loss after weight-for-height returns to the low prepregnancy weight-for-height category (or after the weight returns to the prepregnancy weight).

  • Weight loss in excess of 4.5 lb (approximately 2 kg)/month after the first month post partum.

Women with High or Very High Prepregnancy Weight-for-Height

  • Weight loss in excess of 6.5 lb (approximately 3 kg)/month after the first month post partum.

  • Postpartum weight gain.



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