Nelly Furtado's take on breastfeeding

08/30/2006 at 09:03 AM ET

Nelly_furtado_coachshop_1_1Although most breastfeeding celebrity mothers claim it to be a good way of losing weight, singer Nelly Furtado, 27, disagrees. "Whoever says breastfeeding is a good way to lose weight is a liar. I nursed my daughter for two years and as soon as I stopped I had more energy. You can do more things." Furtado and ex-boyfriend Jasper Gahunia (DJ Lil’ Jaz) have daughter Nevis, almost 3.

What do you think? Did breastfeeding help you lose weight faster?

Source: Kristin at Blogging Baby

Thanks to CBB readers Sarah and Mary Beth.


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annabelle on

In some ways, I think both views are correct. I did lose weight faster with breastfeeding — it only makes sense that some of the calories you are consuming are flowing out to your child. However, I do feel that once I stopped nursing, I did feel like I had more energy too.

Since Nelly Furtado is such a small person, perhaps the nursing really took a lot out of her — she probably needed all the calories she was consuming to keep her own strength up. Maybe she wasn’t eating enough to support both herself and her child? That’s great that she nursed for 2 years — I really think the bond you form with your child is deeper when you breastfeed him/her. I have 2 children and nursed our first baby for only 8 weeks and our second for 14 months — I wish I would have stayed with nursing the first longer!

Sara on

I tend to side with Nelly!
1) How would one know if they lost the weight quicker since one cannot compare one way to the other! 2) After 9 months of breastfeeding / I dried up and dropped 10 pounds in a week. So in my case, I was holding onto poundage while breastfeeding – which is a good thing – I think one would need the nutrition, extra calories and energy while breastfeeding.

Anon on

I agree with Nelly…With both my kids I kept a good 10 lbs. on while breastfeeding. They both weaned at about 11-12 months and about 2 months after that the pounds just fell right off. Annabelle, your theory sounds great, however, while I was nursing so was a friend who is tiny and skinny…she lost so much weight nursing that she was 7 lbs pre-baby. She gained a few back when she stopped, but she lost tons of weight w/both of her kids.

Jenny on

I tend to think that it helped me lose weight faster (I lost all of my baby weight within 3 months), but I’ve only had one child, so I don’t know for sure. I’m currently expecting my 2nd child and am praying that the weight comes off as fast with this one. Of course, there’s a huge difference between losing baby weight and being able to fit into pre-pregnancy clothes…LOL

corriev on

I didn’t lose weight until I stopped breastfeeding my son (he was 13 months old and made the decision on his own). ??? I don’t know, everyone is different!

Kiley on

I agree with Nelly. I had two kids and breastfed them both. I had to work to lose the weight myself because the breastfeeding just wasn’t doing it for me.

Ana on

Hi have you ever seen Nevis? I’ve never seen her…:(

Patti on

I totally disagree with Nelly. I’m currently breastfeeding my 4 1/2 month old and I’m 13 pounds lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight. I can eat anything and not gain weight but in fact lose it! This is great considering I’ve always been a calorie counter with a sweet tooth! I’m afraid that when I stop I’ll gain a ton of weight. I might end up like the lady on Desperate Housewives who breastfed her 5 year old because she was afraid she’d gain weight if she stopped.

I guess everyone is different but I definitely disagree with Nelly.

Amber on

I’ve been losing weight faster now that I’m on weight watchers. I get 10 extra points because I’m breastfeeding and I’m still losing up to 2 pounds a week. So now that I have lowered my calories and not eating whatever I want I think breastfeeding has helped me lose the weight faster. Especially since my son still nurses 10 times a day.

marina on

I kept all the extra weight during breastfeeding my son, didn´t loose a pound, whren I stopped my 14 pounds just melted away, . It´s so strange, I know mothers getting thinner during breastfeeding and they are under the weight they started with… it´s so different.

MistyB on

In my case, it has made my body hold onto a few extra pounds each time. I noticed after my son weaned (after 16 months) that the remaining few lbs left quickly and I expect the same will happen after my daughter weans (hopefully by 2).

Breastfeeding makes me have a major increase in appetite. I eat constantly yet I am probably within 5 lbs of my goal weight. My body is obviously using all of the extra calories to produce lots of milk.

Estelle on

With my son I lost everything quickly but the last 10-15 lbs and as soon as I stopped b/f that weight droppped off.

tink1217 on

I totally think it depends on the mom. I did not breastffed my 2 children and it took me a long time to lose the baby weight. A good friend of mine did breastfeed her daughter and it took her over a year to lose all but 10 pounds of the baby weight. Then, I have another friend who also breastfed her daughter and she lost it all in 3 months.

Christine on

Ya…I lost weight – but not all of it until I stopped nursing.
I also held onto about 10 pounds and once I weaned (each of them around 1 yr) that 10 pounds fell off. Literally it was just gone. I assumed the extra weight was to help my body support the milk factory that I became.

Danielle, CBB Publisher on

I think it really depends on how much weight you gain in your pregnancy. If you gain 60 pounds, it’s going to be hard to lose that weight no matter how long you nurse. You do burn about 500 calories a day when you exclusively breastfeed but breastfeeding also takes energy so you have to eat more.

I only gained 15 lbs in my pregnancy which I have lost plus 20 lbs. (I wouldn’t mind losing even more!) I nursed Anya exclusively for 6 months and even though we give her solid food, she doesn’t eat that much of it so my milk is her main food.

I also walk a lot with her so I get some exercise from that.

Victoria on

Hey Ana, I haven’t seen her either, despite many many searches. I bet she’s gorgeous.

As for the article. I guess I’ll find out with my next pregnancy, as I didn’t breastfeed the first two. I pumped for a few weeks though. I lost all baby weight with the 1st one about 8 months later, and the 2nd 2 weeks later, but surprise, I had a thyroid condition for help there. Now I don’t, so we’ll see my take on breastfeeding this time around. I’m ready! *pumpin’ fists*

P Dawn on

Nope, I breastfed my daughter for 13 months, and unfortunately I didn’t lose a pound. Very disappointing!!

Mandy on

This is really interesting to me. I gained 24 lbs. with my pregnancy and lost much of it almost immediately. My daughter is now 13 months old and I continue to nurse her and I need to lose my last 5-7 lbs. I wonder if it will come off after she is weaned, which, seems like it won’t happen until she’s 8! What can I say, she loves it!

SarahB on

I disagree with Nelly. I gained 30 lbs. during my pregnancy, and lost it all PLUS 20 more lbs. by 12 months. I had been trying to lose 20 lbs. most of my adult life, so I can’t believe breastfeeding has been the best weight loss plan ever for me!

But the weight loss has slowed down now, even though I still breastfeed at 18 months.

Marie on

I have been breastfeeding my 6 week old son since he was a half hour old. 1 week after giving birth, I was at my pre-pregnancy weight having lost the 32 pounds I gained. At 4 weeks post-partem, I had lost another 5 pounds. Just today at my 6 week check-up, I’ve lost another 4 pounds.

Do I think it’s because of breastfeeding? Yes. Why? Because I’m eating as I always have (which is fairly healthy with lots of organics) and am losing weight that I couldn’t lose before getting pregnant.

Each woman’s body is different though. Nelly is much smaller than I am in height and weight size. I think the breastfeeding proabably helped her lose some pregnancy weight. But her body probably clutched to some of the weight to help her keep up with breastfeeding and keep her healthier too. My body didn’t need to keep the pregnancy weight and it’s also shedding extra weight.

As long as you’re healthy and your baby is healthy, that’s all that matters. Not the numbers on the scale or how well your pants fit.

Virginia on

This is like every other aspect of pregnancy/motherhood: Each woman is different.

No, further that Every Pregnancy is different. Some women have things happen with one of their pregnancies and not with others. It’s so individual I think it’s unfair to generalise.

I believe Nelly that for her this was the case, but I don’t think it can be said anything in pregnancy/motherhood is the same for all women.

From morning sickness, weight gain, pain during labor, stretchmarks, breastfeeding, afterpains, cravings, size and shape of bump, when you first feel movements, how much your baby moves, early babies, overdue babies, inductions, etc., etc. and so on.

Each woman’s experience is unique and what works for some doesn’t for others.

There’s no way to know if she had more energy when she stopped breastfeeding because she also was caring for a much older child by then who more than likely was feeding less often and sleeping through the night. Who knows.

Sami on

To those who are asking what Nelly’s daughter looks like: I’ve seen her around Toronto a few times, and Nevis is ADORABLE! She has dark hair, of course, and seems like a very smart little girl. 😀 I have a friend who volunteers at a museum and Nelly has spent hours with her daughter in the kids hands-on area.

Trixie on

Breastfeeding sure helped me lose weight.

I went to register our son’s birth 2 weeks after he was born and my sister-in-law said ‘Have you gotten new clothes already?’ I hadn’t. I was wearing my pre-baby jeans.

I breastfed him for 2 years and was a size 4 which I hated. I struggled to put on weight and had been a size 6 before getting pregnant so I felt way too thin.

After he gave up the breast I was able to pad out a bit and feel normal.

dancingmom on

I lost the 55 lbs I gained during pregnancy plus about 8 more lbs from breastfeeding. I know it was from nursing because I was eating nonstop!

airpixie on

I gained 60 lbs with both of my pregnancies. I lost it all within 9 months of giving birth. I didn’t exercise at all, but did exclusively breastfeed. I do attribute it to helping me lose the (excessive) weight I gained. I breastfed my first for 17 months. I am now nursing my 6 month old and have about 10-15lbs to lose. I do believe however, that everyone is different. My sister only gained about 35lbs with her pregnancy and she is breastfeeding and has actually gained weight and is hungry all of the time! I think like a previous poster mentioned, it varies per person and maybe even per pregnancy.

Lorus on

I think it depends on what size you are when you’re breastfeeding. Most thinner moms hold onto the weight because the body wants to keep the extra fat to make sure that mom & baby don’t starve. I was/am overweight and gained 29lbs during my pregnancy. I was down 32lbs within 2 weeks after my daughter’s birth.

Deanna on

I exclusively breastfed my first for 6 months, and then wasn’t able to breastfeed the next two babies because of medications I was on. I didn’t notice any difference in dropping the pregnancy weight. Although for me, the pregnancy weight isn’t near as much of an issue as the cookie weight between the kids! 🙂

Stacey on

I never bottle fed so I don’t have anything to compare it to. With my first, I would have said that it helped speed up the weight loss. But with my second, I definately have not lost the weight as fast, so not sure.

Megan on

Each person has a unique experience. Breastfeeding does help some women loose weight because it burns additional calories. However I have noticed that very petitie women like Nelly may not see the same weight loss because their body is trying to protect them from burning too much. One way to combat this is to eat more healthy foods and healthy fats and it will up your metabolism as well as help with energy.

As each mother is unique so is each mothering experience.

tracy on

Before having my 3rd child I’d of agreed with Nelly but for some reason this time round I’ve lost weight really quickly! So I guess it just depends on the baby and each breastfeeding experience is different, you are who knows what will happen!
I just hope women don’t base their decision to feed on things like possible weight loss difficulties. That’s a insignificant concern when compared to the health benefits of breastfeeding.

Rachael on

I gained the same amount during both my pregnancies. And I have been breastfeeding for 3 years straight/total!
Currently, at 11 months post partum with my second, I am 3 pounds under my pre (2nd) pregnancy weight.
I am STILL 20 pounds over my pre (1st) pregnancy weight!
So who knows?!

Jennifer on

I agree with Nelly as well. I breast fed both of my kids for a few months but I didn’t lose the last 10-15 lbs. until I stopped. I definitely felt more tired while breast feeding…it takes a lot out of you!

Dee on

I think it depends on everything! After my first, who I breastfed for 11 months, I had 10 lbs I could not shed. With my daughter, who is now almost 6 months and breastfed, I actually weigh about 5 pounds less than I did before I got pregnant with the first. In fact, I hope that stopping breastfeeding will help me get a bit back as I am looking a little skeletal. I am not exercising and I eat like a pig but the pounds seem to disappear – of course, she is a pretty big girl.

claire on

Pregnancy changed my body forever. I thought I could eat whatever while pregnant and that breastfeeding would melt the pounds off. WRONG!! I think it really depends on your metabolism and body type.

erica alayne on

I gave birth six weeks ago, and I breastfeed my son. I gained 53 pounds with my pregnancy, and I only have 16 to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

It HAS to be breastfeeding that is doing it for me, because I eat like a horse, and I am not working out or anything of that sort.

sandra on

i agree with Nelly i breastfed my daughter for a year. When i stopped i was suprised at how much my appetite decreased and it was only then that i lost the last few pounds of my pregnancy weight. More importantly if you choose to breastfeed i think it should not be because you think it will help you lose weight.

Tracie on

For me it depended on how good an eater the baby was. My daughter wasn’t a great nurser and I didn’t lose any weight nursing her. My son, on the other hand, lived to eat, and I could hardly keep weight on when I was exclusively breastfeeding.