Breastfeeding: It Does a Body Good (as in, makes it look better)

It looks like the New York State Department of Health is trying to encourage breastfeeding (yay!) by telling women they’ll totally lose sooo much weight if they do! (Huh?)

Interesting how they succeed in mocking your run-of-the-mill diet commercial while still managing to say, as Sociological Images aptly put it: “[D]on’t ever forget, ladies: one of your main responsibilities as a new mom is to lose the weight as quickly as possible.”

Transcript after jump.

I’m 4o pounds thinner! Yup, these were my pants! And now I’m down to a size 8 again. I didn’t starve myself and I didn’t go on a fad diet. So what helped me get back to my target weight? I breastfed my baby!

Breastfeeding bruns up to 500 calories a day. That’s like 2 hours of aerobic exercise. So while it’s good for your baby, breastfeeding is also great for your body. Breastfeeding: For my baby, for me.

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9 Comments

  1. Posted October 25, 2010 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Might be a decent form of birth control, but as an exercise routine? I don’t think every woman is geared to be a breeder.

    • Posted October 30, 2010 at 1:14 am | Permalink

      It only works as a form of birth control so long as the woman is breastfeeding pretty much constantly, to prevent the return of ovulation. Continuing to breastfeed doesn’t inherently mean that a woman is gauranteed not to get pregnant. So nay, not a decent form of birth control.

  2. Posted October 25, 2010 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I can imagine what the brainstorming session looked like…
    “How can we convince these dimbulb womenfolk to breastfeed their babies, Bob?”
    “Should we share the scientific research proving that breast is best?”
    “Everyone knows that girls hate science.”
    “I hear that breastfeeding burns calories.”
    “What’s that? BURNS CALORIES? Now there’s something that will get a lady’s attention! Run with it!”

  3. Posted October 25, 2010 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Breastfeeding makes some women lose weight, but not all. Keep in mind that one of the hardest things about breastfeeding is making sure to eat enough nutritious food, because the baby doesn’t just take calories, but nutrients. If you’re not getting enough nutrients, then that’s bad for your weight loss over the long term.

    Also, I breastfed both of my children for over a year each, but I found that exercise was difficult to do because breastfeeding takes so much energy from you. So that can’t help from the weight loss perspective.

    I would suggest to breastfeed if you think it’s good for your baby and it’s something you want to do. No other reasons should be necessary!

  4. Posted October 25, 2010 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I know this is cynical, but I see WIC doing this not just for the children, but also so they don’t have to spend as much money on formula. When it comes down to it, lots of public health communication also is supposed to cut down on costs for the government.

    • Posted October 25, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Actually, when women who are on WIC are breastfeeding they get more $ than those women that are not breastfeeding. This is because women who are breastfeeding need to eat more (both in calories and nutrients).

  5. Posted October 25, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I gotta say that public health departments are up against a huge battle in promoting breastfeeding.
    There are tons of formula ads in baby and parenting magazines. Formula companies give tons of free samples to many hospitals throughout the nation. Many women get pressured (by doctors, employers, family, etc) into using formula when they would prefer to and are completely capable of breastfeeding.
    Why don’t we have better policies for maternity leave?
    Why isn’t there more support for women to pump at work?

    Breastfeeding is an absolutely amazing thing that women’s bodies are capable of doing ….I’d love to see more feminists giving support to women who are breastfeeding.
    Where is the critique of hospitals taking free formula samples? Where is the critique of the out of control formula advertising?

  6. Posted October 25, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Shoot, they should say the truth: breastfeeding+Baby= Genius.

  7. Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I would agree that it would be nicer to see them talk about many of the other reasons for breast feeding, both for the mother, and for the baby. The kind of person I am, I think the commercial would be better if they could fit as many of the benefits into the commercial as possible.

    However, a lot of my friends have recently had kids, and the one thing I hear all of them talking about is losing weight and getting their figure back. I am not going to discuss the issues with that, because its a much bigger discussion, and one that I am not really equipped to be in. But if the goal for the commercial is to convince more women to breast feed, and a large percentage of new mothers are wanting to lose weight, and its true (this is really important!) that breastfeeding really does cause one to burn that many calories each day, then it could quite possibly be an effective commercial. Maybe one day, such a campaign wouldn’t be effective because people wouldn’t be as obsessed with losing weight, but if the commercial is giving out true information that will accomplish getting more women to breast feed, and something else they want (in this case, losing weight) I can’t see it as to much of a problem.

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