The NHS has caused outrage after telling new mothers that breastfeeding can be a tool for weight loss.
It claims breastfeeding is “a great way to get your body back” by burning up to 300 calories a day.
The advice, now scrapped, has sparked outrage online against “body shaming” women, with many saying they would “expect better” from the NHS.
Information has been published on Start4Life WebsiteDesigned to provide “trusted NHS advice and help during pregnancy, birth and parenthood”.
It was originally written by Public Health England, which has now been taken over by the UK Health and Security Authority (UKHSA).
Under the heading “seven things you might not expect when your baby is born” is a warning that the body will still “look like it’s pregnant” for a while.
The full statement says: “You will still look pregnant for a while – it can take 6 weeks for your uterus to return to its original size and even longer to lose any more weight.
“Breastfeeding is a great way to get your body back, as it burns about 300 calories a day and helps your uterus contract more quickly. Also try to eat healthy and exercise lightly.”
Now it says: “It can take 6 weeks for your uterus to return to its original size.
“Breastfeeding can speed up this process because it causes your uterus to contract. Learn more about your body after giving birth on the NHS website. ”
After giving birth, the pregnant belly does not “come back” like it was 9 months ago.
It can stay in the same shape as a pregnant woman for a while, while some weight can also increase during pregnancy.
The Mayo Clinic, a leading American medical center, says that through diet and regular exercise, a mother can lose up to 1lb (0.5 kg) a week is reasonable.
It can take six months to a year to return to your pre-pregnancy weight, whether you’re breastfeeding or not.
“Be gentle with yourself as you accept your body’s changes. Above all, take pride in your healthy lifestyle.”
The Start4Life website is run by NHS Digital and when contacted by The Sun it directed us to the Department of Health and Social Care [DHSC].
A DHSC spokesperson said: “The Start4Life website provides guidance and advice for new and prospective families.
“Our insight shows that some women find this information helpful, however, we are keeping the wording of public health initiatives under consideration and in response to some feedback received, we updated the website today.”
Writer Maggy Van Eijk of London, who has a three-year-old daughter and is 38 weeks pregnant with a baby boy, has posted NHS advice on Twitter.
She wrote: “Toxic from the NHS week by week pregnancy guide.
“BFing is not a weight loss tool. Your body never goes anywhere – you don’t have to take it ‘back’, it just changes, evolves and grows and it will continue to do so until your death. “
Talking to Huffington Post“It’s an old-fashioned language, really steeped in dietary culture that new moms especially don’t need,” says Maggy.
“I gave my first breast milk but it was very hard and I pumped at first because I was so determined to keep trying. Pumping and feeding has become an obsession.
“Instead of walking away and opting for formula, I filled the fridge and freezer with milk. Basically equate how much I can produce with how good a mother is.
“It’s not healthy and there are lots of other signs of good parenting that we should show new moms. Not how you feed your baby and especially not what your body looks like.”
Maggy’s tweet has so far gained nearly 400 likes with many users interested in the topic, calling the advice “dark”, “disgusting” and “malicious”.
Dr Gareth Nye wrote: “How the hell did this get to the NHS pregnancy guidelines!
“So much to go on but it was too shocking even to start! [sic]”
Carly Stephens wrote: “Hate this BS. You’ve grown inside of you, of course your body will change and that’s completely fine.
“You don’t have to feel bad about it.
“I was offered a diet plan when I first found out I was pregnant and I firmly refused.”
Some women warn this advice will contribute to shame and guilt about not being able to breastfeed.
Chloë Elsby-Pearson writes: “This advice also contributed to my feeling of failure as a mother – I can’t breastfeed and we all know ‘breast is best’ and I’m not going to lose weight ‘. ‘- both fail on my side! Still makes me feel miserable almost 13 years on! ”
https://www.thesun.ie/health/8259893/outrage-nhs-breastfeeding-help-mums-body-back/ Outrage after NHS says ‘breastfeeding can help new mothers regain their pre-baby bodies’