Kim Kardashian has been in the news lately for posting a photo of herself in a revealing swimsuit. Many observers have commented on her weight loss since the June 15, 2013, birth of her daughter, North West. Although the self-promotion star has reportedly given the credit for her shape-up to the Atkins diet and a new exercise routine, it seems likely that breastfeeding has been a major contributor as well.
Although early reports after baby North's birth were that Kim was "breastfeeding constantly," her choice of naturally feeding her child seems to have faded from the media in favor of Atkins diet and exercise promos. As The Nursing Mother's Companion states, "Nursing mothers are often told to add about 500 Calories [...] to their pre-pregnancy diets." The Companion goes on to provide a way to calculate projected weight loss during breastfeeding: multiply your post-baby weight by 15, then add 500 Calories. "A moderately active woman can expect to lose a pound every two to three weeks on this caloric intake," the book states. Given that Kim is exercising more than moderately and that she is on a diet, it is likely that she has lost more than one pound for every two to three weeks since North's birth 18 weeks ago.
Although it is difficult to correlate weight loss with breastfeeding, given the influence of other factors (caloric intake and physical activity in particular), there are some reports that confirm the assertion that increased burning of calories through breastfeeding can lead to postpartum weight loss. Regardless of Kim's weight loss -- and most important -- breastfeeding is, according to the World Health Organization, "an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants." WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months and complementary breastfeeding (paired with foods) for the first two years of a child's life. Let's hope Kim and North stick to their healthful routine.