The main reason I started this blog is to help educate people who want to live happier and healthier lives. There is so much information floating around these days, sometimes it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s not. I will be the first to admit that I had some unrealistic expectations of myself postpartum. I assumed that being fit and eating healthy, all of my weight would just fall off. Sure the last 10 lbs would probably be “tricky”, but nothing I couldn’t handle and certainly they wouldn’t stay on longer than about 4 months. I am currently 4 months postpartum, and here to tell you the truth about baby weight.
My Midwife put it to me this way, “There are two types of women that breastfeed, those that can’t keep weight on, and those that can’t lose the weight until they’re done breastfeeding. Unfortunately you will probably fall into the latter group.” Awesome. After 42 LONG weeks of watching the numbers on the scale increase, there was nothing more I wanted than my “body back.” I know all the Moms reading this right now are nodding in agreement. Being a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor adds some extra stress as well, since I feel like people have high expectations of me. Maybe they do and maybe they don’t, but I definitely strive to be the best example for them that I can. So now, at 4 months postpartum, I have an extra 14 lbs that just WILL NOT BUDGE and although it’s not what I thought would happen…I’m finally okay with it.
After labor and delivery, you are left with a beautiful child and…a still slightly enormous belly. Except it’s not hard and there’s nothing moving inside of it anymore. It’s just all soft, squishy uterus. Ewww. They say it takes about 6 weeks for your uterus to return to it’s “normal” size. Your organs also have to shift back into place—there’s a lot happening in there. So it’s expected that it takes some time for things to return to normal. I lost more than half of the weight I gained in the first 10 days. I got compliment after compliment and I thought to myself “Oh yeah, this is so easy.” Everything I heard about breastfeeding made me believe that the weight was just going to fall off. And it did…but it was mostly water weight, and it stopped after about three weeks. From 3 weeks postpartum until now, I have lost a whopping 4 lbs. and let me tell you, my diet has been ON POINT. I’ve been exercising and eating right, so what is the dang deal?! It’s frustrating to say the least. I walk around “sucking in” because I feel I can no longer get away with saying I “just” had a baby. I feel like others judge me and honestly, those without kids probably do. I’m sure they assume I’m just not putting in the work to take care of it. And I now realize that that’s just not the way postpartum baby weight works when you’re breastfeeding. At least not for me.
So, you’ve had a baby, you’re breastfeeding and your hormones are still super out of whack—I mean come on, when is my hair going to STOP falling out already? And there’s this other thing—you are the sole food source for a little tiny human being that you just grew inside of you. I’d say that’s kind of a big deal. Truthfully, it is absolutely normal for your body to hang on to an extra 10-20 lbs while breastfeeding. Your body is AMAZING, and it is going to do exactly what it needs to do to ensure that you can produce and supply enough milk to nuture your child. I think that’s pretty freakin’ amazing. It’s just like in pregnancy. I remember agonizing over every pound I gained, wondering if it was true “baby weight” or if it was because all I felt like eating were carbohydrates. Looking back…I shouldn’t have stressed nearly as much as I did. My body was creating life!
I see other women’s posts online about how all of the baby weight just “fell off” and how happy they are, and I find myself wishing that was me. But it’s not me, and there’s a darn good reason that’s not me. My body is doing exactly what it needs to be doing. Having birthed a child (sans epidural, at that), I now have so much more respect for my body. If it wants to hang onto 14 lbs, well so be it! I’m fortunate enough to be able to breastfeed, which I know is more than a lot of women can say. Although there are lots of crappy side effects, I am truly grateful that I am able to provide food for my sweet baby. I know that my body will get rid of the weight when it is time. Right now, I am eating a super clean, healthy diet not because I want the weight to come off, but because that is what my body needs to provide the most nutritious milk for my son. I also know that the healthier I eat—the healthier I feel. The healthier I feel— the more I want to exercise, the better my relationships are and the better wife, mom and friend I am.
Instead of looking at these last 14 lbs. as being “stubborn baby weight” pounds, I look at them as “necessary milk supply” pounds, and that changes everything. Attitude is everything, so make it positive. Act positively, think positively, be positive. You created life, and now your supplying your baby with the nutrients he/she needs to grow and be healthy and happy. STOP thinking about this baby weight RIGHT THIS MINUTE and be PROUD of yourself.
Here’s to all the breastfeeding Mommas out there! You are amazing! Here’s to positive thinking, healthy milk supplies and healthy, happy babies!