Breastfeeding and Weight Loss

Don’t Believe the Hype

So I thought that losing the baby weight would be a breeze because of breastfeeding. I was relatively healthy before the baby and not overweight at all. I kept active during my pregnancy and I appeared to be all belly, even though I had gained almost 30 pounds.

I planned on breastfeeding from the beginning. The advantages the baby would get plus the stories I heard about how it helped you lose the weight quickly had me sold. I didn’t expect the pounds to shed overnight but I did think I would start seeing results about 2 months in.

Well lil Madi is 1 and I am still no where near my goal weight. I honestly believe that breastfeeding has made it harder to lose weight. Here’s what I wish some other breast feeding mama’s had told me…

You will be hungry all of the time!!!
I swear I eat more now than I did when I was pregnant.  I am always hungry, especially right after I pump or feed. It takes a lot of energy to make breast milk. You can burn up to 300 calories from pumping alone, which sounds great but if it leaves you starving and you devour a meal immediately afterwards, it’s a little counterproductive.

The pregnancy cravings may come back
I never craved odd combinations of food during my pregnancy but junk and fast food were my vices. When Madi and I hit our stride breastfeeding those craving came back with a vengeance.

The lack of sleep makes things worse
When I am at home I feed Madi. We try not to use any of the precious milk we have frozen or in the fridge if I’m home. There have been times when I had to dip into our stash because for one reason or another my supply was low. But for the most part that means I feed her, which means I had to deal with the middle of the night feedings all by myself. So sleep was rare in those first few months.

And, last but not least, your ginormous bosoms make it look like you haven’t lost weight at all
I’ve always been a busty girl but my breasts went up 2 cup sizes during my pregnancy. So even when my belly has shrunk, my large breasts tend to make me look larger than I am.

So while this has been my experience, remember it hasn’t been all bad. My baby’s healthy and my precious memories of feeding her more than make up for the extra pounds I can’t seem to shake off.