Post natal weight gain

Firstly, may I offer the usual apologies for not blogging and being A Very Bad Person At Keeping In Touch. I just seem not to get round to it lately. And sometimes I just think I have nothing to say. I’m happy. I’m leading my own happy little mediocre life. Nothing too exciting or blogworthy.

Here’s something I’ve been wondering a while: Have any of you breastfeeding mothers actually put on weight whilst breastfeeding?

Everyone goes on about how it burns All The Calories and “the weight just dropped off!”

See, that happened to me when I first gave birth. (I had a lot of fluid and an entire human I got rid of, weight wise.)

But now, 20 months on I find myself thinking I feel a bit stodgy. I didn’t weigh myself for ages – like I stopped with the obsessive weighing whilst pregnant and then I only restarted through curiosity a few months or so ago.

And I am feeling not my fighting weight.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m happy. Maybe it’s happy weight. But honestly I feel like I’d like to drop some and then I’d be totally happy, rather than happy and fat.

I’m a whole 20kg+ from my low weight. And maybe 15ish from my ideal weight. I could even cope with losing 10-12 kg. Right now I just feel a bit blubbery. I would rather not feel the overhang (though I guess the c section may leave a perma-shelf) and I would just feel better in myself if I could drop a dress size. I don’t need to be skinny. I’d just like to be more myself and less “chubby mum”.

Right now I’m about a UK dress size 12, which isn’t awful – which is why I don’t spend my time hiding away and I still enjoy eating. But I’m short (160cm / 5’2″ and a bit) so really that’s a bit chubby for a shorty. Yes a lot of it is boobage which will maybe go when B weans (20 months and counting) but a fair amount is stomach and I used to have a waist. I used to have arms I didn’t mind getting out!

Another thing I’ve been wondering is that I was told to take an asthma inhaler every day. It’s steroids – Fostair – a preventer as I had really bad hayfever and kept wheezing. I feel fine now, but they want me to take it. I finally connected the dots when I read about Jameela Jamil saying how she put on 20 pounds with asthma meds. And I realised I took steroids for immune therapy and put on a load of weight too.

The internet is kind of in disagreement about whether steroids actually make you put on weight. And I’ve found breastfeeding gives me a bigger appetite anyway. And… I’m happy and haven’t been watching my weight or doing a lot of exercise. And my recent vegetarianism maybe hasn’t helped, as I probably had some high protein low carb meals when I ate meat. (I wasn’t a particularly healthy meat eater anyway – I only liked processed meat you couldn’t tell was meat.)

So I did a few things. I took up Zumba. (It’s ridiculous but one of my very good friends, the one recovering from cancer, is a fan and we go together). I have tried (and probably failed) not to give myself such a free pass on eating. And I stopped taking the steroid inhaler, which I’ll probably get in trouble for but I know I’ve actually put on like 2 kg since I was told to take it every day a couple of months ago. And I haven’t had any asthma symptoms after hayfever season.

I won’t do any crash dieting at least until B weans. Right now we don’t have any immediate plans. We’d like to go until 2, and fortunately T is super supportive of bf and cosleeping, otherwise we probably wouldn’t have any sleep!

Anyway, I know my worth isn’t measured in kg. I feel generally fine about myself, and very happy and grateful for the life I have, and the chance to be a mother. I’d do it all over again even if you told me I could never be thin again. It’s more of a musing really. I hope I can lose a bit of the chub, but if it doesn’t happen I’m not going to hate myself for it. That would only drive me to chocolate, anyway!

A cow I met recently. Confirmed my decision not to eat them!

18 Comments Add yours

  1. sbach1222 says:

    I did seem to put on weight after breastfeeding for a while, especially after the 6 months of exclusive breast feeding, once I weaned and stopped after 13 months, then I really put on the weight, my stomach was so used to eating huge meals and milking the calories out, It was hard to adjust to not burning that many calories a day and not filling my stomach up all of the time! But, without huge diet and without actual workouts I have finally been working my way down some. No crash diets, just comfortable changes I would. You will get there, but being happy and breastfeeding are more important than that damn number on the scale!

    Glad to hear how happy you are! I love hearing positive things!!

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    1. Nara says:

      I think this is what has happened to me! I’m hoping that mine will just gradually come off. I’m not crazy about it – I feel fine and happy generally, it’s just I feel more comfortable being a little less wobbly! X

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I could have written this myself!

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    1. Nara says:

      Agh! All I hear lately is about women who lose tonnes of weight breastfeeding! Also most of my NCT are now super skinny so I feel like a fatty!

      Like

  3. Hufflestitch says:

    I can’t speak to the breastfeeding part but I am also still a bit pudgey and I am about the same height as you! I am reducing the meat in my diet and decreasing other animal products too, eventually I would like to be vegetarian. I am focusing on foods I want my son to eat as he copies everything we do these days, so lots of whole food and as unprocessed as possible (I fail daily but I can see some improvements). Bonus is that it means my toddler is seeing me enjoying lots of different foods and is curious enough to try and like some of them!

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    1. Nara says:

      Aww! Yes I went veggie a few months ago. I want eating much meat and we have not given B meat yet so it felt hypocritical to eat it. I guess maybe that has not helped me make the best food choices! But honestly I think part of it is I just gave myself permission to eat what I wanted during pregnancy and after. Before all the treatment I was quite rigid diet wise. I don’t want to be borderline anorexic / unhealthy like I have been in the past! But equally I want to model healthy eating to our child!

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  4. MrsD says:

    I lost all the pregnancy weight within 6 weeks due to breastfeeding but after I stopped at 9 months, I put on 10lb in a year. From what I hear that’s pretty normal as your body adjusts to not burning all those calories. Plus I was taking progestin only birth control (can’t do combination pill due to migraines) and that just made me lethargic and possibly contributed to the weight gain. I think after this baby is born and I’m done breastfeeding I’m going to go low carb and make the husband get a vasectomy so I don’t have to take hormones anymore!

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    1. Nara says:

      Yes that’s probably me although we are still bf at 20 months! I think it’s a lot less though so it doesn’t cancel out the food. I think it’s probably a combination of things and the steroids haven’t helped! I am hopeful it’ll come off gradually and I need to stop giving myself permission to stuff my face!

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  5. RJ says:

    I did not drop all of my pregnancy weight until I stopped breastfeeding completely at 18 months. And I have read this to be fairly common. Keep up the good breastfeeding and worry about the weight loss when that part of your relationship has come to an end. I totally miss it! Glad you are well otherwise!!

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    1. Nara says:

      Oh that’s good to know! Yeah it just feels a bit weird to be this chubby when I’m not used to it. But I’m very happy with breastfeeding and I know I’ll miss it so much when we stop! X

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Rach says:

    I started to put on the kgs as both my kids got around 1. The breastfeeding weight loss thing only works when they are small and you are feeding loads. Once they start solids I found the impact was less and my bad habits of eating more cake already firmly established. I’m the same height and around the same weight as you and it’s starting to bug me too. I’m a good 10kg over my happy balanced weight. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever see it again *sigh*

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    1. Nara says:

      Sorry I somehow didn’t reply to this!! I think you are much slimmer than I am! 🙂 I am definitely with you on the eating more cake… haha!

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  7. I lost a heap of weight after birth from breastfeeding. At about 5 months pp I was lighter than pre-pregnancy. However, as my daughter begins to breastfeed less and less, I am piling the weight back on. I’m still breastfeeding (my daughter is almost 22 months) but the last 6 months I must have put on 8 kgs and am feeling a bit uncomfortable.

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    1. Nara says:

      Yes this is us! We are still going at 20 months and I initially lost plenty of weight but then I think I put some more on. I need to stop eating so much! I think it’s reasonably easy to maintain but not easy to lose weight!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. 2mums1dream says:

    Lots of people told me the weight would fall off while breastfeeding but I’ve not dropped a pound since about a week after I gave birth

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    1. Nara says:

      I haven’t dropped a pound… I am a bit worried I’ve put a lot on! I can’t be sure as I didn’t weigh myself for ages. But I think I probably did.

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      1. 2mums1dream says:

        Breastfeeding makes me so hungry so I’m not surprised I’m not losing weight

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      2. Nara says:

        Yes me too! The brunger! (Breastfeeding hunger!)

        Like

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