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BFing and weight loss (vent)

RBXChas Posts: 2,708 Member
It seems like the world tells you BFing will help you lose weight, but it seems like everyone on here who BFs is struggling to lose. Of course most people on MFP are trying to lose weight, so it might be the sample ;)

However the only people I know IRL who lose weight quickly after having a baby were naturally thin to begin with and usually didn't gain a lot of weight during pregnancy, so BFing or not, they'd likely have snapped back pretty much immediately.

Me, I started logging at 2 months PP after my first baby, but I was mostly FFing, and at 3 months we went 100% to formula. I started about 15 lbs heavier that time, too, but the weight came off fairly quickly. This time I am EBFing, but it seems so slow. I have another 50+ lbs to get to my low weight, too, so we're not talking about losing "those last 10 lbs."

I am struggling mentally with it. I'm miserable being this fat especially when a year ago I was wearing size 4 jeans. For various reasons, exercise is nearly impossible, which BFing doesn't help because I can't leave the baby behind with a bottle without pumping to make up the feeding. However I know BFing has so many health benefits for me and my son, plus it's free. Formula is too damn expensive, and it's annoying to have to go out and buy it. So to me, supplementing or FFing isn't an option, especially since I've worked so hard to EBF after having such a hard time with my first baby.

Someone please tell me, will weight loss ever speed up before weaning? Like when we start solids? Would more pumping (and thus more production) help? Does exercise really help without sacrificing supply? (I worry about drying up with exercise, but it starts to cool down a bit here in late September, so walking or running may be a possibility. Right now 80 and humid at 6AM doesn't work for me.)

I'm working so hard on two fronts (BFing and weight loss) and still feel like a whale. For this much work, I should *at least* be under 200lbs. I'm lucky if I lose 0.5 lb a week. 2lbs a month is excruciating when you have over 50 to lose and no clothes that are even close to fitting. I faithfully eat 2000 calories/day.

I'm not looking for pity or consolation, just venting and seeing if anyone has any suggestions, since many if us are struggling with this.

I am open to suggestions to end this frustration. Thanks in advance!

ETA that my son will be three months old this coming Friday.


  • kcasey155
    kcasey155 Posts: 968 Member
    Breastfeeding is a way of losing weight. During pregnancy your body stores all it needs to feed your baby, so if you don't feed your baby yourself you won't be using those stores. Pumping to increase milk production in addition to breast feeding as a means of losing weight and using your breastfeeding stores doesn't seem that practical to me. If you increase your supply you'll have to pump regularly to prevent leaking. You could indeed freeze the pumped milk or donate it via a group like 'Human Milk for Human Babies', but I'm sure extra milk production would increase your appetite, making you hungry and more irritable.

    IMO the only reasonable way to lose weight while breastfeeding is through exercise and a good diet, at least this is the way I intend doing it. I have lost weight in the past while breastfeeding, but it can take time and be a slow process and one of the temporary sacrifices we make to ensure the health of our children. Yes, it's frustrating and annoying, but it's also difficult to hang onto those emotions when looking into the smiling face of your baby. So expect it to be slow going or put it on hold completely til he's done feeding. It's a few months of your life to set him up forever with the best nutrients and immnune system.
  • RBXChas
    RBXChas Posts: 2,708 Member
    Well, part of my issue is that I have to go back to work at some point. We are self-employed, so my husband is having a really rough time on his own, rougher than expected, and it's costing us money while I'm not there. Therefore I am getting a lot of pressure to come back, which would also help our long-term growth. I expected that I could still wear some of my bigger suits when I went back, but I'm not even close, and at this rate I will not be for quite some time. Judges don't look kindly upon lawyers wearing yoga pants, and I can't afford to buy a whole new (and somewhat temporary) wardrobe of suits. Contrary to popular belief, most lawyers don't make tons of money, plus we have crushing student loans (as much as our mortgage payment).

    Point being, there's a bit more to it than just frustration, plus my joints are killing me. I wake up every morning with stiff ankles, knees, and hips. That happened to me last time, too, and it only went away when I lost a significant amount of weight. I feel like it just can't be healthy for me to remain this heavy for this long. So in my mind 2lbs/month is not a viable option for my body and lifestyle, nor is weaning. I feel like there has to be a happy medium.

    And yeah, I know I'm partially to blame for weighing this much, but it's too late to change that. I ate way better with this pregnancy and ended up gaining more than during my last one (hence the "partially" in the last sentence).

    ETA that I love my boys, but no amount of adorable smiles makes me feel better about it because I don't blame my baby for it. I feel no ill will towards him; I'm just pissed that my options appear to be to remain fat, unhealthy, and uncomfortable while nursing or get healthy by losing weight and exercising but give up nursing. It just seems horribly unfair, so I feel like I must be getting something wrong.
  • tseabee
    I hear you loud and clear RBXChas! Everyone says how bf will make the weight just melt off so fast, not in my case. This is my 3rd baby I am bf and I have never lost the weight no matter how much I worked out or doing low carb/eating healthy until I stop nursing. I gained the most this last pregnancy, 60 lbs, I was 164 when I found out I was prego. My son will be 4 mo old next week and I have been stuck at 200# no matter what I do! It is very frustrating!!! Yes, it is best for baby but I totally understand when you say you don't feel good about yourself...none of my clothes fit, I am still wearing some maternity clothes!

    So I searched online for people who are going thru the same thing and found your post. Everything I see says to eat at least 2000 cals and eat back exercise calories in order to lose weight while nursing. I know I never eat close to that so I decided to try it today... I still have over 1000 calories to eat by tonight! If it was pizza hey no problem but it's hard to eat all day long when I feel like the more I eat the more I will just stay the same! But I am determined to eat the 2000 cals for the rest of the week so we will see if the scale budges in the next couple of days! Has anything changed for you since you wrote this post 3 weeks ago?
  • Jillsie11
    Jillsie11 Posts: 249 Member
    I only gained 30 this pregnancy (this was my second pregnancy;I gained 40 with my first), so I assumed the weight would melt off for me. It did not. I EBF'ed as well...and, I tried EVERYTHING. More calories, less calories, switching up my workouts, etc...all I can say is that at 9 months PP, I was FINALLY at my pre-pregnancy weight. 9 months on, 9 months off. It was super hard for me to see all these ladies where the weight "melted off"...but with persistence, it did for me too. Stick with it. Make good choices. Eventually it will happen. It's hard, but don't compare yourselves to others. Each body is different. Good luck!:)
  • BeckyJill7
    BeckyJill7 Posts: 547 Member
    I only gained 30 this pregnancy (this was my second pregnancy;I gained 40 with my first), so I assumed the weight would melt off for me. It did not. I EBF'ed as well...and, I tried EVERYTHING. More calories, less calories, switching up my workouts, etc...all I can say is that at 9 months PP, I was FINALLY at my pre-pregnancy weight. 9 months on, 9 months off. It was super hard for me to see all these ladies where the weight "melted off"...but with persistence, it did for me too. Stick with it. Make good choices. Eventually it will happen. It's hard, but don't compare yourselves to others. Each body is different. Good luck!:)

    It also took me close to 9 months to get back to pre-pregnancy weight.

    To answer your question though, I work out hard. As hard as I can most days. I haven't noticed a dip in my supply at all. You have to make sure you are super hyrdated though. The only times I take hits in my supply is when I don't eat enough and drink enough water.
    Don't be afraid to exercise. I would plop my kid in her exersaucer and jump on the treadmill or do a dvd. I would entertain her if she was cranky or take a break to feed her. (She didn't mind the sweatiness! TMI but it worked for us!)

    Oh and I EBF until I went back to work at 12 weeks. Then I pumped and bf when we were together. She's 10 months now, we still BF and I still pump twice a day while we are apart. She eats solids once a day (we nurse, she eats dinner, bath, bedtime, nurse again). We'll be bumping it up to twice a day solids shortly.

    I'm sorry you aren't losing weight. I still feel like my body is holding on to some weight. I got super frustrated seeing so many people drop back to pre-preg weight almost instantly. I was in great shape before getting pregnant but didn't do an instant slim-down by any means!

    Long story short. Exercise! Eat and drink lots!
  • RBXChas
    RBXChas Posts: 2,708 Member
    Nope, same story now. Eating 2000/day, stuck at 206, was about 160 pre-pregnancy and 154 at my low. Still wearing maternity yoga pants with no other clothes that fit, and my son will be 4 months on the 23rd. (I'm 5'7".)

    My older son loved the exersaucer, but this guy isn't big enough for it, nor is he big enough for a jogging stroller (though it's still in the 90s here and humid as all get-out). So I'm still having a really rough time getting in workouts and probably won't be able to do that for another month or so, at least :(

    I'm still mega frustrated but am just trying to go with it. Not much I can do about it at the moment :-/

    I've weaned myself off mother's milk tea (it was making me feel nauseated), but I'm still doing lactation cookies. I'm trying to wean off those since they have mucho calories! Tons of water, too. At least three quarts a day (96 oz) now that I've really been paying attention.

    I appreciate the input and kind words, though :)
  • ks4e
    ks4e Posts: 374 Member
    I'm in the same boat. My baby is 9 months and now it's going away slowly. I had a difficult time finding the right balance of calories and exercise to not affect my milk supply. Just keep at it!
  • heniko
    heniko Posts: 796 Member
    I have 4 children. I wasn't able to BF my first 3 children past 4months. My youngest daughter, I've managed to Bf for over 17months now. With my 1st pregnancy, I was out of control eating and giving into craving. I gained 80lbs. I wasn't able to lose the weight *, but I really didn't try either. My 2nd and 3rd child, I gained about 15lbs each. Before both pregnancies, I was already considered fat, obese whatever you want to call it, so I didn't gain that much. After the 3rd baby, I decided I had enough of being fat then set out to change my life. I manged to lose 48 of my excess 80lbs. I was just over my half way point when I found I was pregnant. It was a high risk pregnancy and was put on strict bedrest. I did my best to eat the right foods, but I gain 20lbs. Atfer the birth, I exclusively breastfeed since my daughter had an enlarged heart and low birth weight. She's now 17months, doing well and healthy thank God. I naturally lost the 20lbs i gain, without much effort. I didn't scarf down everything I wanted to, but I definitely indulged. I didn't do much excerise outside of walking. Around 14 months, when my daughter really started getting into eating solids. (Before she would barely eat one spoonful) I started to see a difference in my body. The inches were slowly coming back. But it was in August, when I had to stop BFing for 10days due to some meds I had to take, I found everything went downhill. My daughter became angry that I wasn't BFing her (even though I had pumped enough milk beforehand), my milk almost disappeared and within that 10 days I found I had gained 11lbs. Since, then my daughter is back to breastfeeding, and the milk is back also ... but as an older baby well, I figure the "magic" is gone. I'm also struggling to find that balance. I'd like to BF until 2years at least, if possible ... but also lose weight too!
  • graycalico
    graycalico Posts: 30 Member
    In my experience my body holds on to the weight until baby starts eating solids regularly. That was ten months for my ds. I'm currently nursing my third (and still nursing my 2year old). And I lose a pound here and there but it's really slow. Hang in there!
  • Sjenny5891
    Sjenny5891 Posts: 717 Member
    I know it has been a month. I hope things are better for you. I bought a baby carrier to use when we walked. My SIL gave me a hiking carrier we switched to when he got old enoough to hold his head up on his own.....

    Walking was the biggest thing I did with DS after he was born. It really was impractical for me to try anything else with him eating as often as he was.

    I was eating about 2,000 calories a day with my exercise calories. You can try adding 100 a day to see if it helps. ( when he had growth spurts I needed to eat more or I plateaued) It is hard to say when your diary is closed. Are you getting enough water?
  • RBXChas
    RBXChas Posts: 2,708 Member
    I'm losing slowly again at 1800/day. I drink at least 3 quarts of plain water/day. I don't open my diary for several reasons, sorry! I know that makes things hard to evaluate.