Losing Baby Weight While Breastfeeding?

When I was pregnant everyone told me I was going to lose the weight quick because of breastfeeding or don’t worry the weight will come off once the baby starts sucking.

So here is how I did NOT lose weight while breastfeeding. I just wasn’t one of those lucky moms. I was the mom that ate whatever I want, whenever I want while I was breastfeeding because I felt like I was never full and always hungry. I was feeding Freya 10-12x a day and the weight did not budge. I gained about 10kg during pregnancy and dropped 4 kg once I left the hospital with the baby. 1 month postpartum I dropped another 2 kg and by 6 months postpartum I was still 3 kg above pre-pregnancy weight. These are just numbers, and I don’t take them seriously, but I wanted to write it down for context.

Friends that came to visit after Freya was born told me I bounce back or I look like I was never pregnant and even though those were great compliments. Physically I still didn’t feel strong or the way I thought I should be, and I am okay with it because I know the way my body looked isn’t a priority now but there was always a tiny voice at the back of mind like… You should look better. What’s wrong with you. You are a trainer and a fitness person. Get it together.

Being in the fitness industry, there is this ridiculous amount of pressure to bounce back and look the same before baby BECAUSE we are in the fitness industry. I’ve met so many women who within 3 months lose the baby weight, gain their abs back and look freaking amazing. Not going to lie that stressed me out even more because I definitely wasn’t 1 of those fitness moms. I look skinny because I lost a good amount of muscle during pregnancy and there was no visible line of abs at all.

However, with all that is said. Breastfeeding helped me tremendously to shrink my uterus down and my bump shrunk very quickly because of breastfeeding. But my midsection was definitely still loose and felt somewhat hanging (because well it expanded like a balloon and a baby came out). It defintely did not feel the same pre-partum and sometimes I still look like I had a tiny bump even after giving birth because the skin around the midsection is looser now.

breastfeeding in the plane on a 30 hour flight

Breastfeeding causes the body to hold on to body fat whether you like it or not, without body fat, women tend to have a harder time to hold on to pregnancy, and harder time breastfeeding. Body fat help to keep up with our milk supply. Women needs healthy levels of body fat for their hormones to regulate and to just survive. Society sees body fat as a negative thing, a woman with thicker thighs or a thicker waist is seen as obese. But if a woman is curvy at the right place as a small waist and a thick ass. She is an Instagram model. Ridiculous! Body fat is subjective. Over the years I have seen skinny girls with high body fat percentage while thicker girls have moderate level of percentage. the scale isnt everything and low body fat does not equate to ‘Health’.

I was training 4-5x a week and moving the body every day, eating as clean as I possibly can, listening to my body, snacking when I am hungry especially right after nursing. breastfeeding draisn the body, i am thirstier and hungrier whenever I just breastfeed. So i ate more than 5x a day so of course my weight and my measurements stayed the same for awhile. I remember waking up EVERY morning HUNGRY because I have nursed the baby 2-3x that night and my body was just depleted by the morning. I could have a full McDonald breakfast and then some before noon and I still wasn’t full.

I tried to go on a ‘diet’ many times while breastfeeding, but I was never successful, and I was constantly disappointed. My body was just constantly hungry, and I could not stop thinking about food if I was hungry and even though I just ate 2 hours ago. I was having a really hard time mentally struggling to control myself and feed my body AND feed a baby.

freya and I (my 9 months old) I was 50% Breastfeeding, 50% Formula

In the end, I had to stop stressing. Breastfeeding takes majority of my calories away from my body to the baby and this is just not the time to stress about my weight or the way I look BUT how I feel. I shifted my energy from the physical aspect to the mental and the ‘reality’ aspect. I had a goal of breastfeeding my baby till she was minimum 6 months. Have I done that? Check. My goal is to hit the gym 3-4x a week. Did I do that? Check. Move and walk the body everyday with or without the baby. Can I do that? Check. Can I show up for my clients and work like a rockstar? Check. Am I being present as a wife? Yes. Ok. I’m golden. I have shown up for myself and everybody and then some.

The weight on my bones is not relevant. Breastfeeding may not have helped me shed those extra pounds the way I wished it did. But it fed my daughter till she is 10 months old and that’s all it matters. I just wish we stop telling new moms, first time moms, these expectations of breastfeeding which are so false and so personal and inaccurate and doesn’t always translate to every mom out there.

Now that I’m done breastfeeding. Who wants my pump?

xx,

@bernsthefitnerd

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