Fast forward to today, I’m already about 150 lbs, my waistline is at 34inches and yes, I am still breastfeeding my 25 month old daughter.
So they said breastfeeding can help you lose weight easily right? Then why did I put on so much weight now?
Well, breastfeeding does help you lose the pregnancy weight easily. I am proof of that- because two months post pregnancy, I easily lost 15lbs of those I put on while pregnant, and maintained a weight of just 130 lbs no matter how much I ate. But as soon as I went back to work, and limited my direct latches with my daughter to a few hours before and after work, I slowly noticed I easily put the weight back on.
BREASTFEEDING per se does not make you gain all that weight. But online articles also say it is a culprit because breastfeeding releases a hormone that slows down metabolism.
But I’m writing this article not to blame breastfeeding for my weight gain- instead this is an honest admission of my own fault and a mix of different factors that sadly, I failed to watch out for while nursing.
So what made me gain weight and made me look like I’m 5 months pregnant again? Well, I have two faults.
1. CARB OVERLOAD
Honestly, I kind of messed up my meal plan and just ate whatever I wanted, whenever, thinking I wouldn’t weigh so much because breastfeeding will compensate for burning the added calories. While it does burn calories- IT DOES NOT BURN ALL THE ADDED CALORIES YOU RECKLESSY PUT ON. I didn’t cut down on junk on cheat days, I ate a lot of fast food at work (coz I didn’t have the time to cook my own food), and I would also drink softdrink (which is unhealthy, I know!).
At times, I used breastfeeding as an excuse for eating more because breastfeeding (and constant pumping) actually does make you hungry all the time. But I could have chosen to eat healthier- and cut down on junk since my milk is my daughter’s source of nutrient after all.
2. NO EXERCISE
Six months post partum, I planned to go back to Zumba and exercise to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. And it never happened. I never went back, coz I was just too lazy and undetermined to do so. It didn’t help that I was starting to eat unhealthy at work, with zero exercise to burn all that excess calorie I am taking in.
I am not blaming breastfeeding for gaining weight because it’s not its fault. I know of breastfeeding moms who have really lost weight easily while breastfeeding, but I also know of a lot more moms who gained even more while nursing. And we have different reasons and stories for gaining weight while breastfeeding, so please don’t generalize or don’t pre-judge.
Mine is a story where I am at fault for really being fat. And I am paying the price for that now because I am having a really hard time losing weight.
I also wrote this post to make all nursing moms who gained weight like me, feel comfortable and aware that you are not alone. We are all in this together.
Getting pregnant itself has made us put on added pounds, and we will be able to lose that sooner or later.
Essentially, whether or not we gain or lose weight before, during or even after pregnancy and breastfeeding- our bodies were made for a very special purpose.
Our bodies bore children, who will eventually grow up and make a history of their own. Our tummies were home to these children, who will someday change the world. Our breasts nursed these kids who will grow up to love others more because we have loved them.
Right now, I am trying my best to lose weight. I’m doing that because I want to be healthy and be able to bear another child.
But whether or not I return to my pre-pregnancy weight, what matters more is that I am able to give my child the nourishment she needs, and that I can be healthier and stronger to be able to watch her grow. Whether or not I get back my 26 inch waistline and fit into my wedding gown again, what matters more is if I can be a better mom everyday, if I can be more loving and accepting, and understanding of a growing child who is only starting to explore the world.
What matters is, my body has been an instrument to bring about a child- and whether that body is hourglass or a pitcher, I am a Mom and I will try my best to give my daughter the best Mom that she deserves, FAT OR NOT.