Losing Weight While Breastfeeding Sucks
By: Joanne Kimes
True story: I went into a clothing store recently and when I couldn’t squeeze into any of the pants I was sure would fit, I used my tried and true excuse, I just had a baby. The saleswoman looked at me with compassion, but in reality, my baby is in fourth grade.
It’s just not fair that some women can pop out their kid and zip up their old jeans by the time they take their first post partum poop, while others take months, sometimes even years to achieve this goal. And it’s also not fair that breastfeeding women often have the hardest time of all. That’s because it’s simply not true that if you’re nursing, the weight will just melt away. Sure, nursing contracts your uterus and helps it return to its pre-pregnancy size. And if your goal is to have a nice taut uterus this summer to show off poolside, you’ll be fine. But a shapely uterus is not enough to please most new moms.
If you’re nursing, you need extra calories to produce milk so you tend to get ravenously hungry. Also, Mother Nature wants you to be a bit plump until you wean. She wants you to have lots of extra calories on hand (or, on thigh) so you can lactate through a long, hard winter when the food supply is low (she made up these rules before there was a 7-11 on every corner).
You can try to lose weight, but between your strong hunger pangs and the added stress of having a new baby, why bother? I suggest you wait until your life settles down, and ideally after you wean, before you get serious about dieting. Life with a new baby is hard enough, and a few trips to that 7-11 for a tasty treat now and again really does make things easier. Be patient and soon you can show off that firm uterus, and your thinner frame once again.
For more information on breastfeeding, check out “Breastfeeding Sucks” in bookstores everywhere. Visit Joanne Kimes at sucksandthecity.