Eating very healthily, going to gym and not losing weight - is it due to still breastfeeding?

(18 Posts)
Zuzusmom Fri 23-Sep-16 08:55:45

Hi there,
I gained 45lbs in my pregnancy. I was shocked because I've always been a healthy eater and very active (not going to gym but walking absolutely everywhere and taking dog for long walks). Pre-pregnancy I was a solid uk 10. Even during my pregnancy I still maintained a healthy lifestyle - of course you treat yourself a bit more but I was still pretty shocked with a 45lb gain! I tried to shrug it off and just hope for weight loss after.
My gorgeous daughter is now 13 weeks. I have eaten healthier than ever, go for longer walks than ever and go to the gym 3 times a week... And I haven't lost a pound since the initial birth loss!!! I lost roughly 20lbs with the first 3 weeks after her birth and nothing since. My only conclusion can be that it's down to my breastfeeding. I plan to do it until 6 months and although I am so incredibly happy to nourish my baby and give her the benefits, I can't help but feel like I'm in some imposter's body, trapped! And, I feel even trapped to my extreme healthy lifestyle which im not benefitting on the weight loss front from ie, if I maintain weight with this lifestyle, I'm terrified of gaining if I stop.
Has anyone experienced this? Or can you give me hope that it will shed off after breastfeeding stops?

yumyumpoppycat Fri 23-Sep-16 12:27:02

I didnt lose weight while bf (gained actually) and I think its not uncommon. It's really early days, your body is prob still recovering from all the hormone changes etc, pos lack of sleep... what you are doing eating healthily and exercising is brilliant in itself with a small baby in tow. Maybe give it another month keeping doing what your doing then reevaluate you might be able to tweak things a bit then or start logging on MFP?

sm40 Fri 23-Sep-16 12:30:40

I didn't lose anything until I stopped. Body shaped changed completely after baby. My waist got lost. Shoulders seemed broader. However as soon I stopped, I did weight watchers and everything (apart from a small tummy) pinged back.Actually went back to work 2 stone lighter! This whole losing weight whilst bf thing was not true for me!

yumyumpoppycat Fri 23-Sep-16 12:33:38

Just reread your post. If what you are doing now though (gym etc) feels too much do stop and just enjoy your baby and eat healthily, but in a way that isnt stressing you out, maybe do pram walks or mother and baby yoga etc, you can always focus on losing the 24lbs in 3 months and the weight might come off a lot more easily then, as your baby will be having solid food and be less reliant on your milk.

Corneliagoescamping Fri 23-Sep-16 12:39:35

Exactly the same as me- normally exercise lots and am a mid size 10, quite slim, always gain loads in pregnancy and as much as I try cannot lose it until I stop breastfeeding or at least start weaning when the baby is 5/6 months. Have managed to lose it all eventually though. Main thing is to keep being healthy and enjoy your beautiful baby while she is still small. Don't waste too much time worrying about weight if you can manage it. And then focus on it when she's a bit bigger. You will get there.

thenewaveragebear1983 Fri 23-Sep-16 12:43:36

I've read somewhere that you hold 10lb of fat when breastfeeding as an evolutionary survival thing. That way if you encounter famine/drought (historically) you will still be able to feed. Not sure if this is true?!
I never lost weight breastfeeding because of all the breastfeeding hobnobs and also found with all 3dc that after about 9-10 months the weight just starts dropping off provided you eat healthily.

Zuzusmom Fri 23-Sep-16 13:14:06

Wow, thanks so much everyone - really positive responses and looks like there is a glimmer of light for when I stop BF smile. I wasn't someone who loved being pregnant, as I find it difficult being out of control of my body. I think as the pregnancy progressed, my postpartum expectations (and excitement!) of getting that control back spiralled a bit too high, plus I genuinely don't think that people teach enough about emotional situations post-birth in antenatal classes. Nor did they talk about how bodies will differ in the response to hormones. It was all about breastfeeding dropping lbs etc etc!

yumyumpoppycat Fri 23-Sep-16 14:15:32

Defo hope! Give yourself permission to relax (not tooooo many hobnobs though grin ) and nourish yourself with healthy food and enjoy your baby.

Zuzusmom Fri 23-Sep-16 23:25:10

Thank you so much for the support!

nerdymum Tue 27-Sep-16 19:42:01

Zuzus, I totallt understand how you feel.
I was a gym bunny and a small size 8 pre preg. I had to give the gym during pregnancy because of a really bad anaemia but the worst bit came after giving birth.

DD is 17 weeks and I struggle to express so I'm not active at all and the lack of freedom and proper sleep have had an impact on my diet. I'm soft and mushy, can't fit in any of my blazers and feel like a whale. BF hasn't made me lose weight at all and my body feels alien to me.

I'd be careful with overdoing it at the gym and/or dieting as our bodies are holding on to fat and nutrients to produce fatty milk for the baby. You might find yourself too exhausted or your milk production could be affected.

I've embraced the fact that this is temporary and as soon as I can I'll be back at the gym smashing it but for now my current role is being a nurturing mama smile

nerdymum Tue 27-Sep-16 19:48:06

Please keep walking though. It might not be visible but your body is grateful for it - and will be in the long run!

AliceInHinterland Tue 27-Sep-16 19:51:39

The walking and good food really helps your energy levels if nothing else, and I think 4+ months is when you start to lose the weight. Presumably when it all melts away you will be lovely and toned underneath!

BIWI Tue 27-Sep-16 20:18:04

Why on earth would breastfeeding stop you losing weight? What has made you think that?

Weight loss is 80% to do with diet and only 20% to do with exercise. It sounds like you were obviously eating the wrong things during your pregnancy.

Even during my pregnancy I still maintained a healthy lifestyle - of course you treat yourself a bit more but I was still pretty shocked with a 45lb gain!

You're obviously going to gain weight during your pregnancy, because you're growing a baby! But if you were eating the wrong things during that time, that will have contributed to your weight gain.

What's your diet like now? What's a typical day's food and drink?

nerdymum Tue 27-Sep-16 22:33:08

BIWI, I've read a bit about it and not losing weight while BF is not uncommon.
I think the 'you lose 500 calories a day' creates false expectations and, in my case, frustation.

These links talk about it - there are more out there smile

www.popsugar.com/moms/How-Breastfeeding-Can-Make-You-Gain-Weight-37837572

I found this paragraph (from the above link) really good:

prolactin, a hormone released during nursing that stimulates milk production by also stimulating hunger and, in some cases, suppressing the body's ability to metabolize. Not only that, but pregnant women's bodies automatically layer on extra fatty tissue — upwards of eight pounds — so they will have enough fat stores to begin breastfeeding.

Also:

www.lalecheleague.org/nb/nbsepoct00p156.html

Zuzusmom Tue 27-Sep-16 23:31:23

I think your response is really insensitive to be completely honest - not only in the tone but in the fact that you haven't done your research.

I have been very clear that I have a healthy lifestyle and I know what that is, so don't need to give you a breakdown of my intake and don't appreciate your comments "it sounds like you worry obviously eating the wrong things" (how dare you!)

People have different bodies and a body reacts differently during pregnancy/postpartum to weight gain and loss - as per other mum responses, our bodies hold onto fat in different ways.

Also, my point was that everyone was shouting about how much BF helps but it doesn't seem to.

I don't know why you're on a mum support network when you have such an unsupportive tone and reaction to other mums. I feel bad for your friends!

BIWI Wed 28-Sep-16 09:02:12

Oh dear. I'm sorry to have offended you - it was absolutely not my intention. I was, actually, trying to help you.

However, I'll bow out and leave you to it.

Good luck.

velmadinkly Fri 30-Sep-16 20:27:33

I also found it difficult to lose weight when I was BF. I had previously lost and maintained a 4st loss for about 10 years, prior to getting pregnant, so was very knowledgeable about what to do etc with regards food and exercise. Post giving birth I was 2st over my ideal weight. Over the course of the 16mths I BF I lost a further stone, which as you can see was very slow, but then last stone would not budge. Within 6 weeks of stopping BF the last stone had gone with me doing nothing different to what I had been doing other than the feeding had stopped.

So, IMO, continue with the healthy eating and the exercise, don't over think or stress about it and when you do decide to stop the weight will go too.

Marmighty Fri 30-Sep-16 20:32:59

I kept my pregnancy weight on while breastfeeding, and got a bit low about it, but now I'm running after a toddler and thin as a rake as a result. Be kind to yourself and enjoy your baby without worrying too much about your weight. Make sure you eat healthily and keep hydrated. 13 weeks is still early days, and things will change before you know it.

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