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Breastfeeding and inability to lose weight

(21 Posts)
Glitterybits Thu 15-Sep-11 13:30:44

This isn't strictly a problem, as I know that having a healthy, happy baby is far more important than frumpy Mummy's saggy tummy and self-image, but I was always under the misconception that breastfeeding helped you lose weight.

Granted, my baby is only 7 weeks old (trying to run before I can walk), but I'm a full 11lbs heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight and it seems that no matter what I do, the scales won't budge. I'm quite interested to hear how many of you out there found that breastfeeding left them unable to lose weight, or if I'm just in complete denial and need to accept that I ate too much chocolate when pregnant! I've already lost nearly 2 stone since the birth, but am grumpy about this extra flab as I seem to be a totally different shape all over too.

I'm not going to stop feeding. Just wanted to know if I'm likely to be stuck with this extra girth until I wean my little one. I am trying to be more active, but with no sleep and a toddler to run around after, I doubt I'll be back in non-maternity gear for a very long time and it's a bit disheartening.

Gilberte Thu 15-Sep-11 13:41:54

I breastfeed and I do tend to lose a lot of weight whilst doing it but to be honest I'm not sure what's down to genetics/ lack of time to eat properly etc.

I'm very lucky in that I've always been slim and didn't put on that much during pregnancy ( a stone I think). However, I do lose too much afterwards and need to put some back on to look healthy.

You've lost two stone (and it's only been 7 weeks) so you are losing weight and the breastfeeding will burn off calories each day but perhaps not as much as you are expecting. I don't know the exact figures but I think it's the equivilent of a light meal.

Running around after your toddler should help too.

As for the saggy tummy- I have one of those and I'm not sure losing weight will shift it. The younger you are the quicker it will return to near normal- I think.

GoingForABlog Thu 15-Sep-11 13:56:54

I only managed to lose weight once I had finished bfeeding, it was very frustrating but once I finished it just dropped off. I know lots of friends who said they lost it really easily and they think it was because they were bfeeding, I guess everybody is different though.

Mummawummadooda Thu 15-Sep-11 13:57:53

I breast feed. I lost the most weight in the first 4mths. Ive rediscovered chocs though at present.....I did though only put on a stone and a bit in the entire pregnancy. You use something like 500 cals a day so its not as much as you might think (or more but it depends on your view point. Shocked the hell out of me, but maybe thats me?!) but if you are eating healthily and smaller portions you can't do anything but lose weight really.

I guess your shape has probably altered to. Ive changed shape at every time Ive gained or lost weight so Id ignore the shape change and just reorganise your clothes to suit. Holding onto clothes that suited you without hips will just depress you if you now have a JLo bum.

2 stone would equate to probably the baby and the placenta if you think about it so this extra 11 is actual weight, I would guess. So, stick on trainers, get moving and plan your meals. The old advice is the best unfortunately..... But you do have a bit of a helping hand by the bfing!

cantmakecarrotcake Thu 15-Sep-11 14:19:01

I'm of the opinion you shouldn't diet while breastfeeding. Yes, be sensible (I should listen to my own advice), but you need to make sure you get enough to keep you and baby fed. I think you need that bit of extra, especially in the early days, to keep you going - your body is making sure there's a little bit of back-up so you could still feed baby if you were ill/malnourished.

At 8 months I'm still holding on to about 2-3 kg (5-6 lb?), now I do like the odd daily cake but even so my weight stays stable due to BF.

Treat yourself to some new clothes for your current size and just enjoy your LO for a while. Worry about the weight later.

Loopymumsy Thu 15-Sep-11 14:36:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anklebitersmum Thu 15-Sep-11 15:01:15

Glitterybits I totally get where you're coming from...had four of the little miracles and expanded to the size of an over-inflated blimp every time! I breastfed and I'm afraid I didn't 'ping' back into shape within a few weeks, but I was a bit more 'like me' further down the line.

Give yourself a break and try to remember (even at 5am when you're tired, in pj's and feeling pretty darn frumpy-or worse trying on jeans that you know you're just being hopeful with) that it took roughly 40weeks to put the baby weight on and if, as the health bods say, it takes twice as long to take off properly as put on then you've got an 80wk timescale-even with breastfeeding.

So as you're not even a tenth of the way in I think you're doing more than splendidly. grin

and congrats on new little one by the way

MacMomo Thu 15-Sep-11 18:27:33

I didn't lose much weight until about 4 months then it came off very quickly over the next month or 2. It might be because I started going for more walks at that point but I certainly continued to eat like a horse (still do). Just a 20 min walk a day seemed to make the difference, or maybe my body was just not ready to shed the fat right away. The last 2 kg are still here, mind you!

discrete Thu 15-Sep-11 18:31:22

I do hang on to a bit of weight while bfing - not tonnes, but a good 8 lbs or so.

I seem to lose it in chunks as bfing frequency reduces over time. Unfortunately, ds2 is 18 months and resisting my attempts to cut down further atm....

SootySweepandSue Thu 15-Sep-11 18:47:46

I think you are doing fabulously with weight loss. I'm over a year in with 10 lbs to go.

Maybe try long walks to build up your metabolism?

Trillian42 Fri 16-Sep-11 11:12:23

7 weeks is way too early to judge! For what it's worth, I did lose a lot of weight while BFing, but it still took my body a few months to get back to its normal shape. I wouldn't worry about weight until 3 months - that way your body has had a chance to get back to normal, BFing is well established, and hopefully by then you'll have more energy for exercise!

sadalot Fri 16-Sep-11 12:47:08

i am now weaning ds2 as he is 6 months and have put on a stone since he was born!! my cousin saw me last week and said 'good god you have put on some weight!! i feel shit - he was ebf until 6 months and i have decided to go to weight watchers next tuesday - i am so busy with the other kids that i tend to eat biscuits a lot!! i am determined to lose the weight this time - some women dont start losing weight until 4 months into bfeeding - good luck!!

reallytired Fri 16-Sep-11 12:54:25

"I've already lost nearly 2 stone since the birth, but am grumpy about this extra flab as I seem to be a totally different shape all over too."

That sounds pretty good to me.I think you need a bit of patience. It takes nine months to make a baby and at least nine months to recover.

How much weight do you want to lose? I think you need to adjust your expectations. It is not healthy to lose weight too fast. You body put the weight on in pregnancy to help you provide the 500 calories a day that breastfeeding requires. Its not the time to diet and if you have a healthy diet then you will lose the weight over a period of months.

Glitterybits Fri 16-Sep-11 14:35:38

Thanks ladies for all your lovely, wise and kind words. I am one of those who wants instant gratification in all aspects of her life! grin I know it has only been 7 weeks and it's going to take time to shift the lbs when you've just had a 9lb 5oz baby, but I think I'm more keen to shift it this time because I was already a stone heavier than I wanted to be when I fell pregnant.

Inspired by your stories, I've embarked on the Yummy Mummy workout plan and long pram walks to see if that makes any difference. I'm not going to diet, but I think portion control might be a factor - and what is it about bfing that makes you NEED sugar? I've never had a sweet tooth before in my life.

One more question to all breastfeeding mothers out there - did any of you struggle with night sweats, or even day sweats? I'm guessing it's a hormonal thing? How long does it last?

Trillian42 Fri 16-Sep-11 20:03:20

Hmm, I sweated a lot in the first couple of weeks post birth but AFAIK that's common as your body is getting rid of all the water it retained. I didn't have any thing afterwards that I can remember. Though oddly enough, I didn't sweat at all much during pregnancy. Don't know if that's a standard thing or what.

violetwellies Fri 16-Sep-11 20:46:00

Night sweats were a nightmare, they become gradually less frequent, and I think now @ 17 weeks they may have stopped, weight wise Im 10lb over my ideal weight atm, not bothered as I can see theres more boobage, and my thighs are a bit thicker, it will go Im sure. was told by someone who bf three that it was after 6months bf that the rest of the weight dropped, but Im not expecting to ever get my flat tummy back as had a CS. Im breast feeding for gawds sake Im restricted in what I can manage with a small person in tow smile .

sc2987 Sat 17-Sep-11 11:23:51

I've read that you retain about 10lb until you stop feeding, as protection against the food supply decreasing. Of course in an affluent society it's not necessary, but that doesn't help you!

hermioneweasley Sat 17-Sep-11 11:33:01

When my DP reduced BF when DD was weaned, the weight literally fell off her - about a stone in a month. Relax and enjoy your baby.

ObviouslyOblivious Sat 17-Sep-11 11:40:13

My DS is 7 1/2 months. I tried dieting (WW) when he was about 4 months and I felt really ill, so I stopped. I then ate whatever I wanted (clearly what my body wanted grin) and put some weight on. I started back on WW about 3 weeks ago and the weight is falling off. I'm finding it much easier too.

I think it must be because he is feeding slightly less due to weaning. I guess what I'm trying to say is if your body needs to hang onto the weight (and your DC is so young still) then my advice is go with it until they are slightly older. You don't want to make yourself ill.

MigGril Sat 17-Sep-11 13:33:54

I think we all lost/hang on to weight differently. I lose a bit to start with then don't losse anymore untill I've started adding solids to my baby's diet. Just seems to be the way my body works.

I'd try not to worry to much at this stage, as your baby is still so tiny. Just eat healthaly (need to take my own advice to) I think your shape does change to some maybe some new flatering cloth would help you feel a bit better about things.

moomsy Sun 18-Sep-11 17:00:37


I have been wetting my bed for the past 3 nights due to night sweats too! Great that it's to get rid of excess fluids since I can feel I have got plenty here!

I am now 7 days from childbirth. Lost about 10kgs already but I know that most of it will be baby related stuff and water.

I reckon another 6 or 8kgs to go however, I am not worrying much about that now grin)

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