Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sometimes breastfeeding makes you fat.

Here I am, almost 6 weeks post-partum, and I have not lost any more weight since week 4 (which is when I first weighed myself). In fact, I've been GAINING BACK all my pregnancy weight. As it stands, I weigh more now than I did 25 weeks pregnant. 

Now, people comment on how fast I've bounced back or how it's all because it's my first child...but this is false. Granted, I worked really hard so I wouldn't have much to bounce back from, so to others it may look like I have bounced back. But I am holding on to about 16 pounds that I did not have before pregnancy. That means I still have more than half my pregnancy weight on me. YIKES! I do not fit into my  normal pants and am still sporting my maternity pants. I guess I'm NOT one of those wonder-woman mommy bloggers who lose all their weight in a week post birth. Which brings me to my next point.

You may hear about how moms lose weight by breastfeeding, and while this may be true for many people, it can also be the opposite. Yes, breastfeeding can make your uterus shrink down at a rapid rate (which it did for me [plus wearing a girdle]), but for many mothers that is about all the help they get from breastfeeding. They say to eat extra calories while breastfeeding, but as with pregnancy, don't listen to that. Don't think you can eat extra unless you know your body has no stored fat and nutrients to give. I'm eating normally and working out, and I'm still gaining weight. 

Some moms cannot lose weight until they are done breastfeeding, and there are many reasons for this. A big one is that moms who breastfeed have to feed much more frequently, and therefore get less sleep because not only are they the only ones who can feed their child, but they also have to be awake much more frequently. I'm going on 6 weeks of having to feed every 2-3 hours, and I feed 30-40 minutes each time. This means I get 1 1/2-2 hours of non-feeding time in  between feeds, and during the day that is used for cleaning while my baby plays on her playmat, and then working (piano lessons, transcription, and business) during her naptime. At night that 1 1/2-2 hours is spent with 30 minutes of trying to fall back asleep led by an hour or so of sleep and then up again to my screaming baby needing food. So not only do I get about 5 hours of sleep to each day (less on some nights), but I still never made up for my 3-day sleepless labor. So spread that 72 sleepless hours over the course of the past 6 weeks and you're looking at a barely functioning body. 

Lack of sleep = slow body processes. Slow body processes equals slow metabolism, hormonal and chemical imbalances, mindless or inconsistent eating, etc... 

Despite the sleep problem, I think I also just happen to be one of those people who does NOT lose weight while breastfeeding despite eating the same (if not less than while I was pregnant) and working out. My one problem area right now is drinking water. The day of and the few days after birth I drank water like there was no tomorrow. Now, not so much. Being slightly dehydrated makes your body increase the chemicals that store belly fat, and I'm going to address the water issue to see if that helps.

Here is a picture of where I stand currently. 

Now these are my maternity pants. When I bought them at 12 weeks pregnant, they were huge. There was a gap all the way around my waist, and probably a good 2-3 inches gap in the front. Now I have to do a dance to get them on. They are tighter on me than when I was pregnant. How is this possible?!

It is hard, very hard, to get your body back after birth. I've tried working out, and sometimes I have to split my 30 minute workout into 6, 5-minute sessions because of my baby. She used to not take naps at all, and thank the Lord she is starting to now. So I'm fitting in what I can when I can, but realizing that I can't be like the rest of those mommy-bloggers out there. I don't know how they got back so fast, but that's not me. It's going to be a much longer journey for me.

I purchased my 21 day fix extreme and am starting that next week and going to do monitor my food and water intake. Here's hoping I can at least stop this weight gain cycle!

 On the bright side (the REALLY bright side!), this child below is the result of my body changes. She is totally precious and is my little gem. If I never lose those 16 pounds it still is all way worth it :)


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