When I mentioned that I wanted to do a Q&A post, I kind of expected to get a few repeat questions. I didn’t expect most of them to be pretty much the exact same question:
How did you lose the baby weight so fast?
I’m going to wait a while longer to do the Q&A post, but I felt like I should go ahead and devote a post to the issue of baby weight. The thing is, you can’t rush it. A lot of people will tell you that it took nine months to gain it all, so you should expect it to take a while to come off… And they’re right. Be patient with yourself. Eat well, get rest, and when you’re ready maybe get into some light exercising.
Don’t expect your body to snap back to what it was, either… You’re going to notice that some things are just different now. I had a c-section and then another surgery six months later, so I’ll always have a big ol’ gnarly scar that practically goes from one hip to the other. My boobs have also shrunk quite a bit. I’m not sure what size I am now, but it sure isn’t a C cup! If you have stretch marks or a little bit of floppy belly skin, don’t sweat it. You might be surprised at what will happen if you just give it some time. The way I see it, my body did a pretty great thing and my scar is proof of that. I’m not at all ashamed of how I look now, and you shouldn’t be either.
As far as losing weight, it’s perfectly natural to want to get back into your normal clothes and feel like your old self again. If you want to expedite that process I have one giant recommendation:
Besides being the best thing you can do for your baby, breastfeeding is pretty great for mom as well. Check out this article from HealthyChildren.org for lots of good info. Did you read the part about burning 400-500 calories a day? Uh, yeah. Let me reiterate that: 400-500 calories a day.
I’m not saying you never need to work out, but in the beginning your focus should be with the baby and making sure to let your body heal, not “OH MY GOD I HAVE TO BE IN MY SKINNY JEANS A MONTH AFTER I SQUEEZE THIS KID OUT”. Anyone that tells you otherwise is an asshole.
So here’s the deal… Don’t feel pressured to get your pre-baby body back right away because chances are, it ain’t gonna happen anyway. I mean, you could get it back with expensive plastic surgery, but that’s a little ridiculous. You also don’t need a personal trainer, some wacky diet plan, diet pills, or whatever else those stupid ads on the right side of your Facebook newsfeed are peddling. Just breastfeed if you can, eat well, and remember that your body needs time to heal.
If you’re still not convinced…
I weighed about 135 the day I found out I was knocked up and by the time I took that first pic I was up to about 165. When I took the second picture, I was at 130…Today I weigh about 126. With the exception of having the fibroid removed, all I did was eat a reasonably healthy diet (with a few treats here and there) and breastfeed**.
I hope that answers the baby weight questions… As far as the others, I will do a Q&A post as soon as I have a handful of different questions. We’re getting there…So if you have a question about anything, email it to me at willfullydisobedientblog (at) gmail (.) com.
**For my new readers…I wrote a post a while ago about exclusive pumping, which is how I had to do it. If you have a question about pumping that isn’t covered in that post, please send it my way!
Dear male readers:
It turns out that female breasts (fun bags, jugs, hooters, boobs, bazingas, dirty pillows, etc…) actually serve a purpose and are not solely for your enjoyment. If the idea of breastfeeding squicks you out at all you probably should turn away now, because there won’t be anything for you to see here.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way…
I’ve always intended to breastfeed…It’s just (in my opinion) the right thing to do. When O was born I tried and tried and tried but the little sucker (or not, really) just wouldn’t latch. On the rare occasion that he did attempt to eat, he’d just go right to sleep. After I spent my time in the hospital having nurses and lactation consultants shoving his face into my boobs practically around the clock with no progress (I guess he’s not a boob man?), we were instructed to take him to the doctor for a weight check two days after we brought him home.
At the doctor appointment, we discovered that he’d lost a little weight and were told to start supplementing formula. Luckily for us, I had gone a little crazy signing up for free samples so we had a few cans at the house already. We went home and I started washing all of the bottles that I had scoffed at when people gave them to us. I was so disappointed that I actually cried a little standing at the sink. I’ve never been a crier, but having a baby does strange things to you.
A friend of mine was kind enough to bring me a manual pump, because I was seriously uncomfortable and I hadn’t totally given up on the idea of breastfeeding yet. We started giving him formula and breastmilk in bottles and suddenly the little stinker decided that he did actually like to eat. At the next doctor appointment, we discovered that he was back to his birth weight and all was right with the world again.
Well, except for one thing.
I still wanted to breastfeed but little O seemed to be doing so well with the bottle that I didn’t want to upset the applecart. I decided to continue pumping and giving him bottles…but I really had no idea what I was getting into. Lucky for me, I had another good friend that not only hooked me up with a sweet electric double pump but sent me loads of info on breastfeeding and pumping. I don’t know what I would have done without her.
Here are some handy tips for anyone that might be toying with the idea of going the exclusive pumping route:
1. Get a good pump. Medela and Ameda are both good brands…I have the Ameda Purely Yours pump and I would definitely recommend it.
2. Have extra pump accessories on hand. You don’t want to be stuck with a torn valve at midnight with no way to pump. Trust me, it isn’t fun for anyone involved… You can buy spare part kits online and at some stores. I would even add them to your baby registry.
3. Get bottles that fit your pump, that way you can pump directly into them. I did use Lansinoh storage bags for a while but those get expensive and sometimes they leak. It’s not fun to watch a 4 oz bag of breastmilk go swirling down the drain after you pumped for 20 minutes to get it. Honestly, since I discovered that I could pump directly into bottles, I’ve never needed storage bags. My kid eats so much I don’t really have enough left over to store in the freezer, anyway.
4. In the beginning, you really should pump every time your kid eats to establish your supply. For me, that meant propping O up in the Boppy pillow next to me and feeding him while I pumped. You’re probably going to feel like all you ever do is pump and feed your kid…and you’ll be right…but it will eventually get better. Once you have a good supply going you might even be able to start eliminating pumping sessions.
4 1/2. When I say every time your kid eats, I mean every time. Yes, you’re going to have to do it during night time feedings, too. I’m sorry, I know it sucks.
5. I typically pump for 20 minutes. You might want to talk to a lactation consultant or your doctor to see what he or she would recommend.
6. I don’t know if this is legit or not, but some women swear by eating oatmeal to help bump up their supply. I really kind of hate oatmeal, but it’s good for you and the baby so I ate it as much as I could stand while I was pregnant and in the early days of pumping.
7. Here are some guidelines for breastmilk storage, courtesy of La Leche League.
8. You’ll need a way to warm bottles that have been in the fridge. I have a bottle warmer at home, and when I’m out and about a cup of steaming water will do the trick just fine. You really only need to take the chill out of it, so if you drip some onto your wrist and can’t feel it you’re good to go.
9. Get a good cooler for when you have to bring bottles with you. I love the Munchkin Cool Wrap bottle bag.
10. Breastfeeding burns calories…even if you’re pumping. That has to be the second most awesome thing about breastfeeding (first being that it’s awesome for your baby). I dropped every single bit (and then some!) of my baby weight with no effort at all.
Do you have any other questions about pumping or breastfeeding in general? I’m no expert, but I’ve been in the trenches for the last 7 months and I did a lot of fumbling before I found a good routine that works for me. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have. Feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email at willfullydisobedientblog (at) gmail dot com (spammy spammers aren’t going to get me!) if you feel like your question is too personal.
Are you experienced in pumping or breastfeeding? If you have a great tip that I haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment! I’d love to hear about what works for other women.
I’ve mentioned a couple of times (here and here) that I have been struggling with my weight. It’s been a rough few years for me, especially when I stepped on the scale and saw the reading for 180 pounds staring back at me.
My weight issues have been a constant source of depression and anxiety for the last few years.
Depression told me “It doesn’t matter what or how much you eat. You’re already a fatass!” so I stopped paying attention to what I ate, how much and how frequently. For a while my diet consisted mostly of fast food…And none of it even remotely good for me. I mean, why order a salad when jalapeno poppers are on the menu? So what if I’ve eaten them 3 times this week already and it’s only Wednesday?
My anxiety caused me to suddenly develop an issue with eating in front of people…I only wanted to eat by myself, really, and if I had to be around people I only ate if they were eating, too. I was just so sure people were looking at me like I was a circus freak, judging me on how much and what I was eating.
I think two things caused my sudden and surprising turn-around. I became unemployed, for one, and I didn’t have the money to eat fast food every day. I also quit drinking soda almost entirely because I was broke. I started eating what was available…Since I was spending most of my time at my mom and dad’s I had lots of much healthier options.
My dad’s heart surgery also impacted me in a huge way. When the doctors suggested a heart-healthy diet for him, I immediately jumped on board to support him. It was also the first time someone close to me had such a huge close call…and I realized that the food I was eating could land me in the exact same place down the road.
So. Since October I have lost a substantial amount of weight. I’ve been quiet about it because a part of me is terrified that it’s temporary. I’m afraid my body will betray me again and I’ll be right back where I started. But you know what? I’m also really, really proud of myself.
Guys, I now weigh 135 pounds.
The first time I went shopping after losing weight I was actually a little nervous. I grabbed a pair of black dress pants off of the rack to try on as well as some shirts and, not really sure what size would be right, I brought a few different sizes in the dressing room. The smallest size was a 7-8 (short…’cause I am) and I figured that would be pretty tight.
Those pants were too big.
I’m not kidding.
I literally jumped for joy…So if you happened to be in the dressing room next to me you probably thought I was crazy. Yes, that was my 30-year-old self jumping up and down, then doing a happy dance.
I’m fairly certain I let out a squeal of excitement when I tried on jeggings (yes, jeggings) and instantly loved them. In fact, I think I tried everything on in the store… If I didn’t like something it was because the color wasn’t right for me, not because it made me look like an overstuffed sausage.
Last night I stopped by Maurices to see if they had a cute green shirt in case The BF and I go out for St. Patrick’s Day. It was still a little strange for me to automatically grab size small. While trying the shirt on I took a pic… So here it is, the 45 pounds gone after picture:
Yup. Pretty happy to be feeling normal again.