What they didn’t tell you – when breastfeeding DOESN’T help you lose weight

September 11, 2014|Posted in: Health, Pregnancy, Workouts

The woman’s body is a tricky little thing.  It’s fascinating actually how it works.  I realized this even more after having a baby.  The fact that my body can produce a human is pretty insane.  The fact that I then produce milk to provide for my baby just adds to it.  We all know that breastfeeding provides great benefits to your baby.  And one of the things I heard most while pregnant was how it will get you back to your pre-pregnancy weight faster than ever.

But that’s not always true.

I gained 21 pounds during my pregnancy.  I was in great health, worked out, and ate healthy most of the time.  I didn’t have any complications thankfully and even had a really fast/smooth labor.  I was also very fortunate that breastfeeding came pretty easily for me.

Within a week of having my daughter I was down 14 pounds.  The weight just kept coming off each day.

Then it stopped.

I figured that maybe the last 7 pounds would take a little time to come off.  It makes sense with how long it took for me to gain it over 8 ½ months (I delivered a little early).  I wasn’t worried or anything, just really wanting to put on my old jeans again!

But over the next few weeks nothing happened.  As a new mom, there were days I was able to still eat healthy like I usually do and days that I just ate what I could which sometimes included something not-so-healthy.  What was interesting was how my weight didn’t change.  I could eat super healthy one day then eat a burger and fries the next but my weight stayed the exact same.

This isn’t normal for me.  My weight normally changes somewhat based on what I eat.

Then I added in exercise once my doctor cleared me.  The same thing was happening.

I have been exercising for 6 weeks now and eating healthy but my weight hasn’t changed.  This goes against a lot of the logic I have been taught and learned.  If you eat less calories than you burn, you lose weight.

But there was a factor in there that hasn’t been there before.  Breastfeeding.

After doing some research I found that I’m not the only one who has experienced this.  Some women actually hold on to fat stores in order to maintain their milk supply.  The body needs this to continue to produce milk.

Now, I’m not exactly sure if this applies to me yet because I am still breastfeeding but once I stop (whenever I choose to) I will report back on if this is in fact the cause.

The number on the scale isn’t a problem for me.  I know I am healthy and I am ok with that.  I am more interested because I have a curiosity for things health and fitness related.  I also feel as if everything I read just talked about all the weight loss from breastfeeding and I think women should be aware that sometimes this doesn’t hold true.

And before you call the La Leche League on me, I am also NOT promoting that women do not breastfeed.  I think it’s wonderful if women do.  And if you don’t, that’s fine too.  (I support whatever women decision make and it’s none of my business what they choose to do.)  As I said, I just thought someone else might want to know this information as well.

So as long as I’m healthy, the number on the scale doesn’t concern me.  It’s just another example of why you should focus more on being healthy instead of weighing a certain number.

I want to encourage you to follow along in my health journey through what I learn and experience. I hope there is something you can take away from Fit Busy Female that inspires you to start taking control of your health and feeling better every day.

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