cross-posted to Breastfeeding beyond infancy
In the first year after my son was born, I lost all the baby weight + 10 lbs. This was good because I started my pregnancy 20 lbs overweight. I decided I wouldn't worry too much about the last 10 lbs because I know some women struggle to lose weight while breastfeeding, so I thought maybe I would lose it when I (eventually) stopped breastfeeding, but I was happy with being below my pre-pregnancy weight.
Then I went back to work and gained 10 lbs in that first year. I thought, "Oh well. I guess I wasn't meant to be below my pre-pregnancy weight after all." My friends commiserated by telling me that they also gained weight when they weaned their children around a year, and I said, "That's interesting, but my son is still breastfeeding, and I am still gaining weight."
I tried to be more intentional about my diet and making sure that I only ate when I was hungry and I tried to eat only healthy (whole, unprocessed) foods. That was a year ago and I have gained another 10+ lbs since then.
I am actively TTC now, after a miscarriage in January. I managed to gain only 2 lb during my 11 week pregnancy. Since my pregnancy, I have tried following a vegetarian diet and I gained 3 lbs. I have also been a lot more active lately, but it is HARD because I feel so out of shape. Everything takes extra effort.
I am thinking of making a doctor's appointment to get some hormone levels checked to see if something is out of whack. But do you think it could be from breastfeeding my 3-year-old? I am reluctant to even share that fact with my doctor because he encouraged me to wean him around a year and we haven't discussed it since (although when my son had an ear infection at 13 months and nursed non-stop for 3 days, the doctor told me how great it was that he was nursing to stay hydrated and comforted and getting antibodies and probiotics from me--this was months after he told me to wean him because there was no value in nursing past 1 year). I am ready for my son to wean, but my son is clearly not ready and there is not much more I can do about that. He nurses about 3 times/day for about 30 minutes each time--waking up, going to sleep, and after work when we are reunited (this is the shortest session).
I am reluctant to make drastic changes to my diet because I am worried it will affect my milk and/or fertility.
Should I make the appointment or will it lead to more frustration?
Have other people experienced this weight gain while nursing a toddler? What did you do about it?