Anyone else struggling to lose while breastfeeding? - Mothering Forums
Fitness and Weight Management > Anyone else struggling to lose while breastfeeding?
MrsGregory's Avatar MrsGregory 11:52 AM 03-28-2012

I was told the weight would just melt right off as I nursed.  My little bundle of snuggle is 6 months now, and we're about to start trying out solid food.  I think I've lost 7 pounds.  I lose a half a pound, maybe a pound, and then nothing.  Nothing at all.  I walk 2 miles or more each day at a reasonable pace, either carrying or pushing her.  I'm trying to find time to fit Barre method, Pilates and more power yoga into each day.  I measure what I eat, and keep it between 1800- 2000 calories.  I've been told not to go lower...  and I'm hungry enough that 1800 is a careful day.  I eat mainly whole foods; we rarely eat out.  I hear that once she weans I'll just lose everything all at once...  I'm sorry, I don't care to be in this fabulous new size for another year, another two years...  I have not set date on when she'll wean, she'll wean when we're ready.  And we won't be ready for a while.


Anyone else go through this?

I'm aware that this is vanity, but if I'm picking my sin, I'm going with that one.



mommy2lizziesue's Avatar mommy2lizziesue 12:47 PM 03-28-2012
I could had written this post except for the fact that I have been pregnant and/or Breastfeeding since April 2008. My body seems to be one that is scared of famine and it wouldn't want my milk to dry up. While I'm not thrilled with my "new" size I'm not willing to wean to be able to diet more aggressively. So for now I concentrate on getting some exercise everyday, eating well and admiring what my body is doing/has done.

Hugs mama you are not alone

tillymonster's Avatar tillymonster 10:36 PM 03-28-2012
Same here!!! Ugh I had to chime in as I'm on my *gasp* second year of struggling. DD is 27mo. I've been watching my weight since before she was born. Been on 1500cals a day since she was 1.5yo. Don't wait like I did-- check your thyroid. I found out I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimotos. I blame that for why my weight never fell off-- I was hoping it would. I might start meds soon but it's so frustrating. Mostly because I lost 75lbs at 26 (now 32) so I am not used to my "new size" nor do I want to be.

Hope you have a better time at it then me mama! Weight watchers is great but I already spent my money with them for 2+ years! Good luck!
MrsGregory's Avatar MrsGregory 08:19 AM 03-29-2012

mommy2lizziesue - I appreciate my body for being so famine-resistant, but, I reckon this trait was more useful when famine was a risk, not in my modern-day reality when just not fitting into my jeans is my biggest food-related concern.  I'm also trying to admire what my body has done and is doing.  My husband keeps pointing that out to me-  maybe it'll sink in one day.


tillymonster - My littlest brother has been medicated for hypothyroidism for several years now.  I wonder if I was tested and discovered I've developed a deficit, would I be able to take the meds while nursing?  Thanks for the idea...  maybe I'll bring it up with my GP if I ever bother to respond to his invitation for a check-up.  Heh.


I need to go re-home my leftover St. Pat's fruitcake before it gets eaten in a fit of weight-related pique.


edited to add a very important "y"...

FloridaBorn's Avatar FloridaBorn 09:00 AM 03-29-2012

At six months you're still producing A LOT of milk.  Your baby may be eating a little now, but she's still getting most of her nutrition from you.  So you've got to eat enough so those nutrients can pass into your milk AND your own body not feel like it's starving itself.  Because then you really will hold onto the weight.


I say if you are genuinely hungry (and not eating a pita chip because it's 8 o'clock and Downton Abbey is on like I do) then you probably need to eat.


Also really pay attention to make sure you're drinking enough (the body recognizes dehydration as hunger) and eating protein throughout the day.

MrsGregory's Avatar MrsGregory 09:33 AM 03-29-2012

FloridaBorn - Pita chippppppppps, num.  Good lawdy can I get into trouble with some pita and hummus.  This is probably much further into the conversation than you were planning to go, but I am really, really struggling with eating intuitively.  I want to stop counting calories.  My eating has been disordered since I can remember.  At 11, I was on the "two fried eggs every four days" diet any time the scale went over 100 pounds.  I desperately, desperately want to eat healthfully, and in appropriate portions without spending time logging and counting and obsessing.  So I really appreciate the advice to eat when I'm hungry.  So many times I'm hungry, and I don't eat.  I just wait it out.  And yet here I am, still carrying my baby weight. 



I eat more healthfully than most people around me, however, I know I can do better.  I've been reading up on thyroid stimulating diets, and while I'm NOT a fan of self-diagnosis, reading the recommended foods has reminded me that I need to move away from grains, even though all my grains are whole and lots of heritage grains, steer clear of packages (I've gotten too chummy with these fabulous organic sweet potato fries in this nifty plastic bag - just dump and bake, don't mind if I do!), and eat foods I don't like more often.  Chard and mushrooms.  Greeeeeat. 

I also need to confess that I should stop trying to make my husband fat.  He's been working such long hours since our little sweet potato biscuit with honey butter arrived that he's lost weight.  I've been trying to get his little itsy bitsy married-man tummy back on him with lasagne and the like.  I measure my portion caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarefully - but how frustrating to be eating one square inch of dinner!  Last night I made roasted chicken and vegetables.  She was demanding to be *held*, not worn, HELD I SAY! so that was all I managed.  And it was good, and it was enough.  But I felt so ashamed I didn't have a full dinner ready for him when he came home though.  Alrighty - this well of crazy is getting deeper by the minute, so I'm going to back out of this thread slowly, go make my weekly shop list with all this in mind, and see if I can't squeeze in some yoga before the she-tyrant wakes up.



tillymonster's Avatar tillymonster 11:23 AM 03-29-2012
Oh yes, I'm betting you have hypothyroidism! Make sure you get the FULL range of tests, not just TSH. And check you're symptoms. When I was 6mo PP they were pretty much the same as hypo symptoms so I ignored it.

This is why I didn't count cals really until DD started dropping feeds during the day. I do not *starve* myself, ever. So I suggest you do the same regardless. There is nothing wrong with counting. It helps you be accountable. And obsessing, oh yes I know! I wear the same size pants as my husband. Yeah, he's 6'4. It's not right! I used to wear a size 12-14 and I'd even be ok in a size 16!

Go to your doc I say! All thyroid meds are very compatible with BF. They are just replacing the hormone you already have from your thyroid. Assuming it's working right. Pregnancy and hypo are VERY common. I wonder why it's constantly ignored?!?!? It's like 1 in 10 women.

I'm right here with you!
tillymonster's Avatar tillymonster 11:25 AM 03-29-2012
She-tyrant? Haha. Mine is so that. Just wait till she's two.

She still DEMANDS to be held. I tell people I'll be holding her till she's 13.
MrsGregory's Avatar MrsGregory 08:39 AM 03-30-2012

tillymonster, hug2.gif


My husband insists on losing weight recently.  He's down as low as he was when we met.  Which, for the record, was six long years ago.  It might be seven now. 

And I'm struggling to lose a pound here, a pound there.  I made him stop telling me how much he weighed at weekly weigh-in because, frankly, he's about 4 inches taller than me and we're at the point where I weigh more. 

I'm a big fan (and sometimes proponent) of addressing physical concerns with lifestyle primarily, and supplementing with medicine if needed.  I read your thread about your diagnosis, and I'm so happy you're getting answers and help!  I know that your concerns can't be addressed through food;  I'm hoping mine can.  I don't have a lot of the symptoms.  My hair has become coarse, and my skin is rough and dry.  I was chalking that up to advancing age.  I am always cold.  Always have been.  And I don't tolerate it well.  I am famous for threatening to light people on fire to keep myself warm.  And I am struggling to lose weight.  So I think that if I am experiencing a thyroid imbalance, it must be very slight, or I'd notice it more?  (I'm also terrified of the doctor.  I become so afraid I cry.  It's really shameful.)  I've made notes of which foods stimulate the thyroid, and which can have a negative effect if eaten raw, and I'm shopping for the week with that in mind.  My goal is to eat very careful for my thyroid until the end of April, and see where I'm at. 


And yeah - "she-tyrant" is really the only suitable term.  I might hold mine until she's 13, too, but if she's like me she'll still be dinky, so it won't be so bad.

tanyato's Avatar tanyato 10:32 PM 04-01-2012

I'm there with you. I gained 40+ pounds with DS. After he was born I lost weight steadily for about 2 months and then...halt. Since then (he's now 4 months old) I've lost a pound or two. I even GAINED a couple pounds a few weeks ago when I did a allergy elimination diet and ate constantly because I was craving all the foods I couldn't eat (who have thought it possible to actually gain weight on a diet of vegetables, chicken, fruit and rice???).  I've got about 10 pounds of baby-weight still but I think I've come to terms with the fact that I probably won't every be that weight again. I used to be a skinny little girl. Now I'm a mama :) 


But... even though I *know* that, I still find myself scheming up different "diets" on a weekly basis, counting calories (which I know is totally inaccurate and more about me being obsessive than anything), weighing myself more than I should and just generally feeling kind of...unattractive and, well...*gasp*...fat. 


I totally love breastfeeding, and when it comes down to it, there's no way I'd risk my supply just to go on a diet to lose a few pounds. but it's hard to be at peace with how my body looks right now. sigh.   

tanyato's Avatar tanyato 10:35 PM 04-01-2012

oh and the skinny husband thing...i've got the same problem here! I'm always like "honey do you want some ice cream?" or "here, i'll make you a bunch of bacon for breakfast" (haha, kidding. sort of). 

MrsGregory's Avatar MrsGregory 08:57 AM 04-02-2012

tanyato - I also gained 40+ pounds, and much of it was in the last two months or so.  I just got BIG at the end.  I didn't start out skinny - I'm a curvy gal.  I can't tell you how many times I've been in a dressing room, hopping up and down to try to get my butt into a pair of jeans and finally, SUCCESS! only to find out the waist is way too big.  My husband loves it.  I do not.  I'm still stuck with most of the weight I gained!  EEEEK!  But I agree, I won't jeopardize my supply.  One of us looks good in chunk!  smile.gif


I fed my husband ice cream this weekend.  I wasn't in the mood for it, so I knew I'd only sneak a few bites, but I KNOW he'll get into it after I go to bed.  Mission accomplished.  Was that very evil?


mylilmonkeys's Avatar mylilmonkeys 09:39 AM 04-02-2012

I don't have time at the moment (twins are sick and crying. :( ) to read all of this, but I have to say that I had struggled with this for 15 YEARS!  Yes, I've been pregnant and/or nursing almost all that time.  This past fall, I finally stopped hurting myself by indulging in dairy I knew I couldn't tolerate, and also discovered I have a few other intolerances.  The upside is, I lost 50 pounds in about 4 months, not even exercising, I don't have time.  But the down side is everything has to be bought whole, cooked from scratch, and that's hard on the family.  I can't really get food on the go, etc.  I also found that B12 supplements are critical for me.  I have IBS-C and since taking B-complex plus 12, have been regular for almost a month.  I'm doing GAPS.


Just throwing these ideas out there for you to explore, as I never would have thought that my diet was effecting me so much.  I ate pretty healthfully, so I thought, and not too many calories, but just couldn't take weight off no matter how much I exercised.  I explored thyroid and other hormone imbalances, as well and it wasn't the problem.  Good luck, I hope you can figure out what is going on with your body, too!

tanyato's Avatar tanyato 10:28 AM 04-02-2012

Originally Posted by MrsGregory View Post


I fed my husband ice cream this weekend.  I wasn't in the mood for it, so I knew I'd only sneak a few bites, but I KNOW he'll get into it after I go to bed.  Mission accomplished.  Was that very evil?


not evil! i do it all the time Sheepish.gif


isn't it one of life's great ironies that in general, men don't care much about their own size/weight and they forget to eat and they lose weight easily... and then we have women who are, for the most part, more prone to body image issues, usually more concerned about weight/size and despite dieting/exercise have a hard time losing weight.


brings to mind something i read about traditional chinese medicine: women are made to grow and sustain life so we crave things (food) that keep us soft and able to nourish another life. men just burn it all off. they expend energy. yang is male as well as hot, energetic, out-there where as yin is female and inwards, building, growing...


so basically, there's no hope for us. let's just throw in the towel - chocolate anyone?


MrsGregory's Avatar MrsGregory 02:19 PM 04-02-2012

mylilmonkeys - The monkeys on the bed song will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day.  orngbiggrin.gif  I appreciate your suggestions.  I'm going to start with foods that are reputed to stimulate the thyroid, and see where that gets me.  I know that hypothyroidism is present in my family, so I think this is the most logical set of changes to make.  I am also going to try to cut down on sugar in general.  But I love it so much.  Mmmmmm, sugar.  But, another little brother cuts sugar completely when he's going soft, and the weight drops off him.  If these attempts don't work I will probably seek out some assistance from a nutritionist and will likely be told to drop some of the things you've mentioned, as I know dairy and wheat are big culprits when people aren't "working well" and don't know why.  I'll miss yogurt, if it comes to that. 


tanyato - Pass the chocolate.  ROTFLMAO.gif

MrsGregory's Avatar MrsGregory 07:24 AM 04-04-2012

So, I'm started the newly designed diet, lots of mushrooms (Have I mentioned I dislike mushrooms?  Oh, the suffering!), three kinds of dark greens twice a day, eggs, grass-fed beef (with tuna to break the monotony), sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts and walnuts.  I did not eat the nuts and seeds yesterday, I had a low-fat Greek yogurt instead.  I did not enjoy breakfast.  Lunch was much, much better.  I was hungry by dinner time, which was chilli (beef twice in one day left me feeling... heavy, yuck) and when I tallied up my food after dinner, even with the sliver of cornbread I was shockingly low-carb.  Girlfriends have been encouraging me to low-carb it, which I have always resisted.  But if this works, I may play about with staying low-carb and see if that was the secret.  I know little brother (not the one with the thyroid diagnosis, another one) has traditionally given up sugar whenever he needed to cut weight, so maybe there's something to this...  Because of my past history I weigh twice a week and don't peek.  So we'll see in a couple days if my efforts are getting me any new results.



MrsGregory's Avatar MrsGregory 12:50 PM 04-09-2012

So, I'm nervous to jinx my success by bragging, but I am now losing close to what I'd expect, and have been for the past week and a half.  I'm still using the thyroid stimulating foods, and even with Easter (Oh, hello ham.) I dropped weight like the numbers indicate I "should" (calories eaten versus burned).  So I am so beyond excited!



mylilmonkeys's Avatar mylilmonkeys 06:11 PM 04-09-2012


That's great!

Tags: Weight Management