Breastfeedling and Too Much Weight Loss - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 02-01-2011, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I cannot seem to keep my weight up while BFing. I have always been thin with a high metabolism but this is nuts. I am down to 97 pounds (around 5'4'') and I eat all day--carbs, full fat dairy, snacks--no exercise. I also usually run very cold but I have been very warm this winter. I do not like being this skinny. Everything is hanging off me. Has anyone dealt with this? Ideas?


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#2 of 24 Old 02-01-2011, 01:01 PM
 
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That sounds exactly like me, as far as height and weight go. I breastfed for 4 years and was under 100 for most of that time. I don't know if there's a good way to actually gain weight, but I was able to keep from becoming under nourished by eating lots of protein (especially plant protein sources), full fat dairy, peanut butter, and minimizing the filler carbs that end up being less nutrient dense than other foods. I wasn't getting a lot of exercise during that time, maybe that would have helped bump up my weight some too....

interested to hear what others say!

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#3 of 24 Old 02-01-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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i'm trying to keep my weight above 110 but i'm failing horribly at it (i'm 105 right now). i've found i can bump up my weight if i eat more avocados and more protein. trying to eat more fatty fish at the moment, too. hope that helps you!

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#4 of 24 Old 02-03-2011, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I have been adding in avocados this week. If I eat triple the amount I normally do, I seem to stay put. I will try the fatty fish. I usually pour a few tbsp. of olive oil over whatever I am eating and I eat nuts all day long. Have either of you noticed any problems with your supply?


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#5 of 24 Old 02-03-2011, 05:46 PM
 
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I had this problem for a few months with ds.  It was right before he was interested in solids, but growing a ton.  So he was nursing all the time.  I found it easier to get more calories if I made my self a huge fatty smoothie everyday.  I'd use some greek yogurt and fruits, there are some great avocado smoothie recipes out there.  good luck!


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#6 of 24 Old 02-04-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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Quote:
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Thanks! I have been adding in avocados this week. If I eat triple the amount I normally do, I seem to stay put. I will try the fatty fish. I usually pour a few tbsp. of olive oil over whatever I am eating and I eat nuts all day long. Have either of you noticed any problems with your supply?


I'm not nursing at the moment, but, no I never had any supply problems at all even when my weight was really low.

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#7 of 24 Old 02-07-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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I know we are usually a very health-food oriented bunch, but if you can't keep weight on, I recommend taking part in the average American diet a little more. I had a hard time gaining during pregnancy, and I did all the avocado smoothies, the fish, the coconut oils, etc. That seemed to help me at least stop losing weight. But, it was when I added some of these things to my diet that I started gaining properly:

Chicken fried steak- deep fried beef is very calorie dense! I'm usually a vegetarian. Also egg rolls and jalapeno poppers.

Butter- real butter. It is animal fat, just like I'm trying to make. Also whole milk, full-fat yogurt, etc.

White food- white rice, white processed flour, and white sugar are very easy for your body to get straight calories from, they barely even have to be digested.

Chocolate- it is not unhealthy anyway, a great source of fats and antioxidants, brownies & stuff really helped me.

Fast food- french fries give me zits but I put on weight if I eat them a few times a week.

Ice cream/milk shakes- because it's delicious you can put a lot in at once! add a banana and call it a smoothie.

I don't suggest going overboard or coming down with diabetes, but for me, shopping at the mainstream supermarket, having dessert, and going out to eat sometimes, really helped me keep a healthy weight.

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#8 of 24 Old 02-08-2011, 04:08 PM
 
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I had a lot of trouble maintaining my weight when I was breastfeeding my twins. Now, my situation was different from yours, because I have a chronic, serious illness that contributes to my inability to maintain my weight. It wasn't just the breastfeeding, for me. I lost 90 pounds in the first three months after they were born. I did have some supply issues-- enough that we supplemented some, between 2 and 4 months, until we finally found the right meds-- safe enough for the babies, but strong enough to control my disease-- around 4 months postpartum.

What really helped me was to get a lot of my calories by drinking them. It's very common for people trying to lose to be told that it's so easy to get too many calories when you're drinking them instead of eating them-- the reverse holds true. I relied on shakes, mostly, and fat-rich Jersey cow milk. I could suck them down so easily, so that I could get more calories during the day. I didn't resort to white flour and sugar, even though those probably would have helped me gain, because those also aggravate my disease. But I used plenty of fats.

My favorite shake had a cupful of whole milk yogurt, a quarter cup of cream, a banana, and a giant handful of strawberries. Another favorite was the yogurt, the cream, and melted baking chocolate.

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#9 of 24 Old 02-13-2011, 10:50 AM
 
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this is an older thread but I had to comment...being very warm and dropping a lot of weight I'd have my thyroid checked..especially if you're having problems staying asleep and suffering from a little anxiety as well...

it sounds a bit like you may be a little hyperthyroid ..which is actually pretty normal for awhile after a baby but can be dangerous if it gets too high

 

even w/o additional symptoms I'd look into it

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#10 of 24 Old 02-13-2011, 01:45 PM
 
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I never realized other people had this problem! Yippee! Everyone I know looks at me like I'm evil when I say I want to be able to keep some of my pregnancy weight.

Do any of you have any suggestions for someone who can't have dairy? ( My little one seems to have an allergy!) And I LIVE on full fat yoghurt.  I'm pretty much doing all the

suggestions on here so far...the nuts, peanut butter, avocados...but struggling to maintain.

It's kind of insane how you have to triple normal intake...

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#11 of 24 Old 02-13-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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redclover - I had the same problem with DD and losing weight while nursing - it was the worst between 4-6m postpartum. For some reason, even though she was EBF until almost 11mo, the weight loss stalled then. 

 

I had to be off of dairy/soy/eggs/tomatoes for DD's allergies, and I ate a TON of meat, rice and beans and put coconut milk in everything that I could. Coconut milk (in the cans) is very high fat, and I ate a lot of avocados as well. I'm actually nursing and pregnant right now and focused on gaining more weight this pregnancy (gained 27 lbs with DD) so that when I start losing, I have more to lose. 


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#12 of 24 Old 02-14-2011, 02:09 PM
 
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Argh! I want to slap y'all silly! I can't lose a single pound while nursing. My body hangs onto every pound for dear life. It's frustrating!


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#13 of 24 Old 02-14-2011, 02:51 PM
 
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IMHO you should consider having a full medical checkup. A friend of mine had very serious problems keeping weight on while breastfeeding and finally after the birth and while breastfeeding her second child was diagnosed with a thyroid problem that required medical treatment. Not something she took lightly as she normally uses naturalpathic medicines.

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#14 of 24 Old 02-14-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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I've had a really thorough exam, including thyroid, several times. It's not all the time-it's only while i'm breast feeding that weight won't budge.


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#15 of 24 Old 02-14-2011, 06:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrabelle View Post

Argh! I want to slap y'all silly! I can't lose a single pound while nursing. My body hangs onto every pound for dear life. It's frustrating!



hi, NOT HELPFUL. everywhere we go, we get stink eye from other moms because we're skinny. if i even mention that i'm having a hard time maintaining weight, my friends roll their eyes and offer me their rolls of back fat. so yeah, putting that comment in here is borderline rude and really not helpful.

 

 

to the OP, i hear you! i'm vegan, so already my diet is pretty low on fat (normally a great thing for maintaining a healthy weight). fortunately, i'm a pretty sturdy person naturally, so although i'm at the lowest weight i've been since my preteen years, i don't feel like i'm going to disappear quite yet.

 

healthy fats: coconut milk (the fullest fat one i can find, check the labels), liberal use of vegetable oils (olive, peanut, grape seed etc), avocado, nut and seed butters, lots of beans, lentils, bananas, sweet potatoes, etc. like another pp, i have "unhealthied" my diet a bit. i don't have room in my tummy for as much fibre... so i do eat more refined carbs and a little less of my beloved dark greens (kale, rabe, collards etc).

 

i'm also trying to enjoy it while it lasts, as strange as it sounds. i'm guessing that i won't be melting away calories like this forever, so i am enjoying eating lots of delicious full-fat foods without a second thought as to what else i've eaten that day. i would go and have my thyroid checked if i were in your position though... you are showing some symptoms which indicate a potential issue.

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#16 of 24 Old 02-14-2011, 07:05 PM
 
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Silverfish, please know that I meant this in a playful manner-not trying to be condescending at ALL.

 

Also, please know that I get my share of comments too from other breast feeding moms- who's weight flies off, and wonder what the heck i'm doing to hold onto so much weight. I've even gotten comments like "oh, now that you're breast feeding you're having double helpings of dessert, I see?" (which is the total opposit. I've always been very careful about what I eat.-I've eaten according to recomended caloric intake twice, with a diet laid out by my naturopath and midwife together. Weight does not budge.)

I also love how people like to assume that because I have baby weight, that certainly i'm not a breast feeding mom (that was a doctor's assumption with the last child) and that in turn i'll be feeding my child chips and pop and other such junk, rather than offering them proper nutrition.

So while everyone I know complains about how they can't keep weight on, I feel like there's something wrong with me. This was just offering a glimmer of the other side. Not an attack. simmer.


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#17 of 24 Old 02-14-2011, 09:44 PM
 
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I really can't emphasize the thyroid panel check enough...after my third daughter I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the ripe old age of 30

 

hyperthyroidism can be very very hard on your heart

 

my only symptoms were weird weight fluctuations and an assortment of symptoms that could all be put off to other things...including just plain old motherhood

 

thyroiditis is very very common even considered normal after childbirth within the first year but should still be watched because it can get out of control and be an indicator of things to come

all insurance will cover the blood panel even medicaid

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#18 of 24 Old 02-15-2011, 08:16 AM
 
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Age 30, wow. That's really scary.

I was just reading recently about the rise in thyroid problems in the last 20 years, and a possible link to fluoride. (in our water.)


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#19 of 24 Old 02-15-2011, 10:55 AM
 
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yeah...I've seen some interesting things on fluoride and a variety of health problems...I don't think it was a contributing factor for me(mostly well water my entire life)..

 

it turns out thyroid problems are rampant on one side of my family but for some reason no one talks about it

my endo said that basically if there is a male in any family that has thyroid problems every single female in the family should be suspected of having a problem because the genetic component is incredible strong if a male is afflicted with any type of thyroid condition

 

there are three men on my dad's side that have major thyroid issues

 

 

its not difficult to treat if you have a decent health team lookin out for you...but there in lies the rub..lotta dr's including endocrinologists really don't have a clue

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#20 of 24 Old 02-15-2011, 12:40 PM
 
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I didnt' know that, about men carrying thyroid issues!

 

haha, "decent health care team"... my sister had to fight for months to get a thyroid test from her dr. Our naturopath said she should have one done and told her to ask her doc. (if we order it through the dr, it's covered by our medical plan. If it's ordered through the naturopath though, we have to pay through the nose for it, since ontario health care doesn't cover a naturopath.)

Her doctor finally did after a lot of arguing.

A woman in our church went a really long time with major thyroid issues-and eventually had to have it removed. Her doctor simply wasn't interested in testing. (And it's hard to get a second opinion here, once you have a family doc you're kind of stuck with them.) Based on experience, and from what i've heard, docs around here aren't keen on preventative care, they'd rather throw bandaids at conditions that have already gone too far. They'll give you more medicine, for the side effects of the first medicine, that isn't really doing what it's supposed to anyway...it's sad, really. People go so long with conditions that could be easily changed by diet alone.

I now see a naturopath for regular visits, whether I have to pay for it or not, and save the dr for the rare case that I need an antibiotic or something similar.


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#21 of 24 Old 02-15-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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geez, that stinks!....I really consider myself fortunate I don't have these kinds of battles...

I just fell into my PCP and endo too..turns out theyre both really thyroid savy and my PCP just plain plays ball and will go to bat for her patients anyway...she's a really great person and doctor all the way around. I wish she delivered babies!

 

for anyone else you know theres a website called thyroid-info dot com that lists thyroid and armour (desicated thyroid) friendly dr's along with a lot of different info on it as well..all helpful stuff..its fairly continually updated and my endo is listed in it :)

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#22 of 24 Old 02-17-2011, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much, everyone. You have given some very helpful suggestions. I know to others who don't have this problem, it seems like not so much of a problem and possibly annoying, but I feel very out of balance and would like to have a healthier base point not to mention get my period again some day. I did not think about adrenals nor did I know they could be so out of whack from childbirth. I will consider these factors. I also think that beyond the full fat dairy, nut, oil, avocado approach, taking a page out of the ole American diet is fine too. I will add though that I have had some luck with cream/ghee-based Indian dishes lately. Thank you for the support.


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#23 of 24 Old 02-26-2011, 06:33 PM
 
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nothing really to dd, just really wanted to say high to an old mdc pal! nice to see your name pop up


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#24 of 24 Old 04-30-2011, 05:50 AM
 
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I'm so grateful to have found this thread and to know that I'm not the only one! I've never been suuuuper skinny at all, but I'm headed there now. My little guy is almost 8 months old. I'm about 5 feet tall. My "normal" weight is 115, and I weighed myself yesterday--I'm about 103! The baby is nearly 20 lbs and very chubby, so I'm not concerned about my supply. 

 

Mostly, I'm starting to think about getting pregnant again (we'd like to space our kids out 18-24 months from each other). I'm concerned that it's not just my fat, but maybe other nutrients that I'm losing. Do I have enough folic acid to support a healthy baby #2? I have no idea. AF hasn't come back yet, either, so this might be a moot point.

 

I've been trying to walk a fine line between getting healthy food and maintaining weight, and I don't think I'm doing a good job. I'm definitely going to have to look into those avocado smoothies!


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