the breastfeeding diet

I had read a decent amount about the benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and the baby, but I don’t think I quite expected results like this.

In general I maintained a fairly healthy diet throughout my pregnancy. I exercised up until I was 36 weeks and only stopped because I began to have blood pressure issues and the doctor suggested I cut out my trips to the gym. I kept up with my yoga because, really, what is better for relaxing and lowering one’s blood pressure than some deep breathing and meditative stretching. In the final weeks of my pregnancy, I ate with reckless abandon, often eschewing healthy choices for tasty treats like pizza and burgers and fries. I didn’t really give too much thought at that point to the few pounds I was putting on because I knew that the end was near and I’d make up for all of my bad eating habits once the baby was born. All in all, I gained somewhere between 25-30 lbs. during my pregnancy, a healthy amount for someone my height. I’m not entirely sure what my prepregnancy weight was, but I’d estimate it was somewhere in the high 140’s on the verge of 150. Toward the final weeks I began to feel easily tired from carrying all the weight around and my joints weren’t all that thrilled with me…I was definitely ready to shed some pounds.

Fast forward to the Friday after Alva’s birth when I stepped on a scale for the first time since the day before he was born. I was down 9 lbs. to 168. Ok, I thought…cool. I’d never lost that much in just a few days and it was all thanks to giving birth. Between that Friday and the following Friday, I was down an additional 13 lbs to 155. I’ve been breastfeeding Alva about 8-10 times a day, depending on when he is interested in eating. I have been dining on 3 square meals a day plus a mid morning snack. I haven’t been skimping on the portions, in my opinion. For one thing, I’m eating my mother’s cooking, which leans to the healthy side…some of the recipes are Weight Watchers recipes with full-fat items subbed in for some of the fat free stuff, but still, I’m eating.

This morning, I was down another 2 lbs to 153. My son was born 10 days ago and in that time I’ve lost 24 lbs. Holy crap.

I’m not obsessed with this in an unhealthy way and, again, let me state that I am eating plenty. I just downed my second breakfast. Egg and cheese sandwich on Pannettone bread. I’m drinking plenty of water and getting as much sleep as a mother of a newborn can…is this weight loss normal? Each day I fully expect it to level off…to make it so that those last 5 lbs. that I need to lose to get back to prepregnancy weight just don’t come off without a little work. And who knows, maybe tomorrow will be the day I step on the scale and it goes up instead of down, but somehow I doubt it. I’m a full believer in breastfeeding and all of the benefits for the baby, health-wise…and now I’m definitely a believer in all that it can do to get the mother’s body back to where it was (minus the muscle tone…seriously, my legs are lacking definition) in a healthful manner. I just need to make sure I don’t get too used to eating as much as I am right now (which honestly isn’t anything over the top)…my mother-in-law told me that when she stopped breastfeeding, she forgot to stop eating as though she was and quickly put 5 lbs. back on.


3 thoughts on “the breastfeeding diet

  1. Your mother-in-law has good advice; remember to slow down the food intake when you stop, but for now, you really are still eating for two! Some people certainly don’t manage to shed their pregnancy weight this fast, but it doesn’t sound out of the ordinary. When’s your next doctor’s appointment? I’m sure the doctor will set your mind at ease.

    • Alva’s next doctor’s appointment is Tuesday, my next appointment isn’t until some time next month…I’ll ask the nurse practitioner at the peds office on Tuesday, since she’s also a lactation consultant…she would probably be a good source of info.

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