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Weaning & Weight

As Liam approaches his first birthday, we’ve started the weaning process, driven mostly by his decreasing interest in breastfeeding these days. He’s down to three feedings a day and given his appetite for solid foods and the introduction of cow’s milk in the next few weeks, I have a feeling we’ll be able to get that down to one or two pretty easily (the pre-bed time feeding might be another story). All this talk of weaning has got me thinking, out of sheer vanity, about my weight and what effect weaning will have on it.

When I was pregnant, moms who had nursed promised me the baby weight would slide right off after birth if I nursed. In fact, several told me that no matter what they ate, they continued to lose weight while they nursed. To some extent, they were right–I did lose all the “baby weight” within about a month and without any real effort. But, while the scale was back to normal, I certainly looked and felt considerably different than I had pre-pregnancy. I thought for sure since I was able to lose all that weight so quickly that I would lose another couple of pounds over the course of the next few months of breastfeeding. Nope. Not one single ounce. That’s not to say I have been trying very hard. In fact, in many ways it’s a miracle I didn’t gain a considerable amount of weight. Breastfeeding has left me with the appetite of a bear preparing for hibernation. And while I was a regularly exerciser before Liam’s arrival, anything more than a walk seemed daunting in the weeks and months after. I came to accept that this was a special time in my life and I was just going to have to be okay with my current appearance until he was completely weaned.

That was until a few weeks ago. I noticed a pair of pants I wear fairly regularly was a bit tight so weighed myself. I had gained nearly five pounds seemingly overnight. I started to freak out a little bit. Was it because I was breastfeeding less? What was going to happen when Liam was completely weaned?!? After an attempt at “dieting” left both my supply and energy non-existent,  I’ve made some very minor changes to my diet that will hopefully abate any further weight gain. I’m still a little nervous about what complete weaning will do to my weight but at least at that point I can adjust my diet without worrying what it will do to my supply.

Has anyone else struggled with their weight while weaning? Did breastfeeding live up to it’s “weight loss wonder” reputation?

2 comments

  1. Kelley August 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I had the exact same experience with my weight after having my daughter, Ariana. She will be 9 months next week, so I’m also starting to think about how I will transition from eating more than my husband back to eating my normal lady-like portions after I stop breastfeeding. I have tried to eat healthier snacks lately, but have really made no attempt at dieting since I got pregnant! I just started working out again about 2 months ago.

    I’m interested to hear from moms that have been through this for some tips as well!

  2. Profile photo of Kate

    Kate August 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Kelley–I posted this question on the BH Community to see if other moms who’d been through this have advice. For both our sakes, I hope they have some good tips!

    http://community.brighthorizons.com/t5/Infant/Weaning-How-did-it-affect-your-weight/td-p/4442

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