Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Elephant in the Room—the Myth About Nursing and Weight Loss

I found myself reaffirming my love for my own body a la Jessica Simpson's Weight Watchers commercial. I love what my body has done, and I am so grateful for the life it created. My body amazes me and I am incredibly lucky to have such a healthy vessel that brings me so many blessings.

But then there's stupid me, who notices in the Target changing room that my arms are FAT. Those florescent lights don't help, but really, my body is not what it once was. Let me assure you that I'm not beating myself up over this (Moms, you get it. We don't have time for that kind of nonsense.) But I want to be strong, I want to be fit, and I am so damn cheap that I don't want to buy a whole new wardrobe and I look like a fool in most of my pre-pregnancy clothes.

So today I went to Target with my baby (and breastfed her in the changing room) and tried on different yoga pants and workout clothes. It must be like what I described here, where you've gotta be dressed for the part. 

I put on my new workout outfit, took some pictures (to hold myself accountable). Promised myself I would work out when my daughter napped, fed her. When she napped, I popped open a beer and relaxed on the couch. In my new workout clothes. 

Why do they have to make them so comfy?

Anyway, I don't know if you've had the same experience I have, but nursing has not helped me shed all of the pregnancy weight. In fact, for some reason, I feel like my arms are bigger even than they were when I was pregnant. So I googled this. And here's this terrible article:

Oh, yeah: "'It’s understandable for women who only gain those 25 pounds to be back in their skinny jeans two months later because you can lose 10 pounds in two months, whether you’re breast-feeding or not,' Zuckerbrot says."

Sorry, but no. I gained a healthy 30 pounds, and was at an ideal weight before pregnancy. No skinny jeans for me. I've been nursing for four months now. 

I will say that nursing definitely helped me to get back into my pre-pregnancy "fat" jeans within six days. Your uterus is shrinking so rapidly because of the hormones released by breastfeeding that it literally hurts. Think menstrual cramps. 

Women's Health, let's stop with the articles like this about nursing and weight loss. Let's stop expecting moms to be "back" in any kinds of jeans. There is no back. There is only forward, and your body is never going to be what it used to be. It may be better, it may be worse, but the only thing for certain is that it's going to be a mom's body. It's going to be a body that your children lean on when they need you. It's going to be the body that carries sleeping babies in from the car and tucks them in at night.

My sister and sister-in-law, lucky ladies, told me that nursing helped them lose ALL of their baby weight. They only warned to not eat as much once you stopped nursing. Well, sorry, my body is holding onto some fat, apparently (about 15 of those 30 pounds gained). I want you to know that nursing doesn't guarantee a ton of weight loss, and we shouldn't expect or want it to. If you're nursing, you're still eating for two, so be healthy and be good to yourself and your baby. 

And feel free to relax on the couch when baby's napping. In your workout clothes.


  1. Just read this post too. I think my arms and legs grew a massive layer of fat that was not there when I was preggo. So crazy.

  2. Sorry you've had that too...but also glad I'm not the only one!! Did not expect that!