Breastfeeding the Bulge Off

breastfeeding  mom

Credit: Raphael Goetter

To  hear most people tell it, breastfeeding is this magical weight-loss panacea. I’m trying to decide if I agree.

I gained 35 pounds during my pregnancy. And I’m fully convinced I would have gained at least 40 had I gone to term. After Avery arrived, I remember still looking very pregnant and only being down like 8 pounds a couple of days later. And I was pretty pissed. Why was I only down 8 or so pounds when my baby weighed almost 6? Harumph.

Silly, impatient me. Within a week, many pounds dropped off. Melted away. All of the water I’d been retaining? Literally flooded out of my pores in the form of sweat. My wedding ring fit again, and I could see the beautiful bones of my feet, which I hadn’t seen in quite some time.

So I lost a lot of water weight. Then a few more pounds. But this last 8? Not going anywhere. I’d like to get aggravated that this miraculous weight-loss breastfeeding pill I swallowed isn’t working. But being a true Fit Bottomed Girl, I know that even though breastfeeding has helped me drop some major pounds, these last few sticking around? Well, those are my own fault.

When Avery was born, we were in the middle of a kitchen remodel. We didn’t have appliances other than a microwave for weeks. Then I was too exhausted to cook. Then maybe I fell into a deep postpartum addiction to Snickers Ice Cream Bars. And then maybe I also developed a major crush on some sugar cookies. And then there was pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. We, too, had a love affair. I guess you could say that just maybe I was taking advantage of those extra calories that breastfeeding burns in the form of sweets.


Now that the holidays are here, I’m just trying to maintain during these challenging times.  So, breastfeeding? Quite possibly helping my weight-loss. Most definitely preventing major gains. But, like we always say here in FBG-land, all things in moderation. Now I just need to moderate that cookie intake. —Erin


  1. Betsy says

    Based on totally informal surveys of other women who breastfed, it sounds like some of us hang on to the last ten pounds until we stop breastfeeding – which really makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint, as extra insurance while you’re breastfeeding, in case your food supply is threatened.

    For me, I had a bigger appetite while breastfeeding, just like when I was pregnant, but that diminished quickly after we stopped.

    Hope this helps!

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