Breastfeeding didn’t help me lose weight. And that’s okay.
Updated: May 23, 2019
While pregnant I received an array of compliments, unnecessary advice, as well as a plethora of myths. I just didn’t know they were myths at the time.
I didn’t breastfeed my first two very long and always had to supplement so I didn’t get the “full effect” of everything. So when random people started to tell me that breastfeeding would burn tons of calories and shrink me to my pre baby body super fast, I was over the moon excited. I couldn’t wait to speed the grueling process up with minimal effort on my end.
Unfortunately enough though that has not been my experience. Here we are six months and a week into breastfeeding and I have not lost any weight since my six week check up. So all in all, the only weight I have lost equals about what Ruby weighed at birth.
Now, I’m going to be honest and tell you that admitting that makes me cringe. But overall I’m not upset. I am okay. I’m proud of this body in all of its jiggly glory. I vowed to not go insane about my body and enjoy this phase of life. I vowed to remain content with who I am and the life this body has created. I am almost thirty years old and I have had three children and my body never has been a body that just snaps back. Acceptance is key here. And if we are being really honest, I wasn’t even happy with my body pre pregnancy, I still felt I had a lot of work to do.
But here I am.
Weighing almost as much as I did at nine months pregnant and more than I ever have and I’m okay. I will get in gear and make healthier choices and move more and set goals soon but for now, this stage of my life is about being a mom, working hard and providing for my family, and focusing on my marriage. Those three are my priorities and take all of my time because this stage is challenging and all consuming in itself.
As hard and beautiful and messy as postpartum life is, it’s important to not spend it completely depressed mourning a body I have never really had. I have already had issues with postpartum anxiety and feeling all the emotions so dwelling over my weight just isn’t and hasn’t been an option.
That doesn’t mean I don’t go there sometimes. But you know what the difference is?
Having a supportive partner and surrounding myself with positive people who focus on my strengths and attributes and not my post baby pant size.
The other night my husband and I were on a date night and after our sushi and a little shopping we were getting back into the car and he asked if I wanted to go somewhere else (it was still pretty early and as parents you should try to milk date nights right?) but I looked at him and just asked him to take me home because I felt fat and uncomfortable and my pants were tight.
He immediately turned towards me and grabbed my hand and said “you were beautiful and I loved your body when I first met you and you are beautiful and I love your body now, probably even more and I mean that”
He said that to me. and he meant it. Even though I am fifty pounds heavier than I was when we first met. Yes I said 50. He said that to me even though I have more stretch marks and some nights I take a nap as soon as I get home instead of spend time with him. He said that to me even though I’m dealing with postpartum hair loss and I look like I have a receding hair line. He said that to me even though I fail everyday as a wife and freak out on him often.
Ladies, if you have a man in your life in whatever capacity (husband, boyfriend, whatever) I hope he is as supportive of you as my husband is of me.
If you don’t, I hope you find him.
It makes all of the difference.
After having Lily and Logan back to back my ex told me often that no one would ever want me and that my body was ruined. My self esteem when that relationship ended was so bottomed out. I had zero support as a woman, mother, or human from him and I didn’t know if I or my confidence would ever resurface.
But I did, it did.
So today, I am okay. I’m confident. I’m proud. I’m powerful. I have value. And while I do want to make positive changes and I do want my pants to fit, I know that will come with time and when I’m ready to put the cosmic brownies down, I will.
Do not let anyone ever make you feel like your weight, pant size, amount of stretch marks or arm jiggle has anything to do with your value. If you have had children, are currently pregnant or plan to be soon, just know that your body has and will do amazing things and it’s resilent and beautiful.
You were made for this.