I’m fourteen months post-partum, and still have about 20 lbs to lose to get to the weight I’m comfortable at. How did you lose the weight, if you did (and if you say solely “breastfeeding” I’m going to scream, because I’ve been breastfeeding for fourteen months and have found that to be the BIGGEST myth around pregnancy) and what advice would you give to someone who really wants to (and is having trouble…) I eat well, exercise semi-regularly, but I’m joining a running clinic in January and am hoping to learn to love to run (to become zen with it, or whatever!) I’m finding it hard to be consistent with life and typical life stresses, but I’m prepared to become to committed to it in January (after Christmas, of course.) I want to get pregnant again in the summer, and really want to lose the weight before then because if I don’t I think that things could really spiral out of control and I will feel much worse about it. 1) Did you lose the weight? 2) How? Thanks!!!
40 thoughts on “Let’s be Honest… (Anonymous)”
I hate running, I tried it but I just couldnt stick with it. I found that hiking really did it for me, I’d strap my son onto my back and go for a few hours, the fresh air made me feel great and the incline really worked my “problem areas” It gets your heartrate up and tones. I found it relaxing and fun and now my son is almost 3 and he loves it just as much as I do. Good luck on your journey!
Hello. :) I’m 24 years old, 16 months post-partum, AND 13 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child. When I was pregnant w/ my first, I went from 118 to 168. 50lbs!! I’m 5’2″. I started working out when i was almost 5 months post partum and i was down to 113 when I got pregnant October 31st. I’m 116.5 now.
All I did really was run on the treadmill, do push-ups, crunches, watch what i ate, and drank TONS of water. I did, and still do, breastfeed and I think that helped a lot but the diet and exercise helped the most. There’s a book/diet called the Abs diet that is just AMAZING. The food is awesome and the weight just falls off. :) you can email me if you need a workout buddy or motivation or anything like that. My name’s Jackie and my email’s email@example.com. Take care!
I didn’t lose weight because I WAS breastfeeding. When I stopped breastfeeding (when my baby was 8 months old) I dropped 10 lbs pretty easily. The problem with breastfeeding for me was that it made me ravenously hungry and I was always, always thirsty. I confess, my problem was the eating. After I stopped breastfeeding, I noticed a drop in my hunger level, but I also had to mentally retrain myself to eat a normal amount of food for a woman who was no longer pregnant nor breastfeeding.
I still have 10 lbs to go and my baby is now 14 months old as well. I know people who say they lost the weight from breastfeeding. That tells me one thing. They’re not really eating. They just won’t admit it. I have a friend who’s baby is a couple months younger than mine and she was in a bikini four months post partum. She didn’t breastfeed. She stayed with me for a few days about a month ago and I watched her eating habits. She ate nothing until 2 in the afternoon. And all she ate then was a handful of cereal. Then she had some raw spinach at like 4 in the afternoon. She didn’t eat “dinner” until 10 at night, and that consisted of a small bowl of soup. And she didn’t even finish it! I’m telling you, these people who “bounce” back are either not eating, or exercising 3 hours a day, or both. Don’t feel so bad for eating like a normal human being and keeping some of those extra pregnancy pounds for a little while. It’s absolutely normal. =)
Have you thought about going on a protein diet of just veggies, protein shakes, that sort of thing and cut out all sugars?? Don’t give up on the running. It’s hard at first, but if you’re consistant, you’ll see yourself build up an endurance. I can say that before I got pregnant, I ran about 60 mins. a few times a week on a trail by my house, and even for me, i struggled through the first 20 mins. before the endorphines kicked in and I felt strong and felt like I could go for hours. You’ll get there! My aunt had twins and got up to 200lbs. She ran 5 miles a day, and didn’t see results for about 6 months. Everyone’s body is different (and she was breast feeding too)
Good luck girl! You can do it!
I lost my weight, which was a lot, and the main thing I did was I read a book about food combining and started including tons and tons of fresh fruit and vegetables in my diet. I felt that breastfeeding did help me too, everyone has her own experience. I did more walking than running, but I walked a lot.
I found that the abs diet for women allowed me to eat real food and feed my family what I was eating, which is important. It also includes exercises for you to do. After 3 kids I’m finally at my pre-kids weight, my youngest will be 2 in March and the other 2 are 4 and 6 in May. And when I was breastfeeding I kept on 10-15 that wouldn’t budge for nothin’, so that is a total myth!
My honest truth, after two kids – ages 3 and 5 months – is tae bo. I have done tae bo 3-5 times a week since shortly after I had my first daughter and it really has worked for me! I am not going to tell you it isn’t hard to stay committed, because there are days it is the last thing I want to do, but it has worked for me and I always feel better afterwards. Best of luck to you!!! Take care!
Hi.I think that I’m similar to you as far as not losing all the weight within a couple months of birth. My weight actually dropped 10 pounds when at 12 months my daughter stopped breastfeeding.I think that sometimes after a baby your body just stabilizes at a certain weight that is more conductive to carrying and nurturing children. I really understand how you feel. I was 110 prepregnancy and am now 130-so still 20 pounds away. But actually I think losing just 10 pds would be perfect for me. I plan on running as well once the weather gets nice. I also plan on becoming pregnant sometime this year but really want to get in awesome shape first and be active thruought this next pregnancy.Find your zen girl, hopefully I’ll find mine too!
I lost all the baby weight +3lbs. Its been almost 9 months and I’m still losing. I would consider myself very active. I ran stairs to lose the weigh and took a job serving drinks on a dock (talk about working on your balance) I’m a SAHM momma now with a baby that nurses more than any 9month old I have ever met. I doubt I would have lost the weight without breastfeeding. I eat like a horse, a very healthy horse but still a horse. Good luck every one is different.
I could have written this verbatim two years ago before conceiving our second child. Except for the running part. I just hiked a lot with my first daughter in a soft back carrier (Patapum).
You never know how you’ll react to weight gain in your next pregnancy. You might not spiral like you’re afraid of. It might be better to treat your body gently in preparation for pregnancy. Or it might be best to hit a target weight before conceiving. I don’t know.
I was not one of the seemingly lucky women who dropped all pregnancy pounds after a few months of breastfeeding, either. I do know a few of them, though!
Oh me too, I breastfed for a combined four years, through a pregnancy, and then tandem nursed for a year, and I swear, it KEPT ME FAT! As soon as I weaned, I finally started to lose the baby weight. I’m sure it was a hormonal thing, the breastfeeding seemed to keep me ‘soft and weepy’ and after I weaned, my muscles reappeared, and I stopped welling up everytime I saw a puppy. Be gentle with yourself!
The best thing I did last time was babywear! It’s muscle-bearing, muscle building, which is much more important to weight loss than cardio. Exercising ‘semi-regularly’ is not going to do anything. You need to burn (or eat less) 500 calories a day to lose ONE pound a week. There’s lots of calorie counters on-line, a quick check and you’ll see just how much exercise you have to do to burn 500 calories EVERY day. Hard to do with a baby, but at least with babywearing, it’s just part of my daily life. It’s also been shown that people under-estimate how much they eat, and over estimate how much they exercise, LOL.
The second biggest thing I did was not put on ‘extra’ weight while pregnant. LOL.
i think it is very different for everyone… of course excercise and eating well should help, and in theory so should breastfeeding. i had a singleton in 2000 and twins in 2003 and after both pregnancies i was in my regular clothes after a week and my normal weight by my 6 week check up. some of it is just genetics, maybe. don’t beat yourself up about it. do what you can and just remember to enjoy your baby (ies). they are worth every pound, stretchmark, etc. one of my little twinners didn’t survive and i would take any amount of weight and stretchmarks to be able to watch her grow up. good luck to you!
To respond to Michelle’s post, I want to say that breastfeeding CAN help you lose weight – even if you eat enough. It’s not OK to assume anyone who bounces back quickly isn’t eating, because some of them are. Every body is different and handles things differently, and every pregnancy and nursing experience is different. I breastfed both my children exclusively beyond the 6 month mark (and nursed them well beyond a year each) and with my first lost no weight at all until she was six months old when I suddenly dropped 20 pounds with no change in my diet or exercise. With my son, I had some health problems after he was born and never lost any weight at all (and, in fact three years postpartum, I weight 30 pounds more than after he was born. yay.). So there is no way to say how other people’s bodies will react, nor how your body will react through your next pregnancy and nursing experience.
You may want to try a weight-loss aid, one like slim quick that is made to cope with how women function, your metabolism may have changed too much for you to just take the weight off casually with eating right and working out when you get the chance.
Something to keep an eye on is your thyroid, pregnancy can trigger changes in your thyriod function that effects your whole body, and not handling the problem can be dangerous. I speak from experience, I didnt know I had a problem after I had my daughter and I lost 50lbs in about 8 weeks, sounds great but I also lost alot of my hair and was very close to going into a coma. It can be checked by a simple blood test at your doctors office.
Best of luck to you!
I, too, would like to respond to Michelle’s comment about people “not eating” to lose weight. I have four babies and gained about 25 pounds with each pregnancy. I was lucky enough to lose all the weight by my 6-week checkup. I do attribute it to breastfeeding. My three older babies BF around the clock as does my current baby who is 7 months old. He takes nothing but breastmilk and feeds ALL the time! (thru the night, too.) You do burn about 500-750 calories breastfeeding if you feed on-demand around the clock. I’M NOT SAYING THAT EVERYONE DOES LOSE WEIGHT THIS WAY – I’M JUST SAYING IT WORKED FOR ME AND THAT I RESENT SOMEONE SAYING THAT YOU CAN’T BOUNCE BACK QUICKLY IF YOU’RE EATING PROPERLY!! I
To lose the weight I worked out every other day. I did lots and lots of ab workouts because thats where I need to lose the most. I am 17 months postpartum right now and I am still working out at least 3 times a week. I do Pilates…and love it! It’s all about controlled movements and breathing..not so much sweating and its quite relaxing as well…my abs hurt for days after I’ve done a good pilates work out…you should buy a DVD and try it out :)
The only real way to lose weight is to watch your calorie intake. If you are eating a lot of calories, you should try to burn some of them off. It really helps to keep a food journal or use a website to track what you eat. Before I got pregnant I lost almost 50lbs with the help of a free calorie tracking website. I kept that weight off and I continue to count calories, even now that I’m pregnant. (I just upped them to what my doctor told me would be healthy.) You should check online as to what your calories needs are. Or maybe talk to your doctor or nutritionist if you’re having a really hard time losing the weight. I hope this helps!
Hi there–I had my second child almost 4 months ago and the weight dropping came to a screeching hault. I do b-feed. with my first I lost all my weight within 4 months, I gained 70 pounds this time–a little different than last time which was 40 or so. I am doing weight watchers and I’m losing weight, slowly. They work with nursing moms and give you just the right amount of calories to lose and not keep on the weight. I think its realistic and easy for moms, I love love food, and this just helps me with balance. I was super fit and obsessed with exercise and ate whatever before I was pregnant. thats not all that great in reality of life. Its all about balance! good luck!
Thanks for all of your great advice, everyone! I’ve started to running clinic, and it’s been going well so far, but I just got a cold so I’ve got to force myself to keep it up through that. It’s so true that we all have such different experiences/genetics/bodies, and I guess we really shouldn’t compare ourselves to one another, though it is really hard!
I was sent this today by my aunt, and I wanted to share it. Since we’re all on a path to self-acceptance… I thought it was beautiful and inspiring.
St. Theresa’s Prayer:
‘May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly
where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities
that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts
that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May
you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge
settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance,
praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.’
Oh, have I been there… I am sorry about all the comments to your post about how breastfeeding helped/ back to my weight at 6 weeks/all our bodies are different/ etc. These were the kinds of comments that just made me cringe. It’s harder for some of us to get to a “new normal”. I found that I was altered by my c-section/VBAC/ motherhood. (I was gentler on myself this second time around.) I just bought some nice jeans that fit NOW- and that helps. I know it sounds a little Oprah-show, but just try to make yourself the priority for a few minutes a day. Right now, I am 9 months pp/ still bf with some weight holding on. I didn’t lost anything from 8 weeks- 8 months pp. I do think your body gets a new “set point” and it takes some work to shift it. What I started doing last month, which is helping in a slow, slow (SLOW) way is: planning meals (the day before) and keeping a food diary, trying to find time to exercise (I firmly schedule 2-3 sessions a week), and sleep enough (not good at this- kids sleep great, but I like to play around the house at night!) It took me 3 years to bounce back last time- and I was still 10 pounds heavier (but was in a pilates DVD at that time and ran competitively) than “normal.” And I am a smidge over 10 lbs above that now. I know what it’s like to not like how it feels to be in your skin. You can do it: you can find a new normal you’ll be OK with. I wish you bliss with baby #2 (when you’re ready!).
oh how i recognize this situation. When i had my son everyone said that breastfeeding would cause weightloss. How wrong they were. I even joined WeightWatchers when he was 6 months,they have a program for women who breastfeed, but nothing worked.
I finally spoke to my midwife and she said that when ive stopped nursing,i most probably will lose it then, and i did.
Enjoy nursing your child,and when you’ve stopped,im pretty sure you will lose the extra weight.
Hey, I understand your frustration. I put on about 65 pounds with my son and couldn’t lose the last 35 no matter what. But then I joined weight watchers and an all women’s gym. It truly changed my life! I lost the weight plus 10 pounds! I did breastfeed but clearly that didn’t do squat. I still maintain the weight watchers diet (not the points system) they just teach you how to eat right. It still took me 6 months to lose the weight. I got pregnant with my daughter shortly after I lost the weight and only put on 32 pounds with her. This “diet” is more like a lifestyle and I was able to maintain a slightly modified version of it during pregnancy and they actually include breastfeeding guidelines. Also, now that I have moved to a place without a women’s gym, I have joined a program called “baby bootcamp”. Your area should have one and I HIGHLY reccommend it. I now maintain 15 pounds less than pre pregnancy with my new eating habits and working out 5 days a week with other mommies. And you have your babies right there in a stroller! And trust me I dont have “skinny genes”. I can honestly say I am now in the best shape of my life. I hope this helps!
First off, I think some of the things Michelle had to say were insulting and very false. I started each of my pregnancies about 110lbs gained 30lbs each and lost every pound withing two weeks. I still wear my size 0 jeans, and I have a flat stomach. I had two csections, my daughters are 15 months and one day apart. I do not work out. We do take long walks when the weather permits. I eat NORMALLY! I eat breakfast lunch and dinner. I eat my reccomended amount of calories per day. I don’t like it when other women who haven’t lost their weight or whatevrer reason say the ONLY way moms look decent or normal after childbirth is to starve themselves. I am currenlty 13 weeks along with baby #3 and 111lbs. You can do it.
I just have to reply to this, even though the original poster may not be overjoyed by my response. If I was newly pregnant with my first, or contemplating pregnancy, I would find this topic beyond depressing. Firstly, to those of you who have stated that breastfeeding-induced weight loss is a myth, please get your facts straight. Just because it didn’t work for you, doesn’t make it a myth.The fact is, breastfeeding exclusively on demand will burn 500-750 calories PER DAY. Enough said on that. Secondly, I think a lot of issues surrounding pp weight loss has to do with the amount gained during pregnancy. There are guidelines which are: 15-20lbs if you are overweight, 25-35 for a healthy weight woman and 28-40 for an underweight woman. Just some hope for you ladies who are wanting to become pregnant and are terrified by the seemingly “inevitable” weight loss issues. For example, if you gain 25 lbs, only about 7-8 lbs of that will be body fat, if your baby is average-sized. GENERALLY that will come off eventually with breastfeeding, exercise and healthy eating. I think women need to be more educated going into pregnancy. I do admire all the ladies who are out there exercising, breastfeeding and eating well. I just find it incredibly vexing to state strongly that something is a myth when it truly is not.
I gained 100lbswhen I was pregnant. It sucked very hard. I initially did the high protein diet because I didn’t have to ever be hungry as long as I stuck to the rules and it was pretty easy, then I moved on to walking at least and hour a day pushing the stroller and counting calories. The protein diet helps you drop a few pounds fast, so I recommend it for about 2 weeks. After that, count calories. As long as you burn a little more than you take in, you WILL lose weight. It really takes a serious commitment though, so be ready for that. It took me a year to lose all my weight, and I started dieting within 2 weeks so don’t be too hard on yourself.
I totally understand your frustrations! I have an 18 month old daughter and still BFing. This past summer I had started running or walking 5+ miles/day and started to lose fat but not much weight. Since it got cold out though, I have not worked out since then and my weight has gone up about 5-8 pounds and I am jiggly as ever. I do not think I will have an easy time losing my last 10 pounds + the extra I want to lose until I stop BFing.
I went from 146 pre-preg to 205 the day I was induced and had her July 2, 07. By October 07 I was down to 155, went up to 162 because of holidays, and then last summer had enough and started working out a lot like I said and got down to 152. I am 157 today though and would like to see 135 by the end of this year provided she stops bfing.
I too envy those moms that lose the preg weight and then some! I am really jealous I have to admit.
My best advice is find something you love to do, be it cardio in some form or weight lifting. I’ve always loved weight lifting and hope to get back to it this year at some point because muscle really does help burn the fat and calories. As for diet, just try to portion control and make healthy choices. You don’t need to stick to a diet persay, but more of a healthy lifestyle.
Great post! I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. Our daughter is 16 months old, and I still have 10 lbs to go as well. I mainly walk, run a bit, and try to eat healthy. But what I’d really like to add, is that age has a lot to do with how easily you drop weight. Many of the posts are from young mothers, and I recall the young days, I could drop weight much easier than today. Now, in my early thirties, pregnancy not only rocked my body, but has made it much harder to loose weight. Great stories though, and good luck to everyone.
I breastfed for 16 months and I feel exactly the same. I began working out 3-4 days a week before getting pregnant with my second and still had 10 extra lbs of baby weight on me when I concieved my second. I am pregnant now and I consistantly exersize and eat a healthy food, more quality than quantity. I am determined to be in better shape this time than with the last, and wheN I think about it, it’s for the best that i didn’t loose it all before consieving again. If I had I know that I would be activly trying not to put on much weight (because loosing it was so hard) and it wouldn’t be as good for new baby. I’m just trying to be healthier all around this time!
I was unable to nurse due to a medical condition. (I never produced any milk.) So I lost all my weight without the benefit of breastfeeding.
I went from 115 lbs to 196 and I’m 5’2″ with my first. then lost it down to 120 on Weight Watchers online It too 9 months of blood sweat and determination. (I did NOT have time or money to go to meetings) 2 yrs later I got pregnant again and went up to 197 again. I lost it again on Weight watchers online. Give yourself a break and know that you can do anything you set your mind to.
I’m still 17 pounds away from my PP body. I stopped breastfeedin when my son was 6 mnths. I think I’ll be able to lose eat if j start being more active luke exercise wise. I’m just exhausted during the day cause taking care of my active baby.
I really hope I’ll lose the 17 pounds by starting alli and my exercise program before the summer.
I’m 27, 2 months postpartum. I gained about 35 lbs with pregnancy. Currently, I’m 5 lbs. away from my pre pregnancy weight (125). I’m exclusiely bf-ing, and haven’t done much as far as diet or exercise. I didn’t get any stretchmarks. Honestly, I think it’s all genetics.
mama of four – I don’t think breastfeeding weight loss is a myth (and I took the OP’s comment to be more out of frustration than her literally believing it a myth). But what the OP and I have experienced is that it does NOT necessarily equal weight loss. And, medically, as much as breastfeeding can help with weight loss, it can also keep 10-15lb on a body – evolution’s response to the possibility of famine, a way to keep the baby nursing and healthy even if there is no food for mom.
I also want to comment here that 25 pounds is the LEAST amount of weight gain recommended by western medicine. I would not encourage any mom to work to limit her weight gain to only 25lb. If it just happens that way while mom is eating healthily, then that is obviously OK. But to throw that number out there like that and then insinuate that weight loss is as simple as *snap* is just not a fact.
So, yes, sometimes breastfeeding works for weight loss, and some times it doesn’t. We all face our own personal situations and challenges in life – this is one of those for some of us, including me.
Bonnie, I’m not just “throwing” out numbers. This is the recommendation put out by the obstetrical community. I think people should have a guideline as to how much weight gain is healthy. I am an obstetrical nurse and see a lot of health issues surrounding excessive weight gain such as gestational diabetes (putting baby at twice the normal risk for diabetes down the road), c-section, labour and delivery complications, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia and the list goes on. I merely mentioned this to alert those wanting to be pregnant. It is unhealthy for the mom and baby to gain too much. I hear so many frustrations about weight loss after birth – does it not make sense to eliminate some of those frustrations and encourage women to gain an appropriate amount of weight? I’m sorry to have offended people. I realize it’s not easy for some people to limit weight gain to the recommendations. Okay, I’m ready for the for the negative comments!
I’m the original poster. I wanted to respond to mamaoffour. I guess I should have qualified what I said about breastfeeding and weight loss being a myth. Personally, what I have found so frustrating, and to be a myth, is the idea that EVERYONE who breastfeeds will lose weight through that process alone. I really think it all does come down to genetics. Both my mother (who had four children) and my grandma said they didn’t lose all of the weight until they weaned. I’m not banking on this to be the case with me, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is. If breastfeeding helps anyone lose weight– great! It just hasn’t for me, and like I said I’ve been doing it for fifteen months now and have been stalled weight loss-wise since about seven months pp. I love breastfeeding and so does my daughter, so am hesitant to give it up yet. I’m trying to be easy on my self while at the same time eat well and exercise. I’m grateful for the poster who said not to fixate about losing all of the weight before I get pregnant again. It is my goal, but if it doesn’t happen, I have to have faith that I will after the second. Thanks everyone for your responses!
When I was breastfeeding my son I didn’t loose any weight UNTIL I started working out while continuing to breastfeed. My son was nine months old by then and was eating some solid foods so my body didn’t require me to hold onto the extra weight any longer. I started power walking and being very conscious of my caloric intake and within 2-3 weeks I had lost 15-20 pounds. I know that sounds like alot all at once (believe me, I still have plenty left) but my body was just ready to loose that weight and just needed a little extra help from the excersize. I don’t know that this will work for everyone but I believe that nursing does help to shed the pounds if you are doing something else like excersize and diet on the side. I hope you find something that work for you. Good luck!
drink lots of water and exercise when you get the chance to! I did aerobics and it helped tone.
I’m not attempting to flame you, mama of four, and I’m sorry if it seemed that way.
25 pounds is the LOWEST number in the recommended range to gain and I fear that aiming for that could lead some women to pregnancy-related eating disorders, or to a lack of good nutrition for the growing babe. And then, I know plenty of women with really excellent nutrition and exercise habits to just naturally gain more than the recommended 35 pounds – and I fear they would feel they failed somehow even though they did everything “right”.
I am not uneducated on the subject, and while I respect your experience as a nurse this issue is not one in which you and I agree. I value the diversity of women on this website, so please don’t take my disagreement to mean you should not speak up.
Bonnie, we do have differing opinions, but that’s okay! Taiyo, I wish you health and happiness breastfeeding your little one and I’m sorry that I misinterpreted your post. Good luck conceiving number two – there really is nothing more joyful than bringing babies into the world. Take care. Oh, and this really is a great website. :)
Hi guys, thoroughly enjoyed reading all of this (including the original post), just wanted to say in regards to the weight gain whilst pregnant: I put on nearly 25 KILOGRAMS, haha! That’s just over 55pounds. I was healthy, bubs was (and still is healthy), and my OBS was totally happy with my pregnancy health :D