Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | July 3, 2010

breastfeeding and weight loss

Everyone always says that when you breastfeed, the baby weight just drops off of you. That you can eat a lot and still lose weight since making breast milk consumes so many calories. And if I were going to be really honest, that was one of the reasons (just one of many) that I wanted to breastfeed.

It hasn’t exactly happened for me. During the pregnancy I gained roughly 25- 30 lbs. After the swelling from the c-section subsided, I lost about half of the weight that I gained during the pregnancy in the first two months after she was born, without doing anything special. The last 12-15 pounds has stuck around these last four months. Keep in mind I gained 15- 20 pounds during the year of fertility treatments too, so I’m not quibbling over a few measly pounds here). Nothing I seem to do has ANY effect on my weight. If I indulge in delicious not-so-good for me food (as I did during my 10 day visit to California), I don’t gain an ounce. If I eat moderately, I don’t lose an ounce. To be fair, I am not exercising much more than just walks with Birdie. I just don’t have the energy.

What is going on? How is it possible to breastfeed and not lose weight? I suppose I really need to step up the exercise. I could make all kinds of excuses about why I haven’t been exercising, but they all boil down to this: I’m fucking exhausted. Even on a good night, when she only gets up once, I wake up exhausted. Birdie is 6 months old now. I thought things would be getting back to normal by now.

Good Egg Hatched has a post up about post baby weight issues. She said she is finding that the pounds are starting to come off as the breastfeeding is winding down. What have your experiences been?



  1. I am in the SAME shoes. I’m breastfeeding, have PCOS and I can eat a pizza or an apple and no weight effect is seen. Very frustrating. I am also excercising 60 minutes a day.

  2. A few weeks after Petey was born, I was actually 13 pounds thinner than my pre-pregnancy weight. But I totally pigged out from the stress of his constant crying and just trying to stay awake.

    I still eat a ton and am still around 10 pounds less than when I started.

  3. You know I’m right there with you. I hope we both find our way back to our former bodies when we’re done with nursing!

  4. i read somewhere that you can’t lose the last 10 lbs until after you stop. something about how your body holds onto it in case it needs to continue to make milk and you significantly decrease calories. like a reserve.

    ….but i have it, too!!!

  5. I recently read a paper (actually just a summary of it… no time) that was a meta analysis of lots of breastfeeding studies and it said that weightloss due to breastfeeding was mixed. I personally can’t loose a damn pound, but despite indulging I’m not gaining either. I’ve heard the same thing from a lot of other mothers I know. I think breastfeeding gets sold too hard… there certainly are benefits to it, but not all the ones LLL members would want you to think. I don’t mind spending the next year fatter than normal, as long as I’m happy about the reason why.

  6. The weight flew off in the first 6 weeks while breastfeeding. I lost all 35 pounds I gained while pregnant. Then, it slowed to a sloooooow drip drip. I am trying really hard to get this last 10 pounds off from before I got pregnant( between the miscarriage and TTC for 2 years)

  7. I’ve also heard it falls off after you finish BF. I’m still 8kg up from my pre-pg weight.

  8. well, you know i’m not breastfeeding, but i have heard that some people start losing when they stop breastfeeding because they don’t have to eat as much.

  9. What have you been eating?

  10. Found that paper:

    Lots of benefits, but weight loss… not so much.

  11. Hi! I found your blog through katery, and I just like your name…

    Anyway, I will say that for me, and I had breastfeeding issues and was never able to exclusively breastfeed (I also have PCOS), I lost a little weight here and there over 9 months or so post-partum. Then, when I finally stopped breastfeeding, I dropped 5 pounds without doing anything at all.

    Like you, I am not really exercising. In fact, I think that after nearly 2 years of not exercising, I just might not ever again. I couldn’t during pregnancy, and afterward, well, you know. We’ll see how long I stay in that frame of mind, but for right now, walks with Bear are the most that I can manage.

    Good luck!

  12. Have you had your thyroid (t3 &t4) checked?

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