Updated: Aug 16, 2020
Breastfeed they said. You'll lose weight they said. Well, they were right. At least in my case. I did lose weight quickly, almost immediately actually, after having Stella. I was breastfeeding like a mother and the weight just came off! I was super shocked at how quick. I was eating all of the time and drinking a ton of water. I started exercising as soon as I felt good enough to, but even still, I was in great shape even if I took a long lapse from my work out regime. And why is that? Well, besides exercising my entire life and continuing to do so while pregnant, (click the link for the program I did), breastfeeding helps you burn up to 500 calories a day! Yes, you read that right. So, why did I start gaining weight all of the sudden?
If you remember, I started weaning Stella from the breast from her middle-of-the-night feeds at 15 months. At that time, she was still waking every 2-3 hours to comfort nurse. Mama was perpetually tired. Once I realized it was only a habit, I adjusted everything so that both her and I could get more much needed sleep. You can read the weaning schedule here. In doing so, I knew there was a chance my supply would drop significantly, but she was ready and I was ready to sleep through the night finally. What I didn't take into account is that I could gain weight because my body wasn't producing all of that milk anymore. Admittedly, I couldn't figure out what was going on until about 9 weeks after. I thought to myself, what is going on? What has changed so much? And then one day, a light bulb went off and I remembered that I wasn't producing as much milk anymore! DUH.
Since my revelation, I've talked to other moms who experienced weight gain while breastfeeding regularly too. One mom documented her journey here and elaborated on why she gained the weight from a metabolism standpoint. Every body is different and it's important as mothers that we remember not to compare our journey or bodies to anyone else's. We are all doing the best we can and YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB!