HELP... I'm gaining weight while breastfeeding

Lindsey - posted on 12/18/2009 ( 27 moms have responded )

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My son is 8 months old, and I'm gaining weight while breastfeeding. I lost all of my baby weight 3 weeks after my son was born. and since then i have put on 12 pounds! and i just exclusively breastfeed. did anyone else gain weight while breastfeeding? i was so happy to see my baby weight just drop but now i am sinking in to depression by gaining this weight back. HELP. comments opinions and feedback please!

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Rachel - posted on 11/22/2011

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here's what is happening. Your metabolism is regulated by your thyroid. Your thyroid is regulated by progesterone. Progesterone is inhibited by prolactin (the hormone that makes milk). Evolutionarily speaking, a slower metabolism meant more for baby. At first, your body has a wealth of progesterone (from actual baby making) but once your body uses up its stores, and you are still producing prolactin, the body becomes progesterone deficient. This, by the way, also lends to the depression. Again, the evolutionary aspect of this design was to allow for a keener hyperawareness of your babies needs, but clearly is far less helpful for living in a civilized society, than it might be for living in the wild. But it IS interesting to know why... My advice is to talk to your doctor about progesterone therapy, because you don't live like an animal, so the biological responses of an animal won't help you live.

Kacy - posted on 12/29/2009

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I am going to reiterate: your body changes with preg. and having a baby.
My suggestion is walk, swim, do yoga (or other low impact, NON-AEROBIC activity that you love) and eat balanced healthy foods.This means normal meals and snacks.
Also consider the message we send our daughters if we make our body image about our weight, and not all the amazing things it can do. We all just grew a human inside us for 10 mos. (give or take), and are now nurishing that person with our awesome breastmilk. What more can you ask for? Women's bodies are miraculous!!
I know that this might be taken wrong, but seriously, we are talking about 10-15 lbs. here. Relax, and be proud of what you have accomplished, and the great thing you are doing by breastfeeding your little one.
Remember, your baby thinks you are THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD, JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. (thank you to my hubby for pointing that out)

Lisa - posted on 11/03/2012

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I so glad I found you guys!!! I have always been thin and after my first 2 within 3onths I was back to pre baby weight. After my third I was much heavier than before I was pregnant but i weighed less than whem i was pregnant. I maintained that same weight for about a year and half. I did breast feed the first 4 months but I also formula fed him. I didn't produce too much milk. My last baby, I am strictly breastfeeding and I am gained 20 lbs since she was born. I suffer from severe and chronic migraines. Since, I am always tired, sleepy, dehydrated and my hormones are crazy I suffer from them frequently😥. I can't exercise at all, it only makes them worse. This only makes me more depressed. I wish there was something to do to help. If anyone has any ideas that would be great. I am glad to know its not just me.

Sabrina - posted on 12/29/2009

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I'm also gaining weight while breastfeeding. My daughter is almost 8 months old, I put on 40lbs when I was pregnant, as soon as I had her I dropped close to 25lbs and within about 2 months I had dropped the other 15. Now I've put on the 15lbs again and I can't seem to get it to start coming off. I've had my thyroid checked and I eat fairly well (I'm not going to lie, I don't eat the best all the time but most of the time I do). My joints hurt so bad from carrying around this weight that it is very hard for me to exercise (I'm 5'2 and 200lbs). I'm on the mini-pill and anti-depressants which I've been told both contribute to the problem but I need both of them. If you come up with anything good let me know :)

Selia - posted on 12/31/2009

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When you bf you need tons of fluids, and most people feel thirst as hunger if they don't have a dry throat/mouth. Try drinking at least 8 oz of fluids, waiting 5-10 minutes and then decide if you are really hungry. Often you'll find you aren't.

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Paris - posted on 05/22/2012

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Omg! I feel like i wrote this post. This is my life as we speak, and yes its sooo depressing! Help!

Miri - posted on 12/09/2011

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Same thing happened to me. I weighed less after the pregnancy than I did before. Since than I have gained 10-12 lbs and I am exclusively breastfeeding. I have been tracking my food intake and I have been eating 300 calories more than I did before birth, calories that should have been burnt by excercizing and breastfeeding. My baby is four months old. I just hope that this weight gaining thing stops.

Hannah - posted on 10/14/2011

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Hey ladies,
Just wanted to let you know, I lost all my baby weight plus some -30 pounds! I used weight watchers, they allow calories for making milk. It feels great! Good luck everyone!

Callie - posted on 10/13/2011

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I had the same problem. I lost all of my baby weight plus a few lbs. by my 6week check and was doing great for a while. Then I started birthcontrol (mirena) and gained 20lbs. I couldn't get the weight off. I watched the diet closely and exercised but it didn't work. I had my mirena removed about 3 1/2 months ago and have lost around 5 lbs but I'm also 2 months pregnant. I would consider changing birthcontrol because I know that's what caused my issues even though my obgyn swears it won't make you gain weight. I and couple of my friends (and our 15-20lb weight gains) disagree with that.

Lisa - posted on 10/10/2011

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I was nursing my daughter at stpped at age 2 for 4 months while I had a medical issue and had to take usafe meds. I lost 35 pounds. My daughter kept asking me to nurse everyday, so at the end of my meds I let her start again, my milk cam in and its been 3 weeks I have steadily gained a pound a week since we started. i eat clean exclusivly and am very strict about counting my calories. I really feel that the body is try to make sure I am storing enough fat to make milk? I have decided to wean again at 3 becasue it really has been a depressing thing to see it go up and she is plenty old enough that it won;t effect her body. So I am there with you I am excersising 4 days a week, yoga, zumba etc and eating very healthy drinking half my wieght in water and still weekly it creeps up weekly. I think it just depends on how your body reacts to nursing. remember its for a short time that you nurse (not for me lol) just take it for the ownderful things you are giving to your child. You will have time to loose the weight after.

Rachael - posted on 12/30/2009

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If your son isn't eating as much, but you're still eating as much as you did when he was eating more, that could be the reason. Unfortunately, when you exclusively breastfeed, it's so hard to keep track of how much they are really taking in. Of course, if that's not the case, you don't want to eat less calories than your baby needs. It's tricky. My advice would be to talk to a lactation specialist. Good luck!

Anna - posted on 12/29/2009

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ME TOO!!!! My girl is 10 months old, and I lost all but 5 lbs within a month. Now I've gained 20 back! I'm a healthy eater (mostly) and not eating a ton. My issue is that I have a chronic pain issue that prevents me from exercising. Like at all. It's so depressing and frustrating. I have tons of friends who had babies around the same time as me (or, you know, 6 months later) and now they're tiny and adorable again and I just feel huge and gross. Don't know what to do, though. I know most people lose all their weight by bf'ing, but definitely not me!

Clare - posted on 12/29/2009

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hiya hun i also had this problem and after suffering an anorexia when i was young you can imagime how depressed and upset i was after talking 2 midwife and gp they said this can be quite normal u can actually gain weight bf as ur body make more water 2 bf and holds on 2 more water and fat 2nourish babba ,so try i know its hard not 2 worry ur body will soon spring back 2 normal xx

Aimee - posted on 12/29/2009

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First off, you said you are sinking into a depression. People who are depressed, often eat more junk, and often. Secondly, I learned the hard way that you can't usually just rely on breastfeeding to lose weight. It HELPS to breastfeed, but excersise and watching what you eat are also key factors. I hope this helps.

Tessa - posted on 12/29/2009

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I was always told I that nursing would help me lose all the baby weight. I was up to 200 lbs at the day of my induction. I've platued at 156ish, when my normal weight is 120 lbs. I've given up on the idea that breastfeeding actually helps you lose weight. I think I'm one of those people that holds onto the weight until they stop breastfeeding.

Amber - posted on 12/29/2009

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Quoting Angela:

While you may be right, how about checking the attitude amber? Give the girl some support- not a snarky comment about how many calories she's eating to gain the weight.



Sorry, I wasn't trying to be snarky. I was just giving some facts.. it's either what she is eating or something medical.. People don't just gain weight for no reason.



OP my apologies if it sounded that way.. Eat clean, drink lots of water, and exercise daily.. I've also heard of women developing thyroid problems after birth, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to get that checked if you are continuing to gain.

Kacy - posted on 12/28/2009

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It is normal for your body to change after you have a child. The women you see in showbiz who are "runway slim" in 6 weeks, have a TEAM of personal trainers to make sure they are beaten back into shape. Many of them also get the C-section/tummy tuck 2fer, and these people give us a VERY distorted view of what is normal to expect after a baby.
When you loose that 30 or so lbs. right away, that was baby and maybe some water weight. The bit of gain is probably just your body 'normalizing'.
You should definitely keep eating well, your babies nutrition depends on it. However, walking is a great way to burn a few callories, tone up, and get out for fresh air. This works even better if instead of pushing a stroller, you get a sling and carry your kiddo.

Becky - posted on 12/28/2009

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I noticed when my son started solids that I started gaining, too. After 2 lbs, I finally started to realize that I wasn't as hungry, but still eating like crazy. So, I toned down on the eating and started exercising about 3 days a week, and I have held steady. It's kind of hard with a new baby to still stay in tune with the old body. My friend didn't really lose weight until she stopped nursing, so we also can't expect our bodies to stop storing fat so easily when they want to make sure we have enough for baby. :-)

Angela - posted on 12/28/2009

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While you may be right, how about checking the attitude amber? Give the girl some support- not a snarky comment about how many calories she's eating to gain the weight.

Amber - posted on 12/23/2009

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I don't know why people think they can just eat whatever they want while nursing.. it's like any other time. You should eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. If calories are not burned, they are stored as fat.... It takes 3500 calories to equal a pound of fat. Either you need to check what you're eating or get your thyroid checked.

Hannah - posted on 12/23/2009

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I have been gaining weight while breastfeeding too! My daughter is about to turn 9 months. I lost the weight at first, but have no gained 14 lbs! I'm so hungry all the time and I'm afraid that dieting will cause my milk to dry up. At least i'm not alone. It is so depressing!

Casey - posted on 12/22/2009

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same with me i lost so much weight and gained it back
i do eat pretty bad sometimes and need to work on that. i think my thing was at first i ate so many small healty meals to get my supply up and that helped. i made so much milk it was amazing but as my son stopped nursing as much and i guess i just eat the same and gained weight idk if its that or what but i need to do some thing!

Denise - posted on 12/19/2009

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OMG! This happened to me also! I lost most of the weight within the first month. Then I seemed to steadly gain it back. I would recommend YOGA! It will change your life :)

Jaime - posted on 12/19/2009

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Is it normal for you to yo yo with your weight? If so, then maybe that is just what is going on! But if you have started baby on solids, and are still eating the same way, then you may reconsider how much you are eating. Lite exercise will help, but be slow with it, because too much will make you loose your supply!



Oh and crazy Idea, but you couldn't be pregnant could you? That was why I started gaining weight while breastfeeding my first! And he was EBF! Or have you switched your birthcontrol? (they normally recomend you switch from the mini pill when baby is 6 months-- and if you did, you may be experiencing side effects from the pill.



Whatever is going on, breastfeeding isn't a sure fire way to keep the weight off, so if you want to help youself stay thin, you will have to work at it a little! (Advise easily said

but hard to follow--- I am in the same boat as you!!!)

Good luck!!!

Jayme - posted on 12/18/2009

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My guess would be you're gaining weight because the child is not eating as much as he did so you are not burning the same amount of calories but taking in the same amount of calories. I would talk with your doctor and or a nutritionist. I would also make sure not to add any unnecessarily calories to your diet and make sure you are eating healthy. Lord knows I don't always and especially this time of year.

Heather - posted on 12/18/2009

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Holy cow, I felt like I was writing this as I am reading it - I am gaining weight while breastfeeding and my baby is 8 mo old, I lost the initial 30 right away, but have put on 10 since!!!! I thought nursing would help lose weight, now what - its not exactly like we can diet!! Sorry I'm not much help to you, but I have the exact same problem! Any suggestions out there?!?!

Hannah - posted on 12/23/2009

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I have been gaining weight while breastfeeding too! My daughter is about to turn 9 months. I lost the weight at first, but have no gained 14 lbs! I'm so hungry all the time and I'm afraid that dieting will cause my milk to dry up. At least i'm not alone. It is so depressing!

Heather - posted on 12/18/2009

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Holy cow, I felt like I was writing this as I am reading it - I am gaining weight while breastfeeding and my baby is 8 mo old, I lost the initial 30 right away, but have put on 10 since!!!! I thought nursing would help lose weight, now what - its not exactly like we can diet!! Sorry I'm not much help to you, but I have the exact same problem! Any suggestions out there?!?!

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