Saturday, February 19, 2011

weighty issues

Cohen had his six month check up yesterday, and we found out that he's thirteen lbs and some change. The good news is that he's in the fifth percentile for height AND weight, so it's probable that he's just small. The bad news is that he hasn't gained much weight since his last appointment at four months, so we need to take precautions to make sure he doesn't drop off the curve. After the doctor asked me how many times Cohen was eating a day (5-6 times), he asked me about my diet. I told him that I was cutting calories and exercising to try and lose baby weight, but that I was also trying to make sure I was taking in enough calories so my milk supply stayed strong (on days I don't work out, I eat about 1800 calories a day). Our doctor believes that my milk may just not be fatty (or calorically dense) enough. He advised that I try to take in more calories.

I asked if I should go back to feeding Cohen at night, and he seemed to think that Cohen needed to sleep through the night and should be able to get more than enough milk during the day.

Given everything that we went through with Jude, my heart sank when I saw that he weighed a mere 13 lbs at six months old. I wondered if there's something wrong with my body that just won't allow me to nourish a child past six months.

And then, because I strive to be pretty transparent, I have to admit that I've given serious thought to just ending breastfeeding. I had just started having success in losing weight when I'm told I need to add calories and apparently either stop losing weight or lose it significantly more slowly. My body has not been my own for almost four years now, and I miss feeling comfortable in my own skin. I feel like I'm not giving an accurate representation of who I am, and I want to wear a sign that says, "I promise. I'm actually a very disciplined and health-conscious person. This is not who I am." On a practical level, none of my clothes (except for my maternity clothes) fit. I have a closet full of clothes that I love and carefully chose and cannot wear. I also have a feeling that the boys and I will spending lots of time poolside and at water parks this summer, and I'd really rather enjoy it than to spend my moments painfully self-conscious. Selfish and vain, I'm aware.

I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet though, so I'm asking around and researching ways that I can boost my calories, fatten up my baby, and still lose baby weight. If you happen to have experience with this or advice to share, I'd love to hear it. Weight Watchers isn't really an option for me because 1)I don't want to spend money, and 2)I don't want to learn the points system. I do know they have a specialized program for breastfeeding though, so maybe I shouldn't write if off. And if your advice includes anything similar to, "I don't know, I lost thirty pounds in three weeks with breastfeeding and just couldn't keep the weight on," just know that I may punch you. Just sayin'.


  1. Hey Jen, you may not want to write off Weight Watchers too quickly. I don't know if you've done it already and decided it's not for you, but if not... let me persuade you. ;-) I did it in college when I was getting healthy and it's stayed with me. I don't do it religiously, I just know the points system in my head. Once you learn it, it's pretty easy. Also, if you have an iPhone, you can download the app and type in what you're eating and it will tell you points, calories, fat content, etc.... let you know how many points you have leftover, etc. And-fruits are ZERO points so you can eat all the fruit you want!! :) Just sayin'.

  2. I feel like i am in the same boat, i've had supply issues for a while. I can't seem to loose weight and would love to get my body back sooner rather than later. But i keep telling myself that this time we share with our babies is so short that I will have all the time in the world after he is done nursing.

    You will get your body back! It may seem like it will never happen but it will.

    I would reccomend upping your protein to atleast 64g a day. That will help with making milk and loosing weight.

  3. I know I will probably get rotten tomatoes thrown at me for this but...breastfeeding is not the end all be all. I hated it. Every. single. minute. of it. I could not wait to stop!!! I did it for two and half months for each kid and quit cold turkey and couldn't be happier. And my kids aren't sick or mentally inferior to other children. Actually, the boys both could have skipped grades. I too resented someone else having control over my body for so long and LOVED having it back. In my humble opinion, it's not worth sacrificing your confidence in your body just to keep breastfeeding.

  4. Anne: I did look into Weight Watchers again, just 'cause you recommended it. :) It's still more cost than I'd like to spend, unfortunately. They did have some good articles about losing weight while nursing that were really helpful, though.

    Claire, I think upping my protein is a good idea, thanks!

    Amanda, I do think it's a little more difficult because (like you) my boys are so close together, so it literally has been four years since I've not been pregnant or nursing. I'm still weighing the pros and cons of both (including the cost of formula) and thinking through it all, but I do really appreciate the truth that formula won't make Cohen inferior. :)

  5. My dearest Jen, you write so beautifully, and your transparency is a gift, one that should be wrapped and daily given to you! to know that as a daughter of God are a gift unto yourself, and to your boys (the grown up one, too).

    You worry enough for all of us combined, I think.

    Can you up the amount of calories that will give you NUTRITION instead of just protein, etc..

    Like, romaine lettuce (copious amounts!) and bell peppers, and dried fruit and nuts and avocados (the good fats) and kale, and beans (beans are so perfect!) and of course, as I write this, sitting in my not-tight yoga pants that haven't been used for yoga in.....uh, ever, I am taking my own advice, as well.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't be who you are. Just don't be too hard on yourself. In 20 years you will not wish that you spent more time in a size 9 or 7 or what-ever. You'll be grateful that you were alive and had two boys to fuss over and a God who loves you beyond measure.

    Love to you,