Weighing In


It’s time to address the weight issue. It’s approximately the midway point between six weeks and three months postpartum. I’ve been silent on this topic for a month now. After vowing to get back to 125 by six weeks, I got a lot of support to drop the subject and throw out the scale and not worry about it. I appreciate the sentiment. I really do. It’s just not my style. So I weigh myself every day and, driven by my food sensitivities and health consciousness, I eat my predominantly paleo diet… Heaps of fruits and vegetables everyday.  Oatmeal most days. Nuts. Tofu. Soy milk. Meat and fish. Occasionally a bucket full of homemade gourmet popcorn, rice, or vegan roti. Essentially no bread, no sweets, no desserts. Primarily I don’t have the taste for it. But, as I mentioned, loads of fruits and vegetables. An entire watermelon! My appetite is substantial and I respect that. Lake is entirely mummy-milk-fed!

Lake and I also walk a ton. We average five miles a day. And he’s getting heavier all the time. I do at least a little yoga every day. And my planks while he’s doing his tummy time. We cheer (grunt) each other on. 

And since about 2 weeks post-partum, my weight has been fairly consistent. While Lake continues to grow heavier and taller, I’m hovering right around 135 pounds for months now. This is 10 pounds up from my baseline. I feel good. I’m not distressed or disappointed or depressed. I’m mostly curious. 

My best friend, mother of two, says

Don’t worry! It’ll come off. I had such a hard time keeping up with breastfeeding. I was practically worried I couldn’t keep enough weight on. Right now? This is nothing. Lake’s just in training camp for when he is bigger and then he’ll really start sucking you dry. Stop worrying!

My doctor says

That’s normal. We want you to be about 10 pounds heavier while you’re breastfeeding.

Well meaning associates say generally 

It’s the hormones. 

Rarely does anyone ever specify which hormone is keeping the weight on or increasing my appetite. I’m mostly only familiar with prolactin “the mothering hormone” and oxytocin “the bonding hormone” being associated with breast milk production and release during breastfeeding. Prolactin suppresses testosterone. Low testosterone could account for some weight retention. Estrogen is also suppressed. This helps prevent ovulation during pregnancy. Hmm, nature is so elegant and sophisticated. 

It’s also as basic as the basics: physics. Clearly if I’m burning 500kcal daily to provide Lake’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I’m also eating 500 kcal more everyday than I did before the pregnancy to keep up with him. Quarts of chocolate soy milk, pints of strawberries, gobs of hummus and peanut butter with my veggies all add up to some pretty darn yummy breast milk for Lake. Good work mummy!

So, it’s probably time to inject a bit of levity and patience into the situation and enjoy my newfound mummy curves while I’ve got them!  Meanwhile I keep on walking and picking farm fresh veggies and paying attention. For me, part of being healthy is minding the scale, and for now that means staying actively involved as the number trends back to baseline…

…and dancing around the living room!