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Nursing and Weight Loss Conundrum

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Old 08-24-2012, 01:33 PM   #1
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Default Nursing and Weight Loss Conundrum

Hi all!

I'm 3 months postpartum, and seriously displeased with my (lack of) weight loss since little man was born. I lost 15 lbs right when he was born, of course, but haven't been consistently down ANYTHING since.

I have a very crummy milk supply (with all kinds of measures to increase it and help from multiple lactation consultants, I produce about half of what my son needs, 15 oz a day). I am dedicated to giving him whatever I can give, so I don't want to do anything to jeopardize what supply I have.

So here's my conundrum - at 1800 carefully tracked, healthy calories a day, with what I consider to be a good amount of exercise (75 min cardio 3 days per week, 45 min cardio + 45 min circuit strength training 2 days per week, plus all of the running around associated with a baby), I don't lose an ounce. If I drop down to 1500 calories a day, not only am I STARVING, but my milk supply cuts almost in half...I did lose half a pound the week I tried this, but between the starving factor and the supply loss, I don't think that calorie level is going to work.

I have also tried tweaking macros - going strictly low carb resulted in a dip in supply. Right now I am focusing on "good carb", and not eating a lot of refined grains, but that doesn't seem to make any difference in my weight loss.

So - any ideas? Am I resigned to being this weight until he weans and I can cut my calories down? How did other mamas out there lose weight without losing milk supply?
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:40 PM   #2
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Curious to see the responses as I never figured it out. It seemed as long as my prolactin levels were high, I wasn't going to lose an ounce (and I was HUNGRY).
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:52 PM   #3
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If it's prolactin-based, I'm really screwed, since one of the things I'm doing to increase supply is taking a medication that increases prolactin levels.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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I just weaned him at 8.5 months, but once my levels dropped and I started cycling regularly, forget it. It was an uphill supply battle and after a couple of months I waved the white flag. But then I could actually make the scale budge and my appetite became easier to manage, so I can only assume it's the effect of prolactin. I just chalked it up to being one of the unfortunate ones that bf'ing doesn't have magical skinny powers.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:33 PM   #5
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I am mostly a lurker, but I wanted to comment because your story sounds so familiar to mine. I had a baby 19 months ago and had supply issues as well. When I got pregnant, I weighed 180. I got up to 200 pounds while pregnant and lost it all within a week of giving birth. My supply sucked and I HATED, HATED, HATED giving her formula, so I started taking Domperidone. Fast forward 14 months to when I weaned...I gained 40 pounds breastfeeding. WHO DOES THAT?!!!!! Now, I will say that from the beginning, my appetite was out of control. With the Domperidone, it was worse. Providing breast milk was so important to me though, that I said to myself, "It is what it is...right now is not the time to worry about yourself. You gotta feed your kid first. Lose weight later." That is what I had to do. I truly don't know how much of that was the Dom (or if that is even what you are taking), but I found it impossible to maintain, much less lose weight. You are doing an amazing thing for your little one right now. He will benefit from it for the rest of his life. I know this is a weight loss support forum, so I feel bad saying this, but right now your body is doing something amazing. You won't breastfeed forever...You can lose weight once you've weaned. Congratulations on your little one and on doing something so amazing for him. Most people with a lwo supply would have quit long ago!
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:58 PM   #6
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Ultimately, if I don't lose anything until he's a year old, I'll accept that...I've worked too hard to get the supply I do have (pumping after every feeding, waking up in the middle of the night to pump even after little man started sleeping through, 2 months using a supplemental nursing system, so much fenugreek that I smell perpetually like curry, weird supplement tinctures from specialty stores, the domperidone ordered from Canadian pharmacies, etc) - I'm not going to give it up for reaching goal weight marginally sooner.

Still, with so many people who lose weight while breastfeeding, I wondered if there was some trick I was missing or something else I could try. And it seems like nursing makes my metabolism slower than it was before I got pregnant, which is just bizarre. After all, you get about 22 calories burned per ounce, so I should be getting 300-330 calories burned a day just from that. 1800 was my maintenance pre-preggo, with the exercise levels about the same, so I don't understand how you add in breastfeeding and it doesn't change at all.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:50 AM   #7
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I gained about 6 pounds after my supply tanked. I had the tiniest bit of an oversupply up until that point. And now we're at 11 months pp and I'm losing weight, and my supply is tanking. So, count me in as one of the people who can't lose weight while breastfeeding. I'm at a point where I am accepting the loss in supply so I can get healthy again. I'm not throwing in the towel either. I am going to keep pumping and nursing until she's a year old. After that, I'm quitting pumping and we'll see how nursing in the mornings and evenings goes.
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:31 PM   #8
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Yeah, it is thought that "maternal weight loss" is one of the benefits of breastfeeding. Meh.....I think it's very common for your body to cling to extra weight while nursing....a little insurance so to speak. No wisdom to offer but a and a promise that this too shall pass.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:04 PM   #9
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Spoken as another domperidone mom, hang in there! Honestly, even among "regular" nursing mamas, weight loss is not as easy as you're led to believe.

I did start losing weight while I was still taking the domperidone (160mg per day), but with my BFAR issues it's hard to know if my supply suffered from that or if it was just never really there to begin with.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:56 AM   #10
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So many Domperidone-takers!

So what I'm hearing is "suck it up and carry on"? Luckily, I think I have actually put on a lb or so of muscle, and I didn't lose much of my fitness level while pregnant due to keeping my regular workouts, so while I may be heavier than I'd like, I think my health status is just about the same as it ever was.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:30 AM   #11
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Default nursing and losing weight?

Hi everyone

My baby is 10 weeks old and it does not matter what I do, I am putting on weight. I know breastfeeding is not the time to go on the diet, but is there anything I can do to at least stop these pounds from climbing up?? I am one of those mums, who do not put on anything during pregnancy but in fact losing weight. But during breastfeeding .... that is another story. I have thre children. I have put on 15 kilos each with my other two I do not want to put on another 15 whith my little one.... I am on a good way as I have already put on nearly 7 kilos...

Any advice? Idea? I know weightwatchers do diets for nursing mums but that is not an option for me as it costs too much.

Thanks
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:58 AM   #12
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1800 calories a day sounds way low for a nursing mama. Maybe I'm way off, but I'm 5'7'' 195lbs and my doctor suggested 2500-2800 calories a day and I'm losing (slowly, but losing). I am currently 13 months pp and now that ds is nnursing a lot less, I'm bringing down my calorie count since I've been maintaining for about 5 months But, with exercise and nursing did you ever think that your calories are too restricted for your size?
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:54 AM   #13
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You are only 3 months postpartum - give yourself sometime girl! I had my baby an year back and I nursed him. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight in 9 months and now I am 10 pounds below pre-pegnancy. I would advice you to eat more to maintain and increase your supply. I am sure you would have tried all the foods that help in lactation.
There was a time when I was eating 3000 calories a day and still losing weight. But like you I was also anxious about my weight 2-3 months postpartum. Looking back I think I shouldn't have worried about it so much.
Trust me this weight will fall off - just give it some time. It took 9 months to gain, it will take some to lose too. Relax and enjoy your baby
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
1800 calories a day sounds way low for a nursing mama. Maybe I'm way off, but I'm 5'7'' 195lbs and my doctor suggested 2500-2800 calories a day and I'm losing (slowly, but losing). I am currently 13 months pp and now that ds is nnursing a lot less, I'm bringing down my calorie count since I've been maintaining for about 5 months But, with exercise and nursing did you ever think that your calories are too restricted for your size?
Well, here's the thing. My normal metabolism (not nursing, not pregnant) is really low, due to PCOS and just some genetic bad luck. For comparison, my maintenance calories at 175 lbs, with slightly more exercise, were in the 1650 range, even when the calculators all said I should be maintaining in the 2200-2500 range. To lose anything (again, pre-preggo), I had to keep calories to 1200-1350. I did try eating more (in the 2000-2500 range) for two weeks, though, in an attempt get my supply up, but I gained 2 lbs and didn't see any increase in supply (my supply issue came from a combination of IGT, PCOS, and a post-partum hemorrhage, so according to my multiple lactation consultants, there's not a lot I can do diet-wise to help my supply). But my numbers are definitely not "typical" for a nursing mom...my body just doesn't burn many calories compared to others.

I am trying to give myself a break! I was just curious if there was a trick to this I was missing. It seems likely that I will just have to wait to stop taking the domperidone in order to really turn up my losses.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:08 AM   #15
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I think it's just yet another "gift" of the formerly obese. I thought I had escaped unscathed by only gaining 23 lbs, but post partum has been a whole other animal. Our metabolisms just are not the same and the regular rules don't apply.
I feel like each life event is just another maintenance conundrum to crack.

Honestly, I think you're doing great! You've been so consistent throughout your pregnancy and pp, and I'm in awe. I know you'll get back down to "goal", even if it takes until little man's first birthday (in which case you're in better shape than me).

Did you notice an appetite change with the Domperidone? I haven't ruled it out for next time.
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