Losing more than “weight” while breastfeeding

When I planned to write this post I had lost 4 pounds and felt so good with myself. Today I made the terrible mistake of weighting myself again and found out that I had been betrayed by the scale. Losing weight while breastfeeding is possible but not for me yet. Let me tell you instead what I can lose while breastfeeding:

I can lose the patience with myself when trying to eat healthy. We don’t have the pleasure to have a chef cooking for us like maybe the celebrities do, so that means, that if I want to eat something nice, healthy and original I will have to cook it myself, or ask Sam to do it. Two kids and a house to run seems like enough to me most of the days. So basic meals are usually the ones that run our menu.

belly-lose-weight

I can lose track of time while breastfeeding. You don’t know which time you started, not sure what time you finish, the only thing you’re sure of is that you have a happy baby at the end. I love his smile and giggles when he is done. I love that I can provide for him, that what I have is more than enough to make a strong baby out of him.

I lose some sleep as well. My baby boy sleeps quite well though so I only usually wake up a couple of times at night. Very different to the first child, when I used to wake up every hour or every two hours. With him is just once around midnight, next one early morning…

Unfortunately for me, I lose hair also. It didn’t happen with J, but it’s happening this time. I had never experienced something like that before, not even in the most stressful moments of my life. It was quite shocking in the beginning, scary I must admit. I still struggle with it sometimes but I bought a special shampoo that is supposed to help nourish the scalp a bit more than the usual one. We’ll see…

There are many good websites out there that can tell you how to lose weight while breastfeeding. Let me tell you what I’m doing that hopefully it will have a good outcome after a while:

a-change-in-lifestyle

  • I stopped drinking fizzy drinks.
  • I’m doing 15 minutes daily on my stationary bicycle.
  • I’m “trying” to cut down sweets and junk food                                                                                          [OK. I’m not actually, but I thought I should write it down in case you wanted to follow these guidelines, it will be good for you! 😛 ]
  • I’m taking breastfeeding vitamins. I took them for the first 2 months and didn’t notice how much they were helping me until I stopped taking them. I’m back on track now and I wish I hadn’t stopped.

And finally, I’m trying to not get too discouraged with my current weight and appearance. Many times, how I feel doesn’t reflect how I look. It’s like when you have some food on your teeth and you keep smiling and nobody says anything to you. Well, sometimes, a song that I love is playing on the radio or wherever and I start dancing it at home, and I remember my old-self, the one that used to go out with her friends and dance until the sun would come out, I feel good, I feel really good until I see myself in the mirror and notice that the size 8 body is not there anymore.

eli and E

It’s hard to overcome that shocking moment, not sure if you’ve gone through something similar, but when that happens I say to myself that I have two options: 1. to keep feeding that feeling with more discouraging thoughts that won’t make me any good or 2. turn the page and move on. Think from a more practical perspective and keep doing what makes me feel right. I know and I hope that at the end, what makes me feel right will make me look alright not only to the eyes of  others but most especially to my own eyes. Because as the phrase says:

“Beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder” 

May we all look ourselves and see the beauty within us, regardless of our weight, regardless of our status, regardless of our own fears and frustrations.

The best 3 tips of advice I received on breastfeeding

After having a second child and going through the breastfeeding experience again, I think I’m in a position now to share with you what it helped me the most when I really struggled with breastfeeding my baby. If you’re a new mum that have chosen this option and everything is not going as smooth as the parenting magazines usually show you, you might want to read this:

#1 It’s ok not to be ok

I can’t remember how many times I read and heard about the wonders of breastfeeding, the benefits on your child’s health and development, the bond you build with those precious moments. All that is true, but let me tell you what it’s true as well: the stress you go through when you and the newborn are adapting to each other’s position, the latching that never happens, the wound created because of not doing it properly. During the first 2 months with my daughter my breasts were so sore I couldn’t even wear a t-shirt on. So obviously, I didn’t go out that much, cause I wasn’t going to leave the house topless!

baby-breastfeeding

I felt terrible because what I had expected to feel didn’t match at all what I was feeling. How could it be so wonderful if it hurt that much? Wasn’t a mum good enough that I didn’t want to sacrifice myself and continue suffering? One day, after counseling with Sam and praying a lot about it, I came across some information about breastfeeding and a support group. It clearly said: If it hurts when you breastfeed then there’s something wrong going on. Either the position or your baby’s mouth, something, but breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt at all. So please, to the new mum out there: follow that advice, don’t feel terrible with yourself and seek for help. It’s ok not to feel good about something that is physically hurting you so you need to solve whatever is stopping you from going through that wonderful experience with your baby.

#2 Practice makes the difference

When you’re out with your baby and you’re a new mum you think all the eyes will be on you just right before you loose your bra so you get a bit anxious about the whole situation, your baby gets hungrier and hungrier and therefore it gets harder and harder for him to latch properly. But let me tell you one thing, after a couple of months you get so used to it and you don’t bother that much, you feel more relax and everything runs more smoothly. I don’t even use the nursing blanket with E anymore, I don’t mind it, but he gets quite annoyed with it, so if I’m alright with the situation I will just pull my t-shirt up a bit and problem solved. Seriously, don’t worry about it that much, the more often you do it the more used to it you will be. 🙂

#3 You don’t need to go through it alone

This one is on me. Having my second baby on a different country was quite a scary experience and I knew I wouldn’t have the same breastfeeding support groups that I used to attend back in Barcelona, but I learnt the lesson with my first child and I searched for help on the very first week E was born. Luckily for me he didn’t have tongue tight and I knew that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt, as I already said before, so as soon as I started to feel a bit of pain I went to my local group. As soon as I arrived a very friendly lady guided me to a very comfortable sofa and showed me the different positions I could try to make it easier. I breastfed E right there, she game me a few tips I had forgotten because it had been a while since breastfeeding J, and since then everything started to get better; to the point where after a month, E and I would be completely adapted to one another. Don’t think because you’ve done it with your first child you won’t need help with the following ones. It is always good to refresh yourself and even learn new ways to do it.

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I hope these tips of advice will help you somehow. They helped me. And now I can say I enjoy breastfeeding my baby. I love when he giggles right after the fed, I don’t know what makes him laugh to be honest…haha, but it is super cute when he does it. Most important, I am treasuring those moments forever.

ethannevelyn