I have been flucuating on my body fat scale
this past week. Getting a bit frustrated, I have been averaging about a 21.6% body fat. I consider this way too high for my own personal standards. My weight of 115 is great, but the body fat is telling me I need to start working a bit harder. BUT I have a big question running in my mind. Does breastfeeding hold on to that last bit of fat I am trying to shed? I am fitting in to all my pre pregnancy clothes but I want my super lean look back!
Most people say breastfeeding helps you lose weight. Which initially I agree with. I am definitely not trying to make excuses, but I think nursing causes you to hold on to a certain amount of fat. Back in the days in order for the baby to survive when the food was scarce, I believe the mother was designed to hold on to a certain amount of fat, to make sure milk could still be produced for the survival of the baby. I have spoken to many many women who breastfed and said they dropped about 5-7 pounds after they weaned their child. So what do I care about more? My lean physique or my baby getting the healthiest nutrition a mother can give?
The answer to that question is easy. I choose my babies healthy nutrition. The benefits of nursing are so incredibly wonderful it would be selfish for me to choose my body over the health of my baby. I am most certainly not bashing those women who have chosen to formula feed from the beginning. It is obviously not for everyone and some women have to go back to work full time. The milk would stop coming as soon as the mom is away from the baby for too long. I am actually a formula fed baby myself, and turned out just fine. I have become a purest over the years and feel overjoyed I can give my healthy milk to my little girl. Knowing every thing I eat and drink goes right to her through my milk makes me that much more cautious of what I put in my body. It's just so amazing how a little being can solely live off just MY milk. I am also very fortunate to have a work schedule that allows me to feed her when needed.
With that being said I have decided to change my goals. I plan on breastfeeding as long as I feel the need to do so. Could be 6 months, 1 year, or even 2. Being a mommy is such a learning experience and I will not know until I reach the day it's time to wean her. I will continue to work out hard and eat super clean. I may drop 1 or 2% body fat but will not restrict myself until the time is right. My new goal is pure strength. Getting stronger and building dense lean muscle will be my focus. I will have to tell myself not to stress over my body fat. Which I admit will be difficult for me to do that. I just know I have to keep on doing what I am doing and look at my baby and know it's all worth it!
SIX MONTHS LATER
Snatching the 20kg kettlebell. Weight 110b. Still nursing here but my baby was now eating solids. The weight just falls off if you continue to nurse after they add solids plus if you have been working on putting muscle and strength during your postpartum recovery stage. My point is start your strength training and don't worry too much about "cardio" yet. Walking with your baby is a perfect component along with reasonable healthy balanced eating. The workouts I did during this time were very similar to the workouts you'd find on this program Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells DVD, which was filmed 3 months after this photo was taken. Pound for pound I was strong and still able to produce milk since I wasn't restricting my intake too much.
this could turn into an article for sure! Interesting question and I'm sure there must be something to it. Perhaps the body does need a little more bodyfat while breastfeeding. Makes sense!
This subject is touched upon in my pregnancy article that will be coming out in Lisa's magazine. There is not too much research on body fat and nursing. Still trying to find a figure competitor or body builder that competed in a contest that actually was breastfeeding at the same time. I just don't think they exist.
Thank you. I am so glad I made this choice. I am cherishing every minute I have with her at this time. Just like you said, I'll NEVER have this new mother feeling after this. I am so lucky to be able to experience this wonderful feeling.
I'm thinkin more on the lines of 4-5%. Which makes a difference in my book. I know you can understand out of all people. 1 pound can make a difference to some people as well. Before I got pregnant I bounced around between 14-18% and was fine with it all. But being 21% isn't my favorite. But all I have to do is look at her and smile. I am almost positive, once I stop nursing, I will be able to get rid of that last bit of body fat. What can I say? I like the super lean muscular look? Can't argue with that!
Your baby is darling!
I just came across your blog and have had some difficulty finding info on this topic. I have been breastfeeding my daughter for 7 1/2 mos now and I cannot seem to lose this last bit of fat. I have always been athletic worked out and RAN during my pregnancy and gained 27lbs. Now that it is one year later have you found that that last bit came off after weaning?
I actually found that after 3 months of breastfeeding the weight started coming off. I breastfed up to 13 months but lost most of my weight from 4 months on.
I was also less hungry and changed was able to change what I ate after 3 months. So breastfeeding started helping me later on. Every women responds differently so don't be discouraged. You may want to look in to what you are eating. Feel free to email me at Lauren@socaltrainer.com to talk about your eating and exercise.
I'm now reading this article a few years after you posted it and dealing with the same issue as you a few years back. So, I'm wondeirng if your daughter is weaned by now (April 09) and if so, did you get your body fat to your desired range after weaning? I want my rockin 6 pack back but still am 26% body fat and have a ways to go to your 21% as of a few years ago. However, if I get to that point and look as good as you did, I think I'll be content for the time being. I'll check back periodically to see if you responded, unless Google notifies me via email. Looking forward to hear of your experience with it all.
Thanks for writing. My 2 year old was off the breast 13 months. My 10 week old is currently nursing around the clock. I took my body fat and it is 19.7% right now,which is high for me. I believe that after 4-6 months of having your baby, the body is able to finally regulate the hormones, even with nursing, to allow the body to let go of a lot of the fat. I would say that 8 months post partum with my first was the lowest my body fat has ever been and I was still nursing. But when they start eating food your body is not producing as much milk. But you still get the benefits of the extra calories burned from nursing, without the crazy hunger. At least that was my experience.
Feel free to email me to speak about it more!
Man, I wish I had seen this a couple of years ago.
I am having the same problem my baby is 3 months i am breastfeeding her,i really want my body back ,i had a C-section too and came back to workout very hard 5 x a week,what can i do,please help me ???
Amanda Schenk, San Diego