Friday, November 13, 2009

Lose weight sitting down!

Or such is the tone, more or less, of this article from the NY Times, discussing the weight-loss benefits of breastfeeding. It kind of treats the whole idea like some hot new fad diet, then suggests it might not work anyway, then finds people to criticize women for treating breastfeeding like some hot new fad diet. You horrible mothers for wanting to lose weight!

It's actually a fairly interesting piece if you get past the usual Times-ness: "Nursing mothers can buy form-fitting tops at so they can flaunt their shape as they push their Bugaboo." Yeah, we all drop $1,000 and up on strollers, you're so totally right.

But I'm not sure the approach works. For one thing, the weight-loss benefits aren't a new concept. Every article/book I've read on breastfeeding notes that as a possible side effect. And I can vouch for it, to an extent. I'll even roll out the numbers: I was 118 before my first pregnancy, gained more than 30 pounds (I'd say how much but I forget and also it was horrifying), and after just over a year of breastfeeding and not nearly enough exercise, I was hovering around 130. Which is where I started off the second time, got up to about 168ish, and eight weeks in am down to about 141. Hoping this time to go all the way down to 118, because there's a cute dress in my closet I can never wear again otherwise.

So yes, I'd definitely say nursing *helps* weight loss. But at some point I'll have to do the rest myself, either by walking more or showing up at yoga again finally, or chasing after kiddo a lot (I'd recommend that, actually. I could rent him out for running practice). And that I think is where the article stumbles, because it seems to suggest that moms might be able to lose all the weight solely by breastfeeding, and not also exercising or changing their eating habits. Because boy, it's easy to keep eating like you're pregnant when you're not anymore.

I do very much like this sentence though: "Breast-feeding mothers face many obstacles: little hospital help, public squeamishness and too-short maternity leave." Yes and yes. And I had a good experience in the hospital and really can't complain about my leave, but I've heard horror stories from other moms and it burns me up.

1 comment:

  1. Don't crap on my dream of miracle pregnancy weight loss. Noooooo, I am clinging to it. Noooooo. I am actually hoping that I can go back on metformin, AND breast feed. Because on met I lose about pound a week. So I figure met plus boob must equal more. Nooooo. LIE TO ME.