On Self-Esteem, Breastfeeding, Babies, and Bellies.

Breastfeeding and weight loss

So I decided to go shopping this week for a pair of jeans. Okay, let me back up first.  I started the second round of the 21 Day Fix last week. First day went well. By noon on the second day my breast milk supply was just in the crapper. I didn’t feel hungry or like I hadn’t ate enough but still, it was what it was and what it was nothing. I had to supplement Barrett with formula which isn’t the end of the world, but it’s not what I want.

It is also a very frantic feeling to not have enough milk for your baby.

A frantic feeling that makes you eat a lot of toast and almonds and whatever you can get your hands on. Then Wednesday I just ate normally and tried to eat whenever I was hungry. I didn’t particularly feel hungry or like I wasn’t eating enough the day before, but I basically stopped worrying about portion sizes and just ate and my supply went back to normal.

Enter Thursday. I think to myself, well I just need to eat as normally and track calories on MyFitnessPal, try to find out the sweet spot of calories that I need for breastfeeding that could also support weight loss. I decided to aim for 2200 calories…well by the evening feeding I had to supplement again and I had eaten all but 200 calories at that time. Deep sigh again. Frantic feeling again.

On Saturday I decide I just need to be okay with where I am now if I want to keep exclusively breastfeeding Barrett. Not okay in like stay here forever, but okay for a few months, keep eating (mostly) clean, working out, keep my supply up and just continue doing all the things NOT because I will lose weight, but because it is what is best for my body and my baby. Not easy to do, but okay.

Enter jean shopping. Oh my word. I should have listened to the voice in my head screaming “Mistake! Abort mission! Abort mission! Just get froyo and be happy!”

But, no. There was a sale and silly woman who I am, I thought “Let’s try on some jeans!”

Oh, the jeans were not kind. Should I go for high-waisted and sort of tuck all the belly flab in? Medium rise and have spill-over? I mean dear God, low-rise is out of the question, but maybe a low-rise and spanx combo? I try on like 19 pairs because I am into self-torture. I also try on various tops which is more forgiving, but still not exactly encouraging.

I end up buying clothes for my daughter.

I try not to cry and tell myself it is just a short time. That I will figure out weight loss while breastfeeding, but if I don’t that’s okay. It’s okay that I am soft. For a little while I don’t love what I see in the mirror. And I’m okay with it.baby and mama

Because I love these ones. And I love the self I see reflected in their eyes. In the grand scheme it really doesn’t matter how slow or quickly I lose the baby weight.


“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Made real

P.S. And if this sounds a little familiar, it’s because I basically went through the same thing around the same time with Layla…you can read about my gaining perspective on my post-pregnancy body the first time around.

Photo credit (bottom two) Shot with Love by Heather.

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    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement Sarah! It is HARD and I know you know where i’m coming from, especially after a twin pregnancy I’m sure!

  1. Thanks for the vulnerability, Katie! My struggles are different from yours, but I certainly understand giving up things for the good of our Littles and recognizing that in the end, the way they see me is what matters. *hugs* Keep being a great Mama!

  2. I will have to do exactly the same journey, but what I would say is I wouldn’t worry too much. First the most important thing is your baby’s and your health, once you stop breastfeeding I’m sure you can go back to normal weight and more exercise

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Lilly! That is so true. It’s hard when you’re in the moment to pull back and get that kind of broad-strokes picture, but I’m trying!

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