33 answers

Breastfeeding Mom Feeling Depleted and Sickly.

Hey all. I have a gorgeous 10 1/2 month old baby girl. We are still breastfeeding. But, I feel like achy all over and I pull a muscle almost once a week. I used to be able to run 2 miles a day and do strength training 3x/week. I have no strength anymore. I went to the doctor about 3 months ago and my iron levels were at 13 when they are supposed to be at like 150!!! so, I got back on my iron supplements (Duh, should've never stopped since I am breastfeeding). I started to feel a little better, but not lately. I've been going to bed at like 9pm (used to stay up till midnight), when or if I do work out (even a little bit) it's like my immune system won't allow it and I come down with a cough or a cold or a fever:( And, I'm not running 2miles...just some 3 lb weights on a stability ball for 10 minutes and walking a mile 2-3 times a week. I'm getting kind of down because those seratonin levels that excersize gives you are gone. BTW: my baby can't have dairy, so I haven't had a slice of cheese, milk, butter daily like I used to. Once in a while I'll have a little of it, but she gets diahrea. Sorry for the typos, just sleepy. I do have soy products, and I forget to take my calcium supplement majority of the time...could that be it? Also, today, I had a bowl of oatmeal, some cashews, some pb & j on rice cracker, a leafy green salad with 1/2 avacado and carrots and a bowl of coconut rice. Is this enough? Usually that's what I eat majority of the week...then I'll have a day where I eat like shepherds pie, eggs, toast, a nice turkey sandwich, etc...it's up and down...if it's in the house I'll make it or eat it, if not, I just find what's available (without dairy of course) and eat that. BTW: I weighed 145 before I got pregnant (that was my toastidos with melted cheddar and dunkin donuts days) and now I weigh 132 lb. sometime 130 lbs. and I'm 5' 9".

Thanks for any tips on what to eat while breastfeeding.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for your much filled with love responses mamas! I took notes on a lot of your replies. I got my bloodwork back today. Everything is normal! YIPPIE! No lymes, no mono, iron levels good, thyroid good, etc. He said I'm not eating enough/drinking enough and probably going through some sort of depression/anxiety from the change of pace lifestyle (I was Corporate America big time before getting pregnant) and now a SAHM. Between my not eating enough, not getting enough sun, not drinking enough and the whole mama thing, my body is going into shock. SO< I'm taking all of your advice, eating more, going on walks in the park with other moms to socialize more and taking my supplements correctly and a good one at that! NUTRILITE:) Thanks again!

Much love:)

More Answers

Sounds like you are primarily vegetarian and no longer getting your main source of animal protein (dairy), so vitamin B12 deficiency is possible, which could also explain the anemia.

Definately need more food. Try protein, and iron rich foods. Don't forget your calcium (easier said than done). The breastfeeding uses about 300+ cals. a day, and the majority of it is the nutritious part of your diet. The moms are left with whatever bad stuff we eat. Of course, you need your sleep. You may go to bed earlier, but may not be in a deep sleep for fear of not hearing the baby. Try to get a good night's sleep/ have your hubby stay with the baby. We think because they are sleeping all night that we are "super-mom", and go back to prepregnacy energy. You have alot of added stress (great stress), but it is okay to still get help. Make time for yourself/ join mommy & me groups to get together with other moms.

I would recommend having your thyroid checked. Thyroid issues are a huge problem during pregnancy and postpartum, but they're often undiagnosed. I got to the point when my first child was about 9 or 10 months old when all I wanted to do was lie on the couch. I worried I was depressed, but really I just felt so tired I didn't want to move all die. I finally had my thyroid checked and within 2 days of going on thyroid medication, I felt like a whole new person! Good luck!

Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic). I would also supplement with a cod liver oil because it is high in vitamin A and D. Lastly, try juicing atleast once a day (apples, carrots, etc). It sounds like you are nutrient deficient and need to restore what you have lost with the baby. You can also add grains like barly, oats, and brown rice. If you eat this way consitently (fruit salad for breakfast, huge romaine salad for lunch and plenty of veggies and meat for dinner), you will start to get your strength back. When you stop nursing her, take a green super food by Garden of Life. It is equal to 8 servings of greens a day. I am a holist health counselor who specializes in the health of women and children.

Hi J., How great that you married your best friend! I did too, only after I married the wrong guy first:-( About you now. I think if you are to continue nursing you need to eat well and take your vitamins regularly. Your baby needs you and the way nature works, the baby gets what she needs and leaves mommy washed out. You are very tall and slender (I'm jealous) and your diet sounds healthy enough but maybe you need more food and more sleep. Please take care and try seeing the Doctor again, to check if there is anything else going on. The baby is a blessing and the most important job any of us can have. I raised 5 and nursed them all! My best wishes, Grandma Mary

HI J.,
I would suggest enlisting your husband or a friend to give you a day "off" or an afternoon, so you can rest, get a massage, take a long bath or whatever to help rejuevenate you. I remember feeling totally wiped out at times when my son was a babe, but I think for me it was a combination of being physically exhausted and a bit depressed. Continue to eat a well-balanced diet, drink lot of water (are you getting enough now?), seriously get some rest and take a few minutes each day to do some writing in a journal about your feelings-whatever they are. Light exercise is good, but do not jump into it, go slow an take it easy. This will pass and you will be running and working out again in no time at all. The first year and half of motherhood was extremely difficult for me, but the second year is so much fun.
Take Care of yourself.... literally.

I will be quick because you already received many great responses and i didn't breastfeed but let me suggest that you get your thyroid level checked. If it is off it could really mess with your total well being.
Good luck

are you taking a daily vitamin other than calcium supplements. i think i would be checking w/ your doctor to make sure nothing that could be serious is going on. just me opinion.

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