16 answers

Question on Weight Gain After Stopping Breastfeeding

Hello:

I am asking to see if anyone has any advice for me in regards to some issues that I have been having since I stopped breastfeeding. I haven't breastfed for about one month now, & I am not eating anymore than I was before (in fact I am eating less) & I have continued the same amount of exercise I was doing before, & I have been gaining weight, & I don't know why! I am very upset by this, & I am just wondering if anyone can relate, or has any advice on this for me. Secondly, I still do not have my period, & I am wondering why it hasn't come back now since I have fully stopped breastfeeding. Any advice on this too?? If someone could give me some advice or a suggestion, that would be great! Thanks!!

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

I just wanted to say thank you to all of the great advice that you all gave me on this! I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one who has ever had this problem!! I went to see my Dr. & she had two blood tests done: one for pregnancy & then a second for my thyroid. I will be getting the results on Monday. If those both come back negative, then she wants me to take some progesterone pills to see if that makes me get my period. Anyways, I just wanted to say thank you all very much again & have a great weekend!!

:) Natalie

More Answers

Hi Natalie, first of all let me say, job well done. Not many women make it past the first month of breatfeeding. I breastfed 4 babies. Just a couple thoughts- 1) Your body is still in the mode of being a milk factory. Hormone levels take awhile to regulate. It is saying reserve what fat you have and even store some extra fat just in case you change your mind or have another baby. 2) Have your Dr. check your thyroid. Gaining weight and no periods are symptoms of Low thyroid. If you have never had your thyroid tested it could be a good place to start. Test now and them if symptoms continue test later and see if there are any changes. Normal thyroid levels have a wide range so you could test normal but still be low for your body. Just a couple thoughts from someone who has walked in those shoes. God bless. B. in BV

1 mom found this helpful

Weight gain could be caused by and underactive thyroid. Ask your doctr to check yours. If you truly are eating and exercizsing the same/less cut back on carbohydrates, every waist lines enemy. Sometimes women take a while for their periods to come back after breastfeeding stops. Enjoy it while you can. If you are truly concerned, ask your doctor.

Its been 3 months since I stopped breastfeeding and I still haven't had a regular period - so don't stress out. It will take a few months for your hormones to regulate.
As far as the weight gain - breastfeeding burns a lot of calories so maybe you just need to restrict your calorie intake even more. Or who knows, maybe its just water weight from your hormones leveling out. Be patient... give it a few months to see what happens before you start making any major changes.

Try a home pregnancy test to rule that out. Then check with your doctor to rule out any other possible medical issues. After that, just a little adjustment to exercise or calorie intake should do the trick.

Congrats on being able to nurse so long. SOME of us women who didn't make it past the first month sure wish it had been possible to do so.

I gained 35 pounds after I quit brestfeeding and my hormones got all out of whack. Which after talking to docyors I learned is completely normal, just nobody told me until it was too late. I went in to post partum after I quit breastfeeding and never saw it coming because I was fine up until then 9 monthes after giving birth. Definetly go slow and with some help from an unbias person to tell you if they notice any changes to keep you aware of what is happening to your body. I wish I had wheened my body off of if. Good luck

Hi Natalie, The biggest culprit is of course a change in hormones. Once you stop breastfeeding your body stops releasing certain hormones. Another problem to look at is the amount of water you're drinking. When we are breastfeeding we naturally drink more water, but then when we stop we don't feel as thirsty. That whole 6 to 8 glasses a day is no joke. It really does keep the pounds off. Try to remember how much water you were drinking before you quit breastfeeding and that should solve the problem. Also remember to drink pure water not from tap. Congrates on your new bundle of joy.

Hi there. Are you sure your not pregnant? I ebf my 15 month ol who still nurses, and I started my perid when he was only 3 months! Im sorry I dont have a solid suggestion! Good Luck!

Hi Natalie,

Ah yes...breastfeeding is wonderful in so many ways, and one of those ways, is keeping our metabolism going strong. I bet things will level off soon but if you continue to gain weight, I would just check in with your doctor.

Is it possible that your body is preparing for your period and thus you are retaining water? I ask because I just got my first period a few weeks ago. I scaled way back on breastfeeding after my daughter hit a little over a year and am just doing it in the mornings. It's barely anything. Anyhow, I noticed that I put on weight all of a sudden and panicked but realized it was pms, and, after my period, I felt more normal. With that said, I definitely weigh a little more than when I was breastfeeding.

Your period can take up to 6 weeks after you stop breastfeeding. Maybe even longer? All of our bodies are so different. Some women get their period back during breastfeeding early on.

I would check in with your doctor though if you're concerned!

Jen

You burn 500 calories when you breastfeed. So, by keeping everything the same you are still not burning those calories. I kept extra weight on until I made an effort to adjust my eating and exercise. I was the thinnest I had ever been breastfeeding. Not fun, but you have to either cut calories or step up the exercise. Unfortunately woman's metabolism is affected by many things. It is also normal not to have periods for a few months after discontinuing breastfeeding. But, my friend still got pregnant. Hope this helps. If you want me to help you with calorie reduction, my company has come out with a great weight loss plan. Let me know.

Hi Natalie -

My advice is to just hang in there and keep doing what you are doing! I think your body has not adjusted to the fact that it has stopped nursing yet. The hormones involved with pregnancy, childbirth and nursing can tend to hang around for up to 6 months once you have stopped nursing so although most everything else is relatively the same, your body is most likely still storing fat in anticipation of nursing. I work with a lot of pregnant women in my office and the way we all change in this process can be quite a vast array!

keep up the good work...it will pay off I am sure!

S.

HI, Natalie,
Same thing happened with me. I lost 60 lbs while breastfeeding and was very thin! Then I stopped after nearly 2 years and gained 10 lbs back (so I was back to my normal weight).
It IS frustrating and like the other mothers say, breastfeeding does burn 500 calories a day, so you have to actually increase the exercise or decrease the calories. I didn't have to lift a finger to lose the 60 lbs, but then after I was done, I had my work cut out for me. Luckily, I got pregnant again and didn't have to worry much about losing it. I will have to think of that a bit later!
good luck!
A.

The reason you are gaining weight is because breastfeeding alone burns up to 500 calories a day. So now that you are not breastfeeding you either need to workout more to burn more calories or change your diet to consume less calories. It's easier then you think; you can simply switch to diet soda, cut out any juice you're drinking (juice has a lot of calories), out cut out any other small amounts of food that have a lot of calories. Good luck to you, we've all been there! ;)

You might want to start writing down everything you eat. I know that I thought I was eating less than I had been, but in reality once I started actually writing it all down, I was eating quite a bit. I personally have found that weight watchers is a great help.

Get your thyroid levels checked. I had lost some pregnancy weight after having my second child, was eating right and exercising, but still was overweight by 30 pounds. I was walking on the treadmill at my healthclub and was reading an article about thyroid conditions. I fit all the symptoms, dry skin, depression, problems sleeping and weight gain. It turns out that during my pregnancy I developed my condition. I started on thyroid replacement and lost 30 pounds in 6 months (I'd continued the exercise and proper eating, but the large weight loss was due to the thyroid.) My cholesterol level also went down.

Hi!
Give it some time, when you stop breastfeeding the whole metabolism changes. I lost a lot of weight when I was breastfeeding (until both my kids were 11 months)but then I gained it back again. And then I lost it again. And the period can take a long time to come back, so don't worry!

OMG- silly question- are you pregnant again?
Ok, if you're not, then did you gain weight easily before you were pregnant? If so, it's probably just your body adjusting again to normal hormones. Good luck- I know I love breastfeeding b/c I eat all day and stay so thin! But thin is not the only beautiful!!

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