Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Lying Liar

I get very frustrated with the whole "you cannot lose weight while breastfeeding" comments. Salma Hayek, who I normally love, was quoted as saying on Oprah the other day:

I gained a lot of weight. I had gestational diabetes. The pregnancy was really difficult for me. I thought, 'As soon as this baby's out, I'm just going to lose all the weight superfast because I'm going to breastfeed, and everybody tells you if you breastfeed, [the weight] is going to come off.'

It's a lie; It's not true. I'm going to say something. Except for a couple of exceptions, the only reason people lose weight like that when they're breastfeeding -- it's cause they're not eating and they're breastfeeding. And this is not good for the baby.

It takes you nine months to get it, and nine months to lose it. There are shortcuts, but it's not good for the baby. So I'm taking my time. I've lost a lot -- most of -- the weight and I'm very proud of it, because it's been really hard work studying what can I eat that's healthy for me, what's healthy for her. But I'm still losing, even if it's slow. And I've been working out.

I'm proud of what I've lost. And the rest is going to go when it's time to go.

She is correct that if you gain a ton of weight, it is not going to just magically melt off simply by breastfeeding. Fortunately for me, the weight did come off quite easily. I gained 20 lbs with both pregnancies and was able to lose the weight within about 4 weeks with both pregnancies.

However, I am still overweight and certainly cannot claim to have a rockin' bod. BUT. I was able to lose my baby weight quite easily and I am quite certain that breastfeeding helped with that.

The rest of the weight I am carting around on my hips? Sadly, is mine all mine. Sigh.


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lorib said...

I'm torn on this topic. Andrew is almost nine months and I'm happy to say we are still breastfeeding. I gained about 35 pounds with Andrew and still have around 15 to lose. When I have tried cutting back on calories, I definitely did see a drop in my milk production so I've decided not to sweat it until I stop nursing. It is hard enough to keep up my milk supply since I am pumping half the time. I also found that, with both kids, while I am breastfeeding I am hungry all the time. So I think you can lose weight while nursing but it is a very delicate balance if you are having trouble getting the weight to come off easily and try to 'diet' while nursing.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

One thing I do like about Salma Hayek and this comment is that she is being brutally honest about the fact that even her (hot hot hot) body changed post-pregnancy. God bless Gwyneth Paltrow and her second day size 2 pant size, but it just doesn't reflect reality for most people.

This comment may also have been aimed at people like Naomi Watts & others who claimed they lost all the weight *simply* through breastfeeding. While some may be telling the truth...well, this is Hollywood and I think Salma is kind of telling it like it is over here, not necessarily the rest of the world. When 9/10 people claim they lost weight by "pilates" or "breastfeeding" in Hollywood what they really mean is "tummy tuck" and "lipo" and "extreme diets".

Emily said...

I also think that Salma Hayek was attempting to counter the mostly unrealistic images of post-baby weight loss coming out of Hollywood. I'm still bf'ing my 10-month-old, and believe me, the pounds did not melt off! And exclusive breastfeeding introduces different demands on a mother's time and energy - whether or not she is pumping. In some ways, those demands can make it tougher to lose weight. In any case, I found Hayek's comments to be refreshing.