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Breastfeeding and weight gain

I featured in a recent Daily Mail feature titled 'the great myth of breastfeeding and weight loss'. Let's get one thing straight breastfeeding DIDN'T make me  gain weight.
Bad diet and a sedentary daytime routine breastfeeding SAHM of a younger nursling led to my weight gain.
After all being a mum who breastfeds on demand, means that you can't hand your baby over to someone else while you get on with life as before. There's no hitting the gym three times a work out and you can't really go for a run whilst baby wearing.
Is that a bad thing?
In a word- no
Nature/evolution/God intended us to stay close to our children, to feed them on demand until they can fend for themselves. It's natures way of getting you to slow down and concentrate on whats important, ensuring you have a strong attachment with your baby.
Am I unhappy with my new figure?
I mourn my old wardrobe. But I wouldn't trade the relationship I have with my son, and the unbelievably long list of health benefits we both have from breastfeeding to be slimmer.
I'm a mum now , and as cliche as it sounds my new curves are a reflection of my new life. Let's be blunt. Nothing compares to how good breastfeeding feels.
Does that if you breastfeed you will gain weight?
I hope was candid enough in my interview that, the reason I gained weight was that I snacked. Too much. On crud. We are told breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day.  The reality is most mums burn 300 calories a day. Common sense says dont eat it in biscuits.
Like lots of new mums I was tired. Really tired. Plus breastfeeding makes you ravenous. Sometimes after a feed I craved protein so much I could eat a whole chicken. I didn't have a chicken. I just had biscuits.
Why would you agree to do an article about weight gain?
To be honest.
We don't talk about breastfeeding enough. Before I gave birth I literally knew nothing, apart from the fact that breastfeeding would help you get back in to shape and that it was best for baby.
Now I know so much more- It's crap we dont talk about all the elements of breastfeeding in the uk.
Yes breastfeeding does help your uterus shrink down post partum - I was back in size 10s, 10 days post partum.
Yes breastfeeding burns  calories. But it doesn't act as an insurance policy against bad lifestyle choices.
So when we talk about breastfeeding to new mums or mums to be, lets lead with the Real preventative effects of breastfeeding like the reduction in:
Ovarian cancer
Uterine cancer
Breast cancer
Post natal depression
I have blogged before about the many many benefits of breastfeeding here
Why would I talk to the Daily Mail about breastfeeding?
Because we need to talk about ALL elements of a breastfeeding relationship. Good and bad, if we want to improve our national statistics for breastfeeding past six weeks.
We dont talk about mastits, cracked  nipples, cruddy latches, tongue ties , nursing strikes, biting or the effects of breastfeeding on body image.
If mums expect these hurdles, know they are normal, and how to get the support they need to overcome them, we can improve these rates.
Will I have to give up breastfeeding to loose weight?
Hell no.
This article was a wake up call for me. It's coincided with some significant lifestyle changes.
I've quit shopping in super markets (so long convenience processed food) and been working on a kitchen garden.
Better lifestyle choices combined with the fact my son is now 8 months and is suddenly into everything (I spend most of my day chasing the little monster!) Has resulted in me losing two of the three inches gained to my waist in less than a month.
I really would like to take this opportunity to urge any expectant mums, or any mums with concerns with breastfeeding to contact their local La leche league and speak to a breastfeeding peer supporter. They will be miles more help than your health visitor.

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