I breastfeed. I did so exclusively until I returned to work, now I pump and breastfeed. I chose breastfeeding for all of the reasons we've all heard about: healthier for baby, increased immunity for baby, less chance of colic, decreased risk of certain diseases for me, it's free!, and "the pounds will just fall off". I confess that I love nursing my daughter and I get a huge kick out of the big smile she gets when she sees me whipping out a boob for her dining pleasure.
But there are things they don't tell you about breastfeeding. I'm not talking about how hard it is in the beginning (It is. You may know the mechanics but no one gave your baby a lesson in utero.) or cracked nipples (they exist too and they hurt). If you don't know those things beforehand, honestly, you didn't do your homework. Read an article here or there FFS.
I'm talking about this:
It's not really free. Oh, in theory it is, the earth mother brings the child to her breast, cradling him in her arms every single time he wants to eat, but the reality is you need some supplies.
Boppy or other support. Babies get heavy AND your not really going to be gazing into your infants eyes the whole time so it's nice to be able to do it one handed so you can computer, read, channel surf. These run $30-40.
Nipple shields, supplemental feeders whatever you made need some items to get things started, cheap but not free. $10
Breast pump, even if you stay at home surely you can't be there for every single feeding...EVER. Manual $30, Electric $250. I have both.
Bottles, my daughter is picky and we went through several types to find one she would take. To date we have spent about $60 on bottles.
Additional pumping supplies (storage bags, extra parts) - $40
To date (11 weeks) I have spent $410 to feed my daughter for free.
The more disturbing breastfeeding fact that is kept under wraps is: Not Everyone Loses Weight
Most people drop pounds while they are breastfeeding as it requires about 750 extra calories to make breastmilk and about 250 of those come from fat stores. But, hey, guess what. There are some lucky people whose metabolism holds onto extra weight during breastfeeding to ensure the baby can be fed during a famine. Guess who one of those lucky evolutionary jackpot winners is! That's right, me. Call the fucking prize patrol.
I weigh exactly the same as I did one week after giving birth. No more and absolutely no less. I've got my eating under control (sorta), I'm more active (the absence of 50 inches of snow helps there) but my weight is stubborn. It's so frustrating, I feel so fat and frumpy. I was counting on nursing to negate a few of those cupcakes. I knew it wouldn't be a cure all but I never expected this.
I will keep breastfeeding though. I like it. She loves it. Hopefully, we'll get a few less sick days because of it. I just have to wrap my brain around the fact that I probably won't be thinner by summer. Can I accept wearing a bathing suit while fat? Can I buy new clothes in this new size? Isn't it better to look good at the size that I am than to keep wearing maternity clothes waiting to lose weight. Can I say goodbye to the frump and be a BBW for at least a little while? I don't know if I can. It will physically hurt me to spend money on new, bigger clothes but I just can't stand how dumpy I look in my clothes right now. Not to mention the fact that my shoes don't fit (we'll address that in a different post) and that my wedding and engagement rings are too tight. Will accepting my weight help me feel a little more sexy, because right now I cringe when my hubs looks at me and sexy time is a rarity. I know he isn't crazy about the weight either though he would never say so.
Right now I am at a loss as to how to accept fat mommyhood.