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A Great Reason Not to Wean

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I've discovered a great reason not to wean your kids.

Weight Gain.

For some reason, I'd bought into the whole idea that once I stopped pumping, I'd finally be able to lose a few more pounds because my body wouldn't be holding on to those fat deposits to make sure it could keep creating that high-calorie milk.

I was wrong. What I should have considered was that for more than a year I was pumping out anywhere from 32-45 ounces of breast milk a day. My breast milk contains 25 calories an ounce, which means that I was pumping anywhere from 800 to 1125 calories a day.

That's a lot of calories...to put that in perspective, I can burn about 500 calories by spending an hour on an elliptical trainer at a fairly difficult level. In other words, breastfeeding gave me the equivilent of a two hour work-out each day when it came to calories burned.

While that came in handy for losing my pregnancy weight, I never did make it much below where I started out and my body just seemed to adapt my metabolism to the new calorie needs.

That means that when I quit pumping...my metabolism was screwed up...which meant I gained 8 pounds in about two weeks.


Back down to almost normal now, but the days of eating fun foods and not having to exercise much have come to a close. Now it's regular walks and veggies...sigh...


  1. Blogger Binky | 8:36 PM |  

    You're speaking my language! I am five months into breast feeding my daughter and I rue the day when it must come to an end. I like to think of breast feeding as the best exercise one can get while sitting on her ass. I extol breastfeeding's virtues whenever anyone comments on my weight loss. They're going to have to rip that girl from my engorged mammary in order to get me to stop!

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