Monday, April 28, 2014

Update on Breastfeeding and My Post-Partum Body

I am so incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to breastfeed my second child, just like I did for my first. I breastfed Henry for 14 months and am planning to at least cross the 12-month mark with Tate. I am happy to report that it has been so much easier this time! The first time around, my nipples were incredibly sore (think tears every time he latched on), I fought clogged ducts left and right (hello, cabbage compresses!), I had a couple of mastitis scares, and Henry took at least 45 minutes to eat for the first three months of his life (at least eight times a day!). It was a labor of love for sure. 

This time around has been much, much smoother. Thank you, Body! I even managed to avoid pumping all together for the second time. With Henry, I spent so much of my day breastfeeding that I couldn't bear the thought of also hooking myself up to a machine. On top of that, I was never very successful at pumping very much milk. I feel so fortunate that I was able to continue the no-pumping trend with Tate. In a sense, it's a good thing that the nanny share fell through. Now that we have a nanny for ourselves, I'm able to ask her for extra help when I need it, such as the time I needed to observe a teaching candidate in San Antonio and the times I needed to attend all-day trainings. In the case of the trainings, she brings Tate to me after his first nap. She parks right out front and I run down, feed him in the car, snap my bra back up, and run back upstairs. 

I'm also glad that I started running sooner this time around. With Henry, I walked until I was nearly done breastfeeding because my midwife said that running was hard on the joints (particularly when breastfeeding was altering your hormones). Really, I was just using it as an excuse to procrastinate about getting back into the habit of exercising. 

As summer approaches, I am particularly eager to reclaim my body. I decided to use MyFitnessPal again. I actually prefer Weight Watchers, but I appreciate that MyFitnessPal is free. 

I set it up so that my goal is to lose 0.5 pounds a week. Even with a very mild goal, my allocated number of calories feels so low! On Sunday I had a protein bar for breakfast, barley with stir fry for lunch, and three pieces of pizza for dinner (from a restaurant) and I was way over my recommended amount (the pizza slices had 400 calories each!). And that was even after I got credit for running for 45 minutes! 

That's why I find healthy living apps so helpful. They help me recalibrate my sense of portion size. I'm never good at keeping those kinds of things going, but hopefully I'll do it long enough to retrain my mind about how much I should be eating on a daily basis. 

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Allison El Koubi said...

Hey Sara!
So happy that breastfeeding has gone so well for you the second time around. I am hoping for the same - although I didn't have quite so many problems the first time, it was pretty painful during the 1st month or so.

I also love MyFitnessPal! I started using it again once we moved to Lafayette…to try to get some of this pregnancy weight off (I gained 70 lbs with Marc - eek!!) I didn't think I went hog wild with eating, but I guess I had a few too many milkshakes and french fries…anyway, I was still 40 lbs over where I wanted to be at his 1st birthday. I joined a gym here in Laffy and was able to lose 15 lbs in the first 6 weeks! Then, the weight stopped coming off…because I was preggo again :) I've been better at not putting on quite so much this time around, thank goodness, but I'll probably still be 30-40 lbs from where I want to be after the baby arrives and I have that initial wave of weight loss.

I'm curious - how do you account for breastfeeding in MyFitnessPal? I wanted to be sure I was getting enough calories to keep that up - because they are definitely limited, even when you put in reasonable weight loss goals.

Thanks!! Hope you all are well.
xo Allison

Sara E. Cotner said...

So great to hear from you, Allison! I miss you so much!

I haven't thought much about the breastfeeding piece because I'm getting so close to finishing. Have you tried googling it?

I would think you could decrease the amount of weight you want to lose each week (just in the app) and that way it would give you more calories.

Wishing you all the best with your second pregnancy!

Huge hugs,


violarulz/ducksandbooks said...

If you do feel like re-joining WW, feel free to friend me (violarulz). I'm always looking for other healthy-focus WW friends!

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