This past week I decided to start tackling my ‘baby essentials’ checklist and after looking through the list of clothes the twinsneed and finalising my double pram with buggy board attachment choice I moved onto feeding equipment. To pump or not to pump THAT is the question. Safe to say breastfeeding has been on my mind more than ever recently.
The pressure oooooooooh the pressure!!
When I was pregnant with Eliyah I was dead set on breastfeeding him for a year. Had to. There was no other choice in my mind. So many people around me were telling me to wait and see how it goes but I KNEW it was something I wanted to do. Yes, for all of the reasons stated on the NHS and BabyCentre websites BUT one of the main reasons was to lose the baby weight because EVERYONE had told me it was like magic. I had spent lots of time researching this and it seemed to be true. Breastfeeding would melt away the pounds and give my baby the best start in life… why would you not do it? Seemed like an absolute no brainer to me!!
A trip to St Anne’s Eating Disorder clinic 3-4 weeks before my due date weighed me in at 98kg!!!!!! I tried really hard not to stress about it. I had given up weighing myself a year before, my midwife didn’t weigh me and I hadn’t been checking in on my own scales either because I’d made a conscious decision to throw them out ages ago! I knew I’d gained quite a bit of weight though because I could feel it all over me. You could see it in not only my belly but my legs, arms, face, neck and my butt got real REAL big. In my mind though it was slightly easier to embrace because despite the ravenous hunger, tiredness and sore nipples I’d also read about breastfeeding was going to suck all the fat off of me.
I exclusively breastfed for 10 months. Breast milk was on tap for my boy 24/7 for 10 whole months and guess what….. Nothing happened. My face stayed round and so did my body no matter what I did and the craziest thing is I was eating waaaaaaay less than I had been during pregnancy. I hardly ever felt hungry and 80% of the time was making healthy choices and walking lots but NOTHING CHANGED!!!!!!!
And then I realised with every feed I dropped I started slimming out.
I stopped breastfeeding when Eliyah was 13 months and at 15 months when I fell pregnant again I was close to being back to pre-pregnancy size, feeling a lot more confident in myself and had stopped wearing oversized hoodies and my maternity leggings #GOALS.
The breastfeeding weight loss miracle had been a BIG FAT LIE, for me anyway. But I had given my baby boy the best that Mother Nature had to give and I hadn’t struggled with it. I had been very lucky to have a relatively easy breastfeeding journey and I’m truly thankful for that because I know so many women struggle with it.
Now I’m faced with breastfeeding twins aaaaaaaand I kind of don’t want to.
I keep having a huge debate with myself over whether I should do it at all, possibly just while I have colostrum, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months? Maybe I should mix feed but from the get go or after a few weeks/ months? Should I just see how it goes and maybe end up doing it for a year again? And honestly, coz I just wanna be real with y’all here, all this indecisiveness is fuelled by the fact that I don’t want to stay bigger after giving birth. I want a quicker snap back than last time. I want my waist and cheekbones back. I want to feel comfortable in my body.
Sounds selfish right? It is I guess and I know some of it is ED mentality creeping back in too. There is also the fact that my whole life will be taken up by breastfeeding the twins and I’ll be completely exhausted all the while having a nearly 2 year old to look after. Then there’s the fact that I hated pumping and felt like a cow whilst doing it. I’m also wondering how on earth I’m going to manage breastfeeding at all when I’ll be on my own this time. All of these are valid and very understandable reasons I think however the weight issue climbs it’s way above all those reasons and makes me not want to even try.
Who knows, every postpartum is different they say, maybe breastfeeding and weight loss will work in harmony for me this time. It could be that feeding twins really activates those weight loss genes and I end up being the slimmest I’ve ever been. Why do I even want to be slim? Is it because of pressure that society has put on me? What I really should be focusing on is refraining from binging, purging and falling back into any disordered thoughts.
The internal struggle is real.
You’ll have to find out what I end up doing because I’m not really any closer to figuring out what my plan is. I should probably scrap any thoughts on it and see if I’m even able to breastfeed a second time round in the first place. I’ve heard that can happen.