Focusing on Another Weight

Weight: n. The amount or quantity of heaviness or mass; amount a thing weighs.

I’ve been feeling heavy lately, but not because my jeans are too tight.

My goal, as you know, has been to lose 40 pounds by August 4. So, I’ve been proactively going to the gym, cutting calories (in a healthy way) and stepping up the pace even more. I was feeling good, even energized, by my new routine.

But, I began noticing some changes that concerned me.

As a breastfeeding mom who exclusively nursed my son until he was 14 months old, I have the same commitment to my daughter, which is make it to 12 months. All the studies support breastfeeding for improved bonding, improved immunity, improved intelligence…you name it. It’s very special and very important to me. So much so that my breast pump and I are practically joined at the err…hip. Twice a day every day at work, the lactation room and I have a 20-minute date. It takes time out of my work day and, given that I’m down a team member and work for a crazy healthy (and exploding!) company, every minute is a precious, limited commodity.

I began my routine two weeks ago as usual and began to notice a steady drop in what my body supplied. I brushed it off and reminded myself that I needed to drink more water. Still, the “problem” continued and I began to stress.

On Monday, we saw my 9-month-old daughter’s pediatrician who said her head circumference and her height were on target; that her developmental milestones were dead on and that she seemed to be in great spirits. But…how much was she eating? What was she eating? How much milk was she taking in?

We left the pediatrician’s office with an appointment reminder slip in hand to see her again a month later for a “weight check up.” Strict orders to increase supply of milk or we’d be resorting to…formula supplementation. I don’t think formula is evil, please don’t get me wrong; it’s just not my first choice. I don’t want to lose the special bond I have breastfeeding my daughter and I know supplementation can be a slippery slope. I want to make sure her immunity is being built on the same solid foundation as my son’s (even though it’s pretty crummy right now. Thanks, preschool!).

All of this is not the end of the world, but I left  the office that day feeling like the worst mom on the planet.

Was she getting enough? Did she feel hungry all the time or something? I thought we were giving her enough with the three solid feedings, milk before work, during the day and at night and her snacks…she’s not a fussy baby. Wouldn’t she let us know?

The questions are still swirling through my head as I scan articles on the CDC’s website; the Mayo Clinic’s website and chock my head full of more information on how to increase milk supply than I ever thought I’d want to know. Fenugreek three times daily; empty your breasts whenever you can to “trick” them into thinking they need to supply more. More water. Less stress. More breastfeeding. Less solids.

It’s overwhelming. So much so that for the first time in months, I caught a random cold bug and it kicked my butt. I’m better now, but I’m not.

Every minute I’m wondering if she’s gained a few ounces; does she have what she needs; is there anything more I can do? I’m worrying, and meanwhile, my daughter just plays and chatters away, crawls all over the floor and grins her big, toothless smile, dimple in her right cheek.

So, yes, I have a gym membership. Yes, I’ve used my gym membership. Yes, I have healthy foods and yes, I’m eating healthy foods. But now’s not the time for focusing on the scale. I can’t lose my breast milk. I WON’T lose my breast milk.

For now, the only weight I’ll be focusing on will be my daughter’s.

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

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2 comments

  1. It’s such a fine line! But know that you are a great mother! Your baby is happy and healthy and that’s the most important part of all! Lactation cookies worked for me when I noticed a dip in my supply around 9 months. They work and are yummy! Stay strong, mama!! You have my support, encouragement and prayers!

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