Is It Possible to Start Breastfeeding Again?
I had a very interesting dream the other night...and in it, I began breastfeeding my 18-month-old daughter. That, in itself, was not the peculiar part. What is peculiar is that I stopped nursing about 9 months ago. And it’s not like I walk around thinking, “Gosh, I really miss lactating.” Nope…not even a little.
So what would prompt a dream about trying to resume breastfeeding - which I don't even think is possible at this point? My entire motivation was to lose weight.
You read this correctly. In this dream, I tried to coax my 18-month-old to start nursing again so that I could lose weight. Yes, my subconscious was entertaining the idea of starting to breastfeed my daughter again, so I could burn some much-needed calories. Is this a sign of my vanity? Absolutely. Is this an indication that I can't button some of my pants? Totally. As I said to a coworker who noted how nice my salad looked at lunch the other day, "I am trying not to be fat. And it is very hard."
The dumbfounding part of this whole quest to not look like I had a child thing, is that I was much thinner last summer, when I was only about 6 months post-postpartum. My sister, who delivered my niece 3 days after I had my daughter, also has noted the same perplexing weight issues. This past weekend, I was pondering the reasons why I am gaining weight that seemed to melt away last year, so I assessed my behavior.
Being a New Yorker, I walk just about as much as I did last year. And being a single mom, my exercise routine is confined to scrubbing the tub, lifting my daughter, carrying 10 grocery bags while pushing a stroller - just as it was last year. I don’t have time to pee by myself, so hitting the gym is just not an option. My diet hasn't really changed, although perhaps I am having an extra glass of wine in the evening every now and again...but usually that only accounts for a pound or two. So what the hell could be causing this extra cushion? Well after my careful analysis turned up no clues, I really started to wonder if someone was sneaking into my closet and shrinking my clothes behind my back.
And then it came to me this past weekend, as I was putting the last spoonful of my second serving of strawberry shortcake into my mouth. There is one big difference about this summer and last summer. Actually 2 big differences. And that would be the absence of lactating breasts. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I had a complicated relationship with nursing...I loved the bonding, appreciated the health benefits, but found it very difficult to manage once I returned to work full-time. But I did appreciate the calorie burning aspect of it. Apparently more than I even realized. You see, I trained for and ran two half marathons in the six months before I got pregnant, then I grew a nearly ten pound child, and then I breastfed that child for 9 months. And all that time, I was paying little attention to how much I ate.
Now however, there is no way to burn an extra 500 calories, built into my schedule.
I give my brain credit for pointing out to me what would really help me drop the weight, although I know, that instead I need to skip the second serving of strawberry shortcake, and perhaps pass on the wine in the evening, and take the stairs more frequently at the office. All of the sudden, breastfeeding doesn’t seem like it was so much work after all.