Monkey is now 4 and a half months old, and I’d like to nurse until he’s at least 6 months old, maybe up to a full year. (My pediatrician says a good measuring stick is stopping when he’s old enough to ask for it 😉 Pumping at work hasn’t been too much of a hassle, and we’ve settled into a nighttime feeding routine that prevents engorgement while also maintaining my supply. Breastfeeding has also done amazing things for pregnancy weight loss; except for some issues caused by a persistent baby belly, I’ve made it back into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes. Soooo… continuing to breastfeed a while longer is really a no-brainer.
EXCEPT, my milk supply is suddenly (like within the last couple of days) starting to decrease. Seemingly out of nowhere. Which is kind of really freaking me out. I don’t want to start Monkey on formula if I don’t need to, and I have a while before I can start introducing cow’s milk. Above all, I’m just not ready to start weaning, so why is my body starting the process for me? I’m not exceptionally stressed, my diet hasn’t dramatically changed, and I’m still pumping/nursing on the same schedule. What’s the deal?
I think, maybe, I’ve figured out one problem. My weight loss recently hit a brick wall. In an effort to further flatten my baby belly, I’ve been running at work (which, consequently, also relieves stress) and cutting extra carbs/sweets/fats. Not a huge change in diet, but definitely enough to notice a few more pangs of hunger in the evening before we get Monkey to bed and finally eat dinner. This change, combined with increased activity, is evidently causing my boobs to go on strike:
There are plenty of good reasons to stop breastfeeding – a more girlish figure is not one of them. So I guess I’m going to have to live with this baby belly a bit longer. I’m not giving up running – I need that too much for my sanity. Instead, I’m going back to eating whenever I’m hungry – which is, like, all the time. I’ll do what I can to make sure most of what I eat is healthy (not always easy when you’re a mommy scientist on the run). But I also won’t deny myself a quick snack just because Taco Bell is the only place to stop on the way home from work.
I’m sure there are other ideas out there for how to maintain nutritious, calorie-rich diets when breastfeeding/working/mommying. Anyone care to share???