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Thread: Hormonal mess - extended breastfeeding help!

  1. #1

    Question Hormonal mess - extended breastfeeding help!

    I am breastfeeding my 18 month old. At around 15 months my period came back and since then I am gaining so much weight. It cannot be simple because I am eating higher calories in comparison to milk production. True I am not producing that much milk as my son is nursing less than before but I know I am not eating that much to warrant this extraordinary weight gain.
    Plus I am just not feeling fit and healthy. I have lost lean muscle, my workouts are suffering not able to perform, sprint, or so anything I used to do earlier well.
    I was in much better shape during pregnancy and one year post partum than I am now.
    I feel sluggish and bloated and my health is really suffering.
    I am quite sure it is linked to hormones from extended breastfeeding. Now that my supply has dwindled I may be estrogen dominant and lacking in nutrients? Anyone experienced this?

    Thanks you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Hormonal mess - extended breastfeeding help!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*wholesomemamma View Post
    I am breastfeeding my 18 month old. At around 15 months my period came back and since then I am gaining so much weight. It cannot be simple because I am eating higher calories in comparison to milk production. True I am not producing that much milk as my son is nursing less than before but I know I am not eating that much to warrant this extraordinary weight gain.
    Plus I am just not feeling fit and healthy. I have lost lean muscle, my workouts are suffering not able to perform, sprint, or so anything I used to do earlier well.
    I was in much better shape during pregnancy and one year post partum than I am now.
    I feel sluggish and bloated and my health is really suffering.
    I am quite sure it is linked to hormones from extended breastfeeding. Now that my supply has dwindled I may be estrogen dominant and lacking in nutrients? Anyone experienced this?

    Thanks you!
    I'm still nursing my 15 month old like 8x or more per day...my period came back at 9 months PP...I didn't have your experience, if anything I've had the opposite, so maybe someone can help? Maybe there is another hormonal issue going on causing weight gain that isn't related to nursing? Have you had a regular checkup lately? I would definitely mention your symptoms to your doctor.
    and Mama to two little girls

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,593

    Default Re: Hormonal mess - extended breastfeeding help!

    What makes you think this has anything to do with breastfeeding? You felt healthier in the early months post partum, and your breastfeeding hormones were far more elevated then.

    Of course every mother is different, but I hear this one about supposed hormone issue when breastfeeding past (6 months, 1 year, two years, take your pick) and it does not make sense to me. Breastfeeding for years is the biological norm. What you are doing by nursing an 18 month old is not 'extended' anything, it is normal, biologically speaking. It makes little sense that a biologically normal activity is going to wreck havoc on a mothers system.

    This started after your period returned? So what about the hormones of your renewed fertility? hormonally, the changes there would be my first suspect, as in some cases the return to fertility is a shock to the system. My first period came when my oldest was about 17 months and I had zero energy for about a month. Also, cycles can vary in some cases. Could you be pregnant? Have you started or changed your birth control?

    Many moms find that it is very easy to lose and keep weight off with a frequently nursing baby, but that 'magic' effect of breastfeeding only lasts so long. Many moms find they have to be much more careful about what they eat and/or up the exercise at some point down the line or they begin gaining the weight they lost post partum back, at times as rapidly as it was lost before.

    Personally I find mothering a toddler is often MORE tiring, with less sleep and less time to exercise than with a baby. Poor sleep will also contribute to weight gain.

    That said, if you truly think you have a hormone imbalance, whether it is caused by breastfeeding or not, I would suggest that you speak to your doctor about having a workup.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,107

    Default Re: Hormonal mess - extended breastfeeding help!

    with LLLMeg. This does not sound like a problem stemming from breastfeeding. But it could still be hormonal. IMO, all moms should be tested for thyroid function in the year following birth, since postpartum thyroiditis affects about 1-5% of women (regardless of whether or not they nurse their babies). And poor thyroid function can cause weight gain, bloating, and exhaustion, all of which you mention.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hormonal mess - extended breastfeeding help!

    Hi. thanks for your replies! dont get me wrong. i wont change a minute of breastfeedng. its the best experience ever.
    its just that i am wondering if it could be hormones or nutrition thats causing me to feel this way and bloat. i will take your advise and get tests done. it could be really low progesterone levels due to suppression of ovulation too.
    thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Hormonal mess - extended breastfeeding help!

    "Thyroid" was going through my mind, reading your post. As mommal says it is common postpartum, and common in young women generally, so it might be something to look into. I have gained some weight back that I lost with breastfeeding (my LO is now 2 and still BFing) but without the bloating, fatigue, exercise intolerance you describe - in fact I feel I'm steadily gaining ground when it comes to fitness. Have you changed anything in your diet lately?

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