Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Enjoying EBF, but I want my body back!

  1. #1

    Default Enjoying EBF, but I want my body back!

    I am currently EBF my 3 month old. He is thriving and I am enjoying BF him. However, I am ready for some freedom and to feel like myself again! I have low sexual desire and am experiencing vaginal dryness. Also, I feel like my breasts are completely off limits to my spouse. In addition, I have other children, family, friends and spouse who would really enjoy feeding baby. I would enjoy that, too! I feel like I am missing out on some living that is going on out there as I sit with a baby to breast 8 times/24 hour period. Another minor issue is that I am ready to lose these last few pounds that breastfeeding has required me to hold on to. And, finally, baby is gaining fine, but really slowly. I'm not concerned about his weight per se, but just thought it should be mentioned since it is one of the reasons that is making me lean towards transitioning to formula. My question is: how have you all resolved the conflict of enjoying the experience, yet wanting to quit at the same time?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: Enjoying EBF, but I want my body back!

    It sounds like you are definitely conflicted. What would help sway you towards sticking with it for at least one year? Formula just does not offer the necessary building blocks for life as breast milk does, I mean it covers what it can but no lab can make what our bodies do. Maybe make a pros and cons list of breast milk vs formula, not just for your own needs but for your baby's? I can say this: there is no guarantee that weaning now would allow you to have increased sexual desire, nor would it help you get your life back since you are a new mom! I also noticed you said you are "sitting with a baby to breast 8 times/24 hr period". What is stopping you from being mobile with baby while you bf? I wore my baby and breastfed in my ergo (he is now a toddler and too heavy, but also nurses way less).
    About the weight loss, I have continued to lose and am now at 18 months post partum. There was a period where I was storing more fat when as you say, you need it, but as he grew he needed less fat and my body has just shed pounds like no tomorrow. I'm now fitting into all pre-pregnancy clothes and even my breasts have reduced in size.
    I just googled breast milk versus formula and got this article: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/fee...lk-and-formula

    There are probably a ton of articles on this very website to help you decide as well!
    We and with our little monkey, born 9/30/2012.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,259

    Default Re: Enjoying EBF, but I want my body back!

    For me, the limitations that come with nursing a baby are bearable because babyhood is so short, and all the irritations pass quickly. Also, when I look back at my mothering journey, I want to be able to say "I did my best for my kids even when it came at a cost to me."

    You're 3 months into breastfeeding, which means you are still in the most intense and demanding stages of your baby's life. But it won't always be like this! In another 3 months, you can introduce solids and that will start taking some of the pressure off of you to be your baby's sole food source. Your libido will come back and the vaginal dryness will pass with time- most moms get their libidos back and normal levels of lubrication by the time their fertility returns. Your breasts will go back to being "in the game" when it comes to intimacy with your partner.

    Meanwhile, there are things you can do to improve these issues in your life! You can invest in a sexy bra and wear that when your breasts are feeling off-limits but you would still like them to provide a visual treat. If vaginal dryness is a problem, talk to your midwife or doctor- there are topical estrogen creams you can use to restore elasticity and lubrication (just be aware that they have the potential to impact milk supply). And if you want to have some time away from your baby, you can either pump and provide your milk in a bottle or supplement with formula. Breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing, and even part-time breastfeeding helps moms and babies achieve normal health outcomes.

    It's a myth that breastfeeding "requires" you to hold onto additional weight. In fact, breastfeeding mothers report a faster return to pre-baby weight than those who do not nurse- remember, nursing a baby burns about 300-500 calories per day! That's like an hour on the stair master, just from sitting on your butt and nursing! If you're having trouble losing weight, I suggest getting a copy of Eileen Behan's excellent book "Eat Well, Lose Weight, While Breastfeeding" and use that as a guide.
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
    Posts
    17,467

    Default Re: Enjoying EBF, but I want my body back!

    I wasn't conflicted at 3months because I felt like keeping my baby healthy trumped all things when he was still so very small and vulnerable. I had my baby in Dec and wouldn't have dreamed of weaning him when it was still so cold and people were still passing around sickness. I would have felt this way times a million if I had older children. However I did gain some of this freedom you speak of by consistently pumping one bottle a day every morning from about 5 weeks on. So my DH could take the baby, bond via feeding and give me a 2hour break every night after dinner. On the weekends those bottles could be used so that I could get dressed to out uninterrupted and then..by the 3month point on the weekends I could take those 2hour breaks away from the house. So I encourage you to pump milk so that others can feed your LO and so that you don't feel quite so tethered to your infant. But don't compromise his nutrition at this point.
    Also lube works for the vaginal dryness.

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Enjoying EBF, but I want my body back!

    I definitely had fantasies when my babies were young that formula would make things easier. That they would sleep, I would sleep, I wouldn't be so exhausted, baby wouldn't be so reliant on ME all the time, I wouldn't leak all the time, wouldn't have to pump while at work, etc! So I totally hear you. But I think I realized that the biggest change was the fact that I had a young baby, not the fact that I was breastfeeding that baby, and taking care of young babies is hard! Formula does not magically make babies sleep or allow you to live the life you lived pre-baby. It's just a less convenient (in my opinion), substandard form of nutrition. I also really can't imagine mothering a baby without breastfeeding. It's so much more than nutrition - though of course that's an important part of it - but it's also just such a wonderful feeling when baby gets older and is SO happy to nurse! And a very convenient way of putting baby to sleep, soothing baby, etc. Plus the idea of having to wash bottles all the time, mix formula, make sure I had formula and clean water when out and about, drag my butt into the kitchen at night and fix a bottle while baby is screaming - that all seemed like a big pain. Once you get your rhythm down breastfeeding is actually very easy and convenient. You want to go out with baby? Grab some diapers and go! Baby is hungry at night? Latch baby on, let him nurse, and go back to sleep! I do think more of the enjoyable part of breastfeeding comes after the first few months, though.

    PPs have covered some of your other specific concerns, but I do want to mention that ounce-for-ounce breastmilk is the most calorie-dense food you can offer baby. If you're concerned about baby's weight gain, it never hurts to offer to nurse more often. Eight times in 24 hours is actually on the low side.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Enjoying EBF, but I want my body back!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*brboobs View Post
    I am currently EBF my 3 month old. He is thriving and I am enjoying BF him. However, I am ready for some freedom and to feel like myself again! I have low sexual desire and am experiencing vaginal dryness. Also, I feel like my breasts are completely off limits to my spouse. In addition, I have other children, family, friends and spouse who would really enjoy feeding baby. I would enjoy that, too! I feel like I am missing out on some living that is going on out there as I sit with a baby to breast 8 times/24 hour period. Another minor issue is that I am ready to lose these last few pounds that breastfeeding has required me to hold on to. And, finally, baby is gaining fine, but really slowly. I'm not concerned about his weight per se, but just thought it should be mentioned since it is one of the reasons that is making me lean towards transitioning to formula. My question is: how have you all resolved the conflict of enjoying the experience, yet wanting to quit at the same time?
    Congrats on your new baby!! Being a mom is hard. Having gone both routes myself, as I have two children, I can honestly say I would chose BF all over again.

    My first child was 100% formula fed. I was in great shape, having sex, going out, etc all in a few months post partum. Please remember that this scenario is not normal! It's really not. Maybe it is in formula culture, but not biologically or historically. Yes I had all this, but I had the most awful post partum depression and I grieved deeply over my failure at trying to BF her. We tried for 2 weeks, did a lot of pumping and gave up. I had a lot going on, both my husband and I had lost our jobs, we had to move 4 hours from our family, we lost our dog, and had our first child within 2 months time! All that happened! I was a mess.

    So yeah, formula is easy in the sense that someone else can feed your baby the artificial milk. I guess. I'm sure it depends on who you ask. HOWEVER, I would never choose that again. My 15 month old (second child, born in Dec 2012) has never had a bottle once. She refused. I nurse her to sleep most nights. And I lost all the baby weight and right now I look like my old self, I lost 55lbs through just nursing. We nurse a ton. I work out again, and I go out at night again for a few drinks, etc because she just started accepting my husband putting her to sleep. Was it hard that no one except me could feed her? Sometimes. But you know what, she makes me feel like the most amazing person. I used to scoff at moms who nursed round the clock but now I'm one of them and I'd never go back. Life can wait a few years. There's plenty of time. She'll grow up and I treasure every single moment. Whatever you decide do what's best for you and your child. Just remember that time flies, and all those things you want, you can have.

    You'll lose the weight, you can work out now if you're not too tired. I lost all my weight eventually, it took about a year. Wouldn't it be worth it to just put that on hold for awhile, knowing you can lose a few pounds any time? And as far as other people feeding her, instead of giving away that responsibility to those other people, maybe you could try to make nursing more relaxing so that you don't feel the need to have others feed her? If you're desperate for a break you could always try a syringe or a bottle with your own milk.
    Last edited by @llli*karrieperry; March 26th, 2014 at 06:16 PM.
    and Mama to two little girls

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Enjoying EBF, but I want my body back!

    oh yeah, and yes...formula does not magically make babies do ANYTHING. My friend's baby has lots of sleep issues and he is 100% formula. My daughter had terrible constipation from formula. The list goes on.
    and Mama to two little girls

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •