I am furious.  I'm gaining weight, still, about 2 pounds a week.  I have been exercising a lot and trying desperately to control my eating with some success.  I count calories religiously and even allowing for significant error in counting (like restaurant meals and cookie amnesia) there is no way I'm putting away the 7200 extra per week it would take to put two pounds on me, week after week. 

I'm not furious about the weight gain  – I'm actually incredibly depressed, hopeless and weepy about that – no, I'm furious about the breastfeeding HYPE.  Of all the hype that I got hyped with when pregnant,  breastfeeding tops the list.  Everybody couldn't wait to tell me how important it was that I breastfeed, how wonderful it would be for all concerned, how much healthier / smarter / cuter it would make my baby (and hopefully, by association, me.)  I don't know a mother who isn't either guilt-ridden about her supposed breastfeeding failures or remembering the guilt as a painful part of the postpartum haze.  There are a select few who were able to achieve breastfeeding success, which apparently means keeping it up until the baby goes to kindergarten, and they are smug.

Obviously breastfeeding is difficult.  Well, actually it's not obvious until you and your boob are faced with a hungry infant.  Before then, who among us has not thought "what's the big deal?" and assumed that WE would be fine with it.  I sure did.  Obviously I was wrong.

But part of why it was so difficult is the HYPE and the part of the hype that has me infuriated is that you will, absolutely will, lose weight when breastfeeding. 

Of course it's more complicated than that.  The anecdotal information and some newer studies I'm reading suggest that weight comes off more easily after the breastfeeding is over, or maybe everyone's weight comes off more easily after six months postpartum.  According to this study,
some women gained and some lost, and it depends on whether you were
overweight before your pregnancy.  Because if you started out fat,
you'll gain more weight; if you started out thin-ish, you may not.  Our
design may be intelligent but it sure as hell isn't fair.

Obviously breastfeeding makes us hungrier, so some of us will lose weight because of burning more calories and some will gain because of eating more.  I personally gained weight during marathon training so we know which category I'm in. Hormones are also a major culprit; some women gain just from the breastfeeding hormones and some do not.

Of course, you have to dig beyond the HYPE to get this kind of answer.  If you go to your ivillage or your basic self-styled weight loss guru type of person or your babycenter you'll get some kind of expert saying breastfeeding burns off those pregnancy pounds, end of story, and then a bunch of comments saying otherwise.  Often accompanied by "what's wrong with me?"  As well as appalling, horrifying spelling.

Is that sad or what?  I am going crazy wondering what's wrong with ME because I fell for it. The hype.  The one-scenario-fits-all generic bad information that is gumming up the internet and coming out of the mouths of doctors as well as TV anchorwomen.  It is really pissing me off. I wish I had known ahead of time that this would happen.  I still would have chosen to breastfeed and I probably would have gone through what I did to keep it going, but maybe I'd be expecting this nightmare instead of going nuts wondering why my weight doesn't fall off when "everyone else's" does.

Breastfeeding babies are supposed to be less vulnerable to obesity than formula-fed babies.  Since I was born to gain weight like Michael Jordan was born to play basketball, this is important.  But guess what?  I was breast-fed.  It didn't help when I was a baby and it ain't helping now.