So we did the extended breastfeeding thing. We did the child led weaning thing. We did the attachment parenting, gentle parenting, vegetarian, babywearing, eco-conscious, green thing. And you know what? It made me fat.
Not really. But seriously, all my breastfeeding links are happy enough to tell me about the myriad benefits of extended breastfeeding, for mom, for baby, for family. But I haven’t found as many that corroborate my experience–from 18 months on, each feeding Peanut dropped, I gained a pound. When he weaned, I gained 5.
That’s not nice.
My theory (disclaimer: I made this up. I like to make stuff up. It makes me feel all smarty-pantsy when people believe what I make up. It makes me feel all awesomely-smarty-pantsy when it turns out I’m right. Do your own research and let me know what you find): breastfeeding gives you superpowers because it produces oxytocin. That’s the body’s superhero hormone. You produce it when breastfeeding, in labor, and during orgasm. So it makes the world a happy place. It also counteracts stressby negating stress hormones. Guess what your body produces when you’re not sleeping? Stress hormones (cortisol, especially). Guess what cortisol makes you do? Gain weight. So not sleeping makes you fat because of all the cortisol coursing through your veins. Breastfeeding makes you thin because it burns calories to make milk, but also because it erases the late-night-wake-up-call cortisol injections.
So without the oxytocin, my body is really pissed we’re still not sleeping. Hence the poundage.
Yes, weaning made me fat. Breastfeeding made us all happy and attached and healthy and brilliant and whatnot. And now that he weaned himself (with the help of distraction–sunrise hide-and-seek-with-Daddy for a week), I’m going to build back more bone than I had before the pregnancy.
But damned if I didn’t build back more energy stores than I had before the pregnancy, too.
Come on, Buster, sleep. ‘Cuz mama don’t fit in her clothes no more.