I am well and truly, utterly SICK of being postpartum: Breastfeeding and other things
I am well and truly, utterly SICK of being postpartum
I’m sick of the belly, I’m sick of being physically weaker, I’m sick of the weird hormonal changes, I’m sick of the mummy wars and I’m sick of the ridiculous information that’s out there.
I’ll give you an example…
I recently stopped breastfeeding around 3 months, partly due to circumstance, partly due to deciding it’s what was right for me. Breastfeeding was wonderful, a beautiful time with my boy, I loved it (apart from the first two weeks of sore nipples, engorged breasts, never knowing if I was doing it right and getting guilt-tripped for “topping up”). But I was done. I decided that it was the right time for me, for us, to “start stopping” - I knew I wanted to get back to work, I needed to get out of the house more (in order to not go insane) AND, perhaps rather selfishly, I wanted to get back to ME - feel normal in my body again, which include all kinds of weird breastfeeding symptoms like a weird pelvic floor, dryness, physically being weaker, body fat - whatever. I was done feeling so postpartum and was excited to start feeling like “me” again.
Well, in some cruel twist of fate it seems that Mother Nature, that little bitch, is not done with me yet. She’s not satisfied with the struggles and changes of pregnancy, with the pain of childbirth, the overwhelm of postpartum - she’s got a few tricks up her sleeve for when you stop breastfeeding too! Her particular flavour of ironic cruelty right now is increased appetite and weight gain. Fuck you! She says… you thought you’d get back to normal now you stopped breastfeeding? HA! You’re fed up with the belly fat, well have some more!
And then there's the mum-splaining. Oh the mum-splaining! The shaming and guilt-tripping and flame-wars! The echo chambers and the berating and belittling. I'm so over it. Is it possible to be a mum and circumvent all this bullshit?
It is literally IMPOSSIBLE to find anything even remotely useful on the internet. It seems there is not ONE sane, balanced, evidence-based, research-backed blog about pregnancy and postpartum. While there are some fairly level-headed voices about other areas of our health, during pregnancy and after is when aaaaaall the herbal remedies, witch doctors and old-wives tales run a mock. And people gobble up every. Damn. Word. No questions asked
There is not ONE reputable source that I trust. It’s all hocus-pocus and propaganda. EVERYONE is spinning some agenda. It seems that no-one really cares about helping a mama find what’s right for HER. How about balancing out the pros and cons of an issue with as little bias as possible? I appreciate that some bias is inevitable, but there does not seem to be ONE voice that genuinely is able to look at two sides of an issue, weigh it up and have a balanced, thoughtful discussion.
The echo chambers and the flame wars are rife.
For example - I would like to find out WHY my appetite has increased since stopping breastfeeding. It doesn’t make any logical sense to me, my metabolic rate will have dropped, and I fully expected my appetite to drop too. It is due to hormonal changes? Have other women experienced the same?
Every “mummy blog” tells me some variation of “weight gain is common after you stop breastfeeding as many women don’t realise that their metabolisms are increased by 300-500 calories while breastfeeding. When breastfeeding stops, women often don’t adjust their caloric intake”... well, duh. I’m sick of being taught to suck eggs. I’m sick of being mum-splained the most basic, obvious premise that I NEEDED TO KNOW in order to be able to ask my damn question. I know that. THAT is why I would like to know why I am HUNGRIER now that I have stopped breastfeeding. Like, wake up in the middle of the night hunger with a growling tummy. Like, never feel full no matter what I eat. Yes, I am eating healthily and not binging on junk, yes I am fully aware of my hunger cues and yes I know exactly how much I am eating (I count calories because I am as curious AF about what is going on and I’m all about data and observation. It literally takes 10 minutes a day).
And there is literally NOTHING for non-breastfeeding mums. Like postpartum = breastfeeding. Well not always. I could never breastfeed exclusively, and I got endless shit about it. Lots of mums are never able to breastfeed at all. Why isn't there information for them? I think it is very important that we support breastfeeding mums, but we also need to support mums who can't or choose not t