Let’s get something clear – Inducing lactation has been by far the best decision I’ve made so far in becoming a Mom.
Oh, it was crazy hard to do…but totally worth it. The time Josie and I spend together nursing are hands down my favorite moments of the day. It’s bonded us together in such a concrete way. As she gets closer to being a year old, breastfeeding only gets more fun as she learns to play games, do gymnastics, and give me oral and eye exams with her curious little fingers all while eating.
It’s been a complete, unexpected, gift.
But it’s come at a cost.
If you followed my nursing saga here, here, and here, you know just how hard it was to get our nursing relationship going. However, there has been a hardship I haven’t written about yet…because I am embarrassed about it. In order to induce lactation, I had to take a medication called Domperidone. A drug whose side effect is weight gain.
Within six months of starting it, I was up nearly thirty pounds.
This happened despite eating a gluten and dairy-free diet and walking 10-15 miles per week.
Now, I am not blowing this out of proportion and saying I am now morbidly obese, since that isn’t true. But I am overweight according to a BMI calculator…which is incredibly humbling since weight has absolutely never been a struggle in my life.
I never realized how much weight gain would impact my self-esteem. Clothes shopping is hard now, since I can’t fit into the sizes I *think* I still am…sizes that I wore since I was 15 years old up until almost a year ago. I don’t know what I can wear anymore and I find myself wanting to only buy baggy items to hide myself.
I’ve never struggled with body image or thought negatively about my body.
I have to fight hard to tell myself that I am still beautiful. Just the other day I had to ask Jonathan if he still was attracted to me…something I never thought I would ask.
At the end of the day, nursing Josie is WORTH the weight gain to me, because it was always about her benefit and not mine. I try to think of it like pregnancy weight, only mine came after the baby I didn’t birth. I focus on the fact it’s temporary, as everything I have read and testimonies I’ve heard talk about the weight just melting off as soon as they go off Domperidone.
But that won’t be today. That’s off in future-land. And I have no guarantees of what my body will do.
For the time being, I am continuing to try to eat as healthy as possible. I am also continuing to exercise by walking and by doing T25 fitness videos. I am trying to buy clothes in my new size that are flattering. Most importantly I am clinging to TRUTH that I am a beautiful daughter of God who will never be defined by her weight, shape, or size.
That’s all I can do for now.
If anyone else has struggled down this path, I would love to hear from you. Encouragement, inspiration, support, comradery…anything you’ve got I want to hear it! 🙂
Thank you for writing such a beautiful, honest post. I don’t have children yet, so our experience is not quite the same..however, I am a woman who has struggled as you are now- which makes us comrades in the battle of self esteem and feeling beautiful amidst weight gain. 🙂 This spring I was diagnosed with a stress induced auto immune disease that caused me to gain weight rather rapidly no matter how healthy I was eating or how hard I worked out. I know the struggle is real when you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see- but what I have learned from this all is truly understanding our bodies as gift. You are giving life to your sweet little girl! There is nothing more amazing! Keep doing what you’re doing, and yes, finding pretty and flattering clothes during this time is a must. Don’t think of losing the weight, or how great it will be in the future…concentrate now on the good and allow yourself to feel good now. That’s such simple encouragement, but it is really what I have found works. It becomes a daily battle if I’m constantly negative, instead of remembering that I’m now on my way to getting healthy again,and that my overall health has so much more importance than the number on the scale. I’m praying for you! Thank you for your blog and sharing all your family’s experiences! God bless you!
Thank you for your comment and encouragement! You’re right, I need to just stay as healthy as I can and not be so concerned with what the scale is telling me. You’re also in my prayers as you battle the auto immune disease.
I can relate! I had no weight problems growing up and now after several surgeries and a lack of exercise I’m up 30 pounds. It is difficult because I still think of myself as smaller but I cannot fit in my clothes. It is not a nice feeling to need to buy new clothes because your current ones are too tight (or worse don’t fit).
I feel you…it’s a terrible feeling indeed. 🙁 But buying clothes that actually fit and that look good have been boosting my spirits again. I’ve literally donated anything that didn’t fit or was tight and made me feel bad about myself. I just couldn’t even think about “when I fit into this again someday.” It was helpful to me, not sure if you would also benefit from it!
I also used domperidone and I’ve gained 20 pounds since I had Westley. I never realized it was because of the domperidone. Thank you so much for sharing your challenge.
Now you know!!! I was shocked in the beginning but the more I found out it was Dom causing it, the more I was relieved that it wasn’t just me. Took some pressure off even though I still didn’t feel great about it.
YES!!! I have gained some weight on Dom and it has just PILED on. So stressful. I have always worked out, etc, and felt good about my size usually–so it has been a struggle to give myself grace during this season. I am larger than I have ever been before, and this was a very timely word for me. Thanks!
Girl, I feel ya. I gained 60 pounds with William. Yes, 60! I did find that giving in and buying bigger sizes was so helpful for peace of mind getting dressed in the morning. I also didn’t allow myself to make any more negative comments– especially out loud! I found that once my thoughts changed, it helped. It also is amazing that our husbands love us and think we’re beautiful and frankly, they don’t even realize or notice like we do or think they do! I’m happy to report that I’m now just 8 lbs away from pre pregnancy weight and this is thanks to the 21 day fix which I would highly recommend down the road. Love you girl and you are beautiful!!!!
Do you have to keep taking the domperidone? I think it might be different with induced lactation, but I took it to build my supply and was able to stop taking it (with no supply drop) once my supply was well-established. I would at least ask a doctor about this. 🙂 (I’m sure you look great, but I’m the sort of person whose weight does go up and down a lot, and I hate it when it’s up!)
Thank you for sharing Amanda! The self sacrificing love that mothers live is a beautiful thing. Yours especially!
It looks different for each one of us but it is very real. The wear and tear on our bodies can really get us down if we allow it to. You are choosing the better way. You are eating healthy and exercising which are GREAT!
You are beautiful!
You are amazing!
And I always like to remember that our kiddos need to cuddle and snuggle with a soft mommy. Your milk is creamier too and all of that benefits Josie. I’ve had to adjust to my mommy body. My rib cage and hips changed with pregnancy. Some favorite dresses will never fit again.
I guess I finally realized this life is short when we put it into perspective with eternity. Your sacrifices now are like spiritual investments in your eternal account. I hope you are able to rejoice in your health and find peace with your nursing mama body. It’s not permanent, just a season!
Thank you for sharing…