Thinking About PostPartum Things...

... and thought I'd ask you all to "weigh in"... (pun intended... I'm nerdy like that.)  :-/

So, Lord willing, I'll be having our 6th baby in about 10 weeks, give or take three days from his due date if it's anything like our last few deliveries.  (He's having hiccups right now, FYI.)  :)

I've had some things on my mind concerning the postpartum time this go-round.  Here they are, in no particular order:


  1. How soon to jump back into Weight Watchers?  OR should I do something else?  I can't remember just now if I mentioned it last year, but from August 2011-March(ish) 2012, I lost about 35 pounds or so with Weight Watchers.  I've heard they have a breastfeeding plan, but I just want to know -truly- from those of you who may have done it/heard about it: does it affect milk supply?  I'm not one to even take the slightest risk of messing with milk supply issues... so lay it out for me.  Have you done WW while nursing?  Any thoughts for me?  (And PLEASE don't say things like "oh, you won't have to do anything; breastfeeding takes your weight off naturally."  I've had five babies... all exclusively nursed past 12 months--by exclusive I mean we've not ever supplemented with formula-- they do start solids anywhere from 6-10 months-- ... and my weight hangs on for dear life until I wean the baby.  Every time.)
  2. Have you ever done postpartum tummy wrapping?  I read this post about tummy wrapping, and this article about belly binding, and have been looking at reviews of products on Amazon.com, and am considering this Postpartum Support Girdle in particular.  Yes it is a touch pricey, but I bought and used one of those silly $15-20 postpartum wraps before (like the Medela one), and they bunch and pull and don't cover enough of my waist, and are an utter waste of money (in my experience), as they just don't stay on, and the velcro can rub against the skin and irritate it.  I'm sure body type plays into this... I definitely tend more toward the hourglass shape, and so the difference between my hip and waist measurement is pretty stark... so a straight "band" really isn't enough to put things back where they should be.  And, let's face it, six babies in, I need some stronger help getting things firmed back up.  So I'm willing to pay more if it delivers more and really WORKS to help firm things up more quickly.  Thoughts about that?  
  3. In case you're curious, here's my 30-week belly shot:
  4. Baby Wise-- I need to reread it!  Ack!  So much to do in the next 10 weeks.  I recently re-read my own series from when I blogged about Babywise with Moses, but I need to remind myself of the book itself and pull out my old trusty copy of Nursing Mother's Companion as well.  
  5. I'm trying to think what all we need to have for this new little guy... I've already been browsing thrift stores to fill in gaps of any clothes he might need (since he's a different season than most of my boys' clothes-- we have had three July boys, and one March boy-- some of the clothes won't fit him, seasonally).  I need/want a new carseat for him... the one we have is old and I want one that is well-suited to the vehicle we drive.  I also would like to have one of those video monitors for him... or at the very least, I need a good, reliable audio monitor.  Our house isn't huge, but the way it's laid out means that the room where he'll be sleeping (our bedroom, the first few months until he sleeps through the night consistently) is on the opposite corner of the rooms where we'll spend most of our time.  So- do YOU have a good recommendation for me for a RELIABLE monitor (audio or video?)
  6. Any other thoughts or questions for me?  Anything *you* think I should be thinking about?  

Thanks, if you made it thus far, and thanks EVEN MORE if you leave me some comments with your advice or thoughts about ANY of the above.  :) 

25 comments:

Ashley said...

I just wanted to comment and let you know I am also preggo.. 23 weeks with our third. In the last few years I have learned so much in the way of food and diets. One thing I have done differently in the past two years that has helped me lose and maintain weight is adding coconut oil to my diet. It naturally speeds up your metabolism and is awesome for your brain ( and baby's too!). Since learning about how food affects our hormones and our propensity to lose/gain weight I have taken a whole different approach than I would have before. If your interested you can check out the Weston Price Foundation's website, or other helpful resources for me have been itsyourpate.com/blog, kitchenstewardship.com or 100daysofrealfood.com. Basically in the end I found out I needed more "real" fat and that the low fat, low cal stuff was in fact causing my body to process food differently and therefore gain/ keep weight. It was fascinating! Hope that might help a bit! Good luck!!!

Sadie VK said...

Commenting for the first time after following you for years. (Sorry if that's stalkerish.) First of all, you look amazing at 30 weeks pregnant with your 6th baby! I'm 33 weeks with my second and my belly is literally double the size of yours. Haha.

Also, I have no personal experience with this monitor, but I just saw it on Groupon, so thought I'd mention it: http://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-levana-era-baby-monitor?ab=n&c=all&p=5

I'll have to come back and see what everyone else says about belly wrapping. Sounds interesting!

Sarah Robbins said...

I have a reliable audio monitor that we don't use because we have video monitors. I'd be happy to send it to you if you're interested. It was one receiver and two handsets. Please just send me an email (mine's linked to this) and I can mail it this week.

Jess said...

Hi Sarah, Thanks for the offer! I tried clicking on your name though, and nothing's coming up...

Kelly said...

Way back in '93 I lost 70 lbs. doing the WW nursing plan with no milk supply issues.

The nursing plan now is very generous. You ad 14 PP to your DPT. It is best if you focus on whole foods, but I think that nursing or not ;)Drink plenty of fluids. If you notice a problem with supply, add some points or make sure you are using your WPs. I'm thinking plenty of good foods and lots of fluids.

Anonymous said...

I just had baby #3 8 weeks ago. Right after baby #1 was born, I went shopping for some clothes. Bad decision. I'll never do that again! I felt so big and puffy and squishy and didn't fit into anything. So I went to the giant grandma girdle underwear section of the store and bought a pair of those incredibly tight (as in not very stretchy) girdle underwear things that went all the way up to the bottom of my bra. And I got it in my normal size, not my new post-baby size. It took at least 5 minutes to pull it up past my hips, but boy oh boy, it flattened my tummy like nobody's business! That thing was the best post-baby purchase EVER! I am still getting use from it after baby #3. The key is to make sure the thing is as tight and non-stretchy as possible and that it goes all the way up and over your tummy. I never had any issues with mine bunching up. With my waistline looking flatter, I didn't feel the need to "diet" to get my shape back. I did however make one change in my eating habits. I switched out breakfast foods for a ginormous salad several mornings a week. Salad greens are good for a nursing mother and I always put some sort of protein on the salad too (cooked shrimp, hard boiled egg, chicken) and used a full fat homemade dressing. The rest of the day I ate like normal. This took my baby weight of slowly but it didn't mess with my milk production either.
I do the Babywise thing too with my babies. But this newest one--oh, she is something else! Babywise doesn't seem to "fit" her as much as I would like it to. So a friend let me read her copy of the Baby Whisperer. It's very similar to the Babywise theory but with a few more very helpful techniques.
Maybe some of this will help you, or at least let you know you aren't alone in these post partum challenges. I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well! -Heidi

Anonymous said...

I did the WW breastfeeding plan after we had our third child, and did not see any significant weight loss. I followed it to the letter, and while I wasn't constantly hungry or anything, I just didn't see any weight loss from it. I also did not suffer any milk supply issues from it either. I had some gall bladder issues when the baby was about 6 months old, and tried eating a more vegetarian diet to help with those, and that's when I saw my largest weight loss post partum(about 25 pounds). I'm still not sure whether that was due to my diet though, or if it was just time? Anyway, I'll be having our 4th baby in July, so we'll see what plan I go with then!

-Amy

Johanna said...

I did WW before and after my first baby. I had lost 35 pounds before I got pregnant with him, then gained way too much during the pregnancy. I found it to be difficult to figure out what to eat that wouldn't effect the milk supply and would result in any loss. If my supply stayed intact, the loss wasn't there. If I had a loss, the supply struggled. Of course, I think I could have done better with some planning, and did best when I used the extra points to add pure fat rather than additional carbs. If your baby is a good nurser, it should work well. My first had acid reflux and did not like to nurse because the reclined position caused his reflux to act up. I'm sure that changed my WW outcome, too. Bottom line - if your baby nurses well and you use the extra points for the fat your body needs rather than "treats," you should do fine on it!

Janelle said...

Hi Jess,
As usual your posting was helpful! First I've heard about tummy wrapping. Wish I had as I'm having trouble with my baby weight and I don't want to do anything to mess with my milk supply. So I'll be curious to know what others say about the dieting as well. Also, you're the first friend I've heard say you breast feed exclusively till after 12 months. Can you comment more about that? As a first time mom at 37 I'm new to all this!

Thanks so much! Janelle

Jess said...

Heidi,
Thanks for your feedback. Last time around, now that I think about it, I did have some "control top" undies that made a difference... and that was just coming up to about belly-button level.



I really think I'm going to do this belly binding thing... I'd really appreciate any other feedback though, from people who have tried it or similar ideas.



It's helpful to hear so much half-hearted "eh" about the weight watchers plan. It's what I was afraid of...



And Joanna- I changed my post to clarify... when I said "exclusively nursed" what I meant by that is that I've never supplemented with formula, etc. We do introduce solids whenever they seem ready. That has ranged from 5 & 1/2 months to 10 & 1/2 months. (My string bean daughter just didn't want to have anything to do with food until nearly 11 months, LOL.) So yeah, that's what I meant... not that I only nurse, but that I nurse and don't supplement with formula, until at least 12 months...

I actually *do* have some friends who have said that they don't introduce anything else but breastmilk until after 12 months, but I don't know details about that.

~Jess

Christy said...

I haven't tried this yet, but my midwife recommended the Tupler Technique - http://diastasisrehab.com/ - after my last (4th) baby. I have diastasis recti which means that my stomach muscles have separated and not gone back together after having babies. It's belly binding but with the intention of re-approximating the muscles so they go back together instead of just squishing them so our tummies look flatter. I'm waiting until I'm done nursing the baby (she's 6mo) before I do this because it recommends a cami underneath the belly binder, and I don't want to deal with a nursing cami right now.

Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I thought I'd throw it out there just in case.

I did BW with my 3rd and it worked quite well except that I lost my milk supply after about 7 mo (no problems with my 1st or 2nd). So this time around when the little girlie wasn't digging it after a few months, I ditched it and she's nursing like a newborn. But she's happy and my supply is spot on. So no BW here this time...ah well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jess,
I am due for my 4th baby in June, and am contemplating using a belly band to help my core get where it needs to be a little more quickly. Please update us on what brand you end up choosing and if it seems to be helping. I have never done any kind of diet plan while nursing, only working out. I try to focus on firming up my muscles, and don't get too intense on the cardio because when I do my milk supply goes down. I hope you find a plan that works best for you!

Christina

CPB said...

Hi Jess,

Love your blog!! I have the Summer Video Monitor and LOVE it! We live in a small apartment 800 sq ft. and had a audio monitor before. Which worked fine but it is so nice to actually SEE what my little guy is doing in there. I am not sure which one we have as my husband got it for me for my birthday. But it was on the cheaper end of Summer video monitors and we love it!

And in regards to Babywise the Babywise Mom Blog (and google group) have been a HUGE help to me in navigating sleep issues with my son. Check it out if you get a chance.

Courtney

Jess said...

Christina,
I've noticed the same thing. The cardio stuff affects me like that too... I can do normal everyday type demands (walking normal lengths, swimming, etc.)... but if I start to do the stuff like Jillian Michaels or hard workouts, I really notice the dip in my supply. And it's never something I'm willing to compromise, so I always back off or completely stop the cardio.

This year will be a little bit different beceause it'll be the first time we'll have a pool... so I'll have easy access to a close, quick, relaxing, not-taxing, still calorie-burning way of exercising. So maybe that will change some things for us, I don't know. It'll be great to have the swimming season start just about the time I'll probably be more "up" for exercise, around 10-12 weeks post-partum.

Diana said...

Hi Jess, I did WW after all three of my babies. With my boys, I didn't notice any difference in my milk. With my daughter (this was points plus), I had definite supply issues when I started around 6 months. Because she's allergic to everything, I could not risk losing my milk. I think I started up again when she was around a year. I nursed her to 15 months.

Brandy said...

Hi, Jess,
I'm Brandy and I live in India where so many national women do belly binding themselves, tying a long scarf they all wear around their waist! First time I heard about it was when a few ladies asked me if I did it. Well, I didn't....but I started.

I had the separation of stomach muscles about #3, but didn't realize until he was about 1 year old. After #4, it was worse, and it's really bad now--#5 is 10 months old. Anyway, so, I use a couple of things. I purchased one from a baby store--a postpartum one, but it is TOO stretchy! My favorite one is one I found in Malaysia for like $4. I wear it at night and especially when I work out. But, I will say the scarf--that I did until I purchased anything was awesome, and now that my baby is older and I'm really working to lose the weight and belly, I'm using the scarf again. I agree with another commenter to get something that is as tight as you can handle. I want to try a girdle after reading that comment. :) I also have done/am doing the Tuplers. I recommend those as well.

I've struggled with my milk supply, but only with #4 and #5. I wish I would've done more with #4, but I didn't realize it was a problem for a while. I did what I could, but most realizations were hindsight and after having #5 and doing things differently. I've never done formula. With #5, I nursed way more often from the get go--like every 1-1.5 hrs. Crazy, I know...And now, at 10 months, I still nurse him an extra time. I tried to drop that feeding (dream feed before I go to bed). He can drop it and is fine, but then my supply is too affected. I take a LOT of fenugreek. That has been incredible. Here in India, it is SO cheap. Also, I didn't do WW, but I have seen that I couldn't exercise much or change my diet if I wanted to keep up nursing. 10 months out, and I'm still needing to loose about 15 pounds...no lie. I've always lost it within a few months. But, I didn't want it to affect my milk...it just hasn't been worth it. I recently just stepped up in the exercise department, but I think it's time, and he's a great eater.

I still wonder if it has anything to do with having "a lot" of babies. Call me crazy, but with #1,2,&3, I had an awesome, crazy supply--so much. I worked out and did whatever I wanted. I just wonder about it. Your thoughts on that???

Brandy said...

Okay...to add a little more. I started wrapping/binding at the hospital. I wore it for about a month everyday all day and it was great. I think I just got too lazy too fast. It's just hot in India and that was my reasoning for stopping so soon.

Jess said...

Brandy,

I can definitely understand about not wrapping because of the heat in India. Despite whatever it might seem like (since I live in Texas), I am a total wimp when it comes to being overheated.

Regarding diminishing milk supply with subsequent babies, I think it does happen that way for some people. A mother of ten that I know said she got to a certain number-- I can't remember what # now-- and from then on always could only make it to about 4-6 months without supplementing. So it does seem to happen that way for some women. I wonder if it has to do with diminishing vitamin levels and nutrition levels in mom... just that her "stores" get depleted? But that's just speculation on my part.

I've only noticed the link between working out and nursing (for me)... so far, praise God, I haven't faced diminishing supplies EXCEPT when I either exercise or get too busy and stop drinking enough water. I did have a CRAZY supply with #1, I think in part because he was in the NICU the first week and was a lazy nurser... so it took about 45-60 minutes per nursing session, JUST solid nursing... so I think I just made and made and made milk. Plus- he was 9 lbs, 2 oz @ birth & 21 lbs @ 6 months. He was a big baby, haha!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jess,
I just gave birth to baby #6 three weeks ago today. With baby #5 I started Weight Watchers On
Line when she was 5 weeks old and did not notice any loss in my milk supply. I also nurse exclusively and don't start solids until they are around 8 months old. I found the WW easy, although this time around I have about 15lbs to lose and I plan on joining a local group. I think I need the accountability of an actual person weighing me. The WW I did was not points plus so I am not sure how that is different. I was very happy with WW to help me lose most of the baby weight without losing milk. Jennifer

Nancy said...

Hi Jess,

I commented earlier on your post about labor pains, because I was due with my 3rd baby. Now he's here, and this post is just as helpful and timely for me!!!

I did get the Belly Bandit binding wrap this time around. I've never done anything like this before, with the other two. I put it on as soon as I got home from the hospital this past Monday. At first I was afraid it wouldn't fit, but once I saw their tip to lie down while closing it, it fits just right.

I really like it so far. Mainly I just feel better without my stomach sticking out so much. My husband did say he thought it's made a difference already. I like the fit and feel of the Belly Bandit. I really thought about the Bellefit, the one that you had linked to, but ultimately decided not to because of price and it being non-returnable. I took a chance with the Belly Bandit and like it. I really like the other commenter's suggestion about getting a stiff girdle! That's a great idea, and probably way cheaper.

Jessica said...

I've had trouble with my supply and losing weight within these last 2-3 months. I was pumping exclusively and would regularly have 6-10 bottles in my fridge at any given time and then suddenly wham, it was gone and I haven't been able to keep back up. It still affects me/us so that he's on supplement of formula. I think every woman is different and although it may be an issue with me it may not for you, losing weight.

Jessica

Came by via Thirsty Soul

Jess said...

Ha! Nancy, sounds like we are tracking with each other. :)

I'm glad to get your review of the Belly Bandit. I'll take another look. One thing I read about it is that it's not as long as other binders/girdles... and I am long-waisted...but I'll take another look. Thanks for taking the time (especially with your new little guy here!) to write out your experience w/ it.

~Jess

EmilyG said...

I like my Belly Bandit, too. I am only on kid 2, but I think it has made a real difference. I am short, though,so I like the shorter length even though I am long-waisted for my height. Good luck!

I'm just a girl... said...

Jess, I have done WW postpartum without any milk supply issues for several of my pregnancies. I usually waited at least for the first 6 weeks to be sure my milk was well established & baby was gaining well. I feel that it's not difficult to do, as far as feeling hungry or like you are dieting. I lost anywhere from 20-30 pounds each time. That said, this time I am thinking I will do a version of the PRISM diet, adding in more calories & carbs as needed. Another "diet" that is looking interesting to me is the new book put out by Above Rubies. I think it's "Trim Healthy Mama". Anyway, I think they recommend using coconut oil as well, for weight loss for mama & also for healthy babies. I haven't read it, though, so I don't know what it entails. If it's a lot of complicated soaking & sprouting & whatnot, I don't think I'd be able to pull it off! Now I'm also intrigued by this girdle/belly binding idea. I may have to do that, too! I'll be interested to hear your opinions once you've actually done it.

Ruth said...

Hi Jess,
Ok, so kind of late to the party...
Congratulations!
When I started reading your blog (off and on) you had three. You have definitely multiplied yourselves! ;)

I can't give any advice on belly wrapping, but I can recommend a very good postpartum DVD by fitness and Pilates instructor Tracey Mallett: Lose the Belly Flab. The workout begins with a tutorial on how to safely work your abdominal muscles, even if they have separated, and how to find out if they have separated. She shows you how to use a band or towel wrapped around your belly for support so you can start engaging the rectus abdominus in the early weeks after labor.
The rest of the DVD comprises 3 ab workouts that increase in intensity and difficulty, and two that target the thighs and glutes. The workouts are short (10 minutes) and very effective!

Another recommendation: check out videofitness.com
It's a great website where you can ask all sorts of questions regarding fitness and weight loss (not diet!), join check-ins (there are both a post-partum and a homeschooling moms check-in), swap videos you don't click with for something you might like to try, read reviews for DVDS and other fitness products, etc....

Finally, if you are experiencing trouble with Jillian's cardio (I don't personally like her...), you might find walking with Leslie Sansone (indoor walking), or other forms of low-impact steady state cardio more bearable and still very beneficial.

All the best for the end of your pregnancy and a safe delivery!

Ruth