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The 10-Pound Nursing Myth

Have you heard this one before? When I was nursing my baby I took solace in the common knowledge that our bodies hold on to an extra ten pounds when nursing. The theory goes something like this: Your body packs on some extra pounds and keeps them in place so that you will have the reserves in order to keep nursing even if you encounter a lack of food.

It made sense to me. So when I weaned my son I braced myself for the dramatic ten pound weight loss that would inevitably happen. The truth of the matter was that while I didn’t gain any weight when I weaned him, I didn’t lose any either. Nothing happened. My weight stayed exactly the same.

I haven’t nursed a baby in almost two years, and either my body is still clinging to those ten pounds just in case I have to suddenly start nursing again (highly unlikely, by the way) or the whole ten pound theory is just a myth that someone created to give a shot of optimism to sleep-deprived, nursing mothers.

Then again, I still do occasionally find that my breasts still produce milk. Maybe the miraculous ten pound loss is after I dry up completely?


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