You know how everyone talks about pregnancy cravings? Well, it ain’t got nothing on breastfeeding cravings.
Sure, I craved it all while Anna was growing in me belly. Mcdonalds chicken Mcnuggets. Watermelons. Strawberries. Pickles. Hot dogs. Steak. Berries. Melons. Mangos. ALL THE CHOCOLATE.
But I don’t think I knew what true hunger was until I had my C-section and started getting into full BF mode around day 4. When I got home, I swelled up like a balloon. My legs turned into tree trunks. I had cankles. My ankles were as big as my thighs. I waddled around with all the water weight for maybe a week, thinking: OMG I AM NEVER GOING TO LOSE WEIGHT.
Then, suddenly 20 lbs of my pregnancy weight just vanished. When I stepped on the scale, I could hardly believe the number. I hadn’t been this skinny in years. While I was happy to have lost the weight, a new problem arose: Although I was constantly eating, I was constantly starving.
I was a monster, guys. While feeding Anna every two hours, I was downing the gallon-sized water jug that I got from Kapiolani Medical Center, shoving fistfuls of mixed nuts from Costco into my mouth, heading back to the kitchen for lunch and dinner refills, eating granola cereal at 2 a.m., and filling my bowl with triple scoops of chocolate icecream. I used to get hangry before, but while sitting at the pediatricians for 3 hours without a snack, I was HANGRY. I’d stare jealously at Anna happily BF, when my spine seemed to suction itself to my belly. I felt like my body was eating itself, struggling to produce enough food for this ravenous 7lb, 3 oz creature that seemed like the only other person in the world who was more hungry than I was.
I kept losing weight too. 5 more lbs, and then another 5. It was a little scary, and I kept trying to gain it back because I wanted to make sure I was healthy and could produce enough milk.
The hunger continued for 3 months. The gnawing sensation of my empty stomach would be satisfied after I inhaled an ENORMOUS meal, and then come right back half an hour later. But slowly, it got better. Particularly around 3.5 months, and significantly improved by 4 months.
Now, hunger still suddenly strikes, especially in the morning or when I’m dehydrated, but that oh-my-goodness-feed-me-NOW-OR DEATH feeling is gone. People say you have to eat healthy during this time. Load up on protein, drink plenty of water, don’t eat candy and eat fruits instead. I tried. I tried, really. But TBH, BF is supposed to burn like 6,000 calories (OK, no, it’s like 500-600 calories) right? So I ended up thinking: “If I’m on this miraculous diet right now, why NOT enjoy it and indulge?”
So I’m drinking lots of water, trying to eat healthy and fill my plate up with veggies, but I’m not going to beat myself up for eating one (or two) bowls of icecream after dinner..hopefully this doesn’t come back to bite me in the butt when I stop BF.