Sometimes we hang on a celebrity's every word. But we do it other times, too. Like with feeding our babies. People hear "breast is best" and some automatically feel this is a jab at formula feeding moms. It's not. We do what we have to do, and there's so much more to the important issue of promoting breastfeeding. Formula is "allowed" to be promoted by big companies with money to spend and breastfeeding moms don't feel personally attacked about that. So the same should go for breastfeeding.
Beyonce did a lot for breastfeeding because of her celebrity. If one woman tried nursing her baby because Beyonce did it, that's fabulous. But something else she did could really hurt new moms. Beyonce said she lost 57 pounds in three months because she ate lettuce every day.
Now let's just hope that she didn't mean she ate just lettuce and lettuce alone. But reading that could make some postpartum moms think that's the secret to losing all that weight within three short months, and that's worrisome. People do hang on her every word. We don't want new moms to think eating just lettuce every day while breastfeeding is a good idea. It's actually a very, very bad idea that can hurt your baby. She also said that she had to get back onstage three months after giving birth, essentially admitting that no one wants to see a "slightly overweight" singer dancing to Single Ladies with a little jiggle.
Pressure. I don't like it. I don't like it for every day moms and I don't like it for Beyonce.
Of course the media reporting Beyonce's comment may have not gotten the whole story and we just got a clip of what she said but those words still could mislead moms worried about the weight they gained during pregnancy and thinking they could get it off fast. We need that weight! We also need extra calories when breastfeeding.
KellyMom has some of the best compiled information on nutrition, diet, and breastfeeding. She reports that in order to maintain a plentiful milk supply, we should be eating 1800 to 2200 (or more) calories per day. Anything less could put your supply at risk. This also depends on how active a woman is, so a mom like Beyonce who is on the treadmill every day as well -- she'll need those extra calories, more than 2200 a day.
If you think about what you ate before pregnancy, what you should eat postpartum while breastfeeding is on average 300 to 500 extra calories above that. Which is essentially a couple of extra healthy snacks. Plus, the "safe" standard on how much weight to lose per month for breastfeeding mothers is 6 pounds. Beyonce dropped 57 pounds in three months -- that's way more than the recommended 18 pounds for the same time frame.
The pressure to be thin. Hard for celebrities, but also for the rest of us. Not just for society's sake -- for our own self-esteem. But what we should remember is that our bodies sometimes take time to get back to a weight we are happy with and most often our bodies are changed forever. We have to see that change as something beautiful -- we made life, in our own bodies. That is a beautiful and incredible thing. We can work on the weight coming off in a healthier way -- eat lettuce, yes, but not lettuce alone. That last sentence? Those are much better and healthier words to hang on to.
Did you feel pressure to get rid of your baby weight fast?
Image via Hollywood_PR/Flickr