Could This Be Why You Can’t Lose the Baby Weight?

In my never-ending quest to lose the baby weight, I have been turning to look more in depth at reasons why it seems to be a major struggle for me. 

I mean, besides the fact that my garden is currently growing alien-sized zucchinis and the only way I seem to know how to use them up is to make endless batches of double chocolate chip zucchini bread, which I then am the only one in the household to consume. 

But I digress. 

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I've considered that my first problem may just be as simple as breastfeeding. Breastfeeding, for me, tends to be a time in my life when I hang on to extra weight, not lose it like some moms do. Secondly, I am trying to get in with some physical therapy to try to heal the diastasis recti I've got going on after an unfortunate larger-than-life belly with my last pregnancy. 

But one thing that I never thought to consider when it comes to postpartum weight loss?

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Image via Flickr/ Phillipe

One commonly missed medical condition that can make losing weight hard: hypothyroidism. 

I recently came across an article about thyroid condition awareness, especially for women of childbearing age, as problems with the thyroid can often be “masked” by a lot of the medical concerns that women “normally” have. For example, feeling tired is a huge symptom of a low thyroid, yet how many women can say that they aren't tired on a daily basis??

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Apparently, one of the most common things that can happen is that a woman has slightly low thyroid hormones, gets pregnant without it being detected, only to have her pregnancy cause her levels to be depleted even more, and then with the crazy hormone cycle of being postpartum and breastfeeding, her body can easily be thrown out of whack and develop a major cause of hypothyroidism, which includes symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Weight gain
  • Exercise intolerance (I had no idea that was a thing)
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Dry skin

Yeah, I know, right? This = my life. 

The condition can even develop into something called postpartum thyroiditis, which about 5-10% of women will get and, again, it's usually missed because the symptoms are written off as “normal” conditions of having a baby. 

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I know that many women in my family have problems with their thyroids, so it's always been one of those conditions that's in the back of my mind. I honestly don't know the last time I've been tested (I assume they test your thyroid levels during those initial pregnancy blood tests??), but if you're anything like me and have spent many months of your life either pregnant or nursing, it's safe to say that our hormone levels have changed. 

Or, in other words, it might be a good day to schedule a check-up, just in case. 

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Have you ever checked your thyroid levels before or after having a baby?

What do you think?

Could This Be Why You Can’t Lose the Baby Weight?

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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