My Medication Made Me Gain Weight


In August of 2019, I had my second son.  With my first, I lost most of my baby weight once I quit breastfeeding, so I expected the same with this baby!  We had some major life changes about a week after I gave birth (new jobs, moving to a new city, finding a new house), and with my hormones still adjusting, I found myself crying all the time.  Seriously, if you were to show me a cute puppy video, mention that you love your mom, show me a photo of your kids, anything. I’d always end up crying. I knew it was the baby blues and not post-partum depression, though, and once my hormones started regulating, I felt like my normal self again.

Until I didn’t.

A few months after we moved to Twin Falls, I found myself unmotivated and, simply put, sad. My children were not getting the mom that they needed.  All I wanted to do was lie in bed all day. Unfortunately, I’m no stranger to depression, but on the bright side, my husband was able to identify the symptoms right away.  He helped me set up an appointment with my doctor before things escalated any further.

I resolved things with my doctor and once my new prescription kicked in, I felt content again.  I became more active and my babies were happy to have their mom back.  As the months went by, I blamed my weight gain of 20 pounds on quarantine.  I had quit breastfeeding my youngest and expected to drop weight like I had before, but I was surprised.  It wasn’t until my mom mentioned that my aunt had gained weight with the same medication I was now taking that things clicked.  I suddenly remembered my doctor mentioning that as a common side effect.  My immediate thought was, I’ve got to stop taking this medication. But then I remembered a conversation I had with my husband just the day before. It went like this:

ME: You know, I am so grateful for the meds I am on.

HUBBY: What makes you say that?

ME:  I have felt so content. I haven’t had a panic attack or a depressive episode in months. Not a single one. How amazing is modern medicine??

Remembering what I said the day before wiped the thought of quitting on my medication out of my mind.

I told my mom right there, “I’d rather be heavy and happy than skinny and suicidal.”

Maybe you thought this article would be about how to combat the extra pounds your medication has caused you to gain.  It’s not that, and I’m not sorry. For me, gaining that weight has been healthy because my mental health is at an all-time high.

I’ve accepted my new body and I am so happy to be the happy, healthy mom and wife my family needs me to be.


November 2019, 3 months postpartum
September 2020, 13 months postpartum
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Shelby is an online TESOL instructor and Spanish tutor and enjoys her photography side gig. Born and raised in Idaho, Twin Falls is where she currently resides. Her hobbies include writing, drawing, painting, reading, theatre, and cycling. She is a mother to two tiny boys and a wife to a good-looking mathematician. As a bilingual mama, she does her best to teach two languages to her children, however, she admits to relying on YouTube as well. She dreams of becoming a published author, a voice actor (even if only on the measliest of cartoons), and a small boutique owner someday.