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Heidi Klum Is Breastfeeding for Baby, Not Body

02/10/2010 at 08:00 AM ET
Courtesy Heidi Klum

Project Runway host Heidi Klum made headlines with her speedy return to pre-baby form following the birth of daughter Lou Sulola, 4 months, but the mom-of-four says her success is far from extraordinary.

“Everything gets made into so much drama, about how a woman has her weight like before [she delivers],” she laments to Us Weekly.

“If you’re living your life, not sitting on the couch … a woman will go back to how she looked before she was pregnant.”

What’s more, the weight loss associated with breastfeeding is something else that Heidi feels people “blow out of proportion.” She adds,

“I never looked at breastfeeding in terms of, ‘This is something that helps me.’ Breastfeeding helps my child. The after effect: yes, you lose your weight in a normal manner.”

From the sound of things, Heidi will be helping Lou for many months to come! When asked about baby girl’s latest accomplishments, Heidi quips,

“I wish she had the first big milestone of drinking from a bottle!”

In addition to Lou, Heidi is mom to Leni, 5 ½, Henry, 4, and Johan, 3, with husband Seal.

Source: Us Weekly

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Showing 51 comments

Betsy on

Didn’t Heidi leave Lou in California while she went to New York for the VS fashion show in the fall? Obviuosly Lou had a bottle while she was gone.

Angela on

noam on

i don’t think so. i’m pretty sure heidi has said that lou travels everywhere with her…i know she’s said it’s just the two of them this valentine’s day this year, as seal and the other kids will all be in la. (just a reminder to anyone who’s forgotten-valentine’s day is this sunday…)

Belle on

I understand the difficulty of a baby not taking a bottle. My first, would not take a bottle for the longest time. I was in a wedding party once, and had to leave a few times to go home an nurse my baby (thank goodness my home was not too far away) It took about 8 months before she finally took a bottle.

Sharon on

i’m glad she said this because with some celebrities they just always seem to be in to breastfeeding because of its affect on weightloss and not the nutritional value for the babies!

Mira on

Uh-oh, I wonder when the indignation will start about Heidi saying that if you’re not back to your pre-pregnancy weight, you’re a lazy couch potato.

Angie on

“If you’re living your life, not sitting on the couch … a woman will go back to how she looked before she was pregnant.”

Wow, really Heidi? I bust my butt day-in and day-out working FT, being a wife and a mother of two, watching what I eat and exercising. After 8 years, I’ve come to realize I will never look the way I did pre-babies. There are people out there with bodies that just can’t bounce back from pregnancy; and it has nothing to do with sitting on the couch.

Tara on

I’m glad Heidi made those points about the breastfeeding being best for babies and that weight loss is normal in postpartum. Love that she calls out the “drama” factor in some celebrity reporting on postpartum, too. Women, celebrities or otherwise, don’t need any more drama after baby arrives! Go, Heidi.

Sabine Zenker on

I am nursing my third baby, and none have ever used a bottle ( I am able to take my children with me to work until they reach the age of about 12 months). I think it is perfectly fine for mother’s be given whatever incentive to nurse their children: especially when many women who would benefit the most do not nurse because of cultural biases against it. Yes, it is the BEST thing for babies AND good for mama’s too.

liz on

i totally understand what she’s saying wishing her baby would take a bottle. my first never took one, and while it was nice to brestfeed by the time we got to 12 months i was ready for a break. actually i was ready before 12 months but that wasn’t possible since she wouldn’t take the bottle!

Ashandra on

“If you’re living your life, not sitting on the couch … a woman will go back to how she looked before she was pregnant.”

What I think of when I hear this is that most women can go back to a similar weight, not that they don’t have stretch marks and other unpleasant features of pregnancy. Technically, you are only supposed to have 10-15 pounds extra after delivery. If you do not gorge during pregnancy and go for long walks, lift weights, eat sensibly, it is more than possible to regain your old shape.

Angie, most women gain some weight within 8 years, I’m sure it was not an attack on you. Let’s also keep in mind that Heidi Klum is in great physical form and it is easier for her to bounce back than most. I think, as a nation, we need to put more emphasis on long term fitness (especially before attempting pregnancy). Because if you are not in shape before pregnancy, it makes post partum weight loss difficult. If you are, it’s much easier. Most women I know who have regained their form have been fit for most of their adult life.

Danielle Friedland, Certified Lactation Counselor on

What people often forget or realize is that breastfeeding has many health benefits for mom in addition to promoting weight loss. For example, it reduces the mom’s risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer as well as lessens osteoporosis.

For links to specific studies, visit http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/prepare/bf-benefits.html

Chris on

I agree with Heidi IF you gain a reasonable amount of weight while pregnant. Now when you gain 40,50,70 pounds… ;)

Lauren on

I like her attitude. Good for her :)

Samantha on

THANK-YOU HEIDI! Yes every, yes EVERY woman can and should go back to prepregnancy weight within 8 weeks after having a baby, IF they didn’t eat unhealthy and put on tons of extra weight. A recommended weight gain is like 26-30 pounds, 7 is the baby and then ou have the placenta, blood, water weight, breast weight, and I think just 5-7 pounds of extra fat…that’s it!! So then if you breastfeed your body is going to use up all that fat for milk.

They have even said that while breastfeeding moms lose the majority of weight faster than nonbreastfeeding moms if they had gained alot, but that they tend to hold onto about 5 pounds so the body can produce milk.

I have had 3 kids and am friends with tons of moms. Yes pregnancy can give you stretch marks, but other than that it’s nothing a proper diet, some squats, lunges, and ab exercises can not fix. Everyone is so quick to say, “Oh she’s a model of course she is back in shape” But I live in LA and know tons of models and trust me when I say they are really no different than me and you.

They have flaws as well, but they eat sensibly, work out everyday, and only splurge once a week on average.

Having a baby is a beautiful blessing and we aren’t supposed to become big fat slobs because of it. We are mean to get a big old belly while carrying the baby and put on 7 pounds of fat, and then go back to how we looked before baby. It’s not a big deal or the cause for alot of drama.

I swear most woman KNOW they really AREN’T doing what they should be to be in shape (maybe not working out regularly, eating some doritos here, some Mcdonalds there) and they like to blame babies for it. “Hey I have kids, give me a break” So when al these celebrities who have had kids come out look fabulous after just giving birth out come the comments like, “She has a trainer” “She isn’t healthy” “She has good genes” When in reality these celebrities ARE healthy and you’ve lost your excuse! KIDS are no excuse to be overweight!

Ronda on

I love Heidi’s refreshing honesty about everything. She seems to care less what’s the PC thing to say and just speaks from her own experiences. Gotta love her!

mamabear on

I know Heidi will get hell for that line…but it’s true. Doctors advise gaining about 15 lbs, a little more for an extremely thin mom.

Too many mothers-to-be use pregnancy as a “Free Pass” to eat all the things they wouldn’t have eaten normally – all in that “I’m pregnant and the baby needs nourishment” mentality.

I am guilty of this in my first pregnancy – i gained 50 lbs. and it took forever to lose.

My second, I ate sensibly -less fast food / restaurant food and not indulging those late night ice cream cravings. I gained only 15 lbs. while still eating plenty! And Heidi is right, the 15 lbs did eventually come off naturally.

Unless there is some medical condition, you really can eat like a queen and not gain an enormous amount of weight.

In the end it is us, the mothers, not the pregnancy that will determine how much weight we ultimately gain.

Ashandra on

Samantha and Mamabear, I agree. I come from France where women pressure each other to stay slender and healthy. I believe that if women could exert subtle pressure on each other more to encourage each other in staying on the smaller side during pregnancy, women would be healthier for it in the long run. Encouraging each other to walk or run together, to avoid fast food and junk food, instead of encouraging each other to indulge all the time.

Sometimes I think women choose to retain too much weight after childbirth, because then they can be martyrs (“Oh X person has lost her baby weight, she doesn’t spend all her time with her children, but goes to the gym instead”). I don’t think being stick thin or becoming a martyr is the only option. Let’s just encourage each other to be move and to eat healthily, for our own sake’s and for our child’s sakes.

stormdan on

@mamabear – Doctors absolutely DO NOT recommend gaining about 15 lbs!!!! At least not in the US! The recommended weight gain for a pregnant woman who was of normal weight before pregnancy is 25-35lbs.

momof3 on

Exercising and eating healthy makes you feel FANTASTIC, pregnant or not. It’s a great message to put out there. Everyone should just MAKE time. It’s that important.

Samantha on

Oh and I meant to add I work out, everyday almost, I have 2 rest days a week ;) But I do take my darlings for walks around the neighborhood those days, if not everyday if the weather permits. But I make working out fun and my baby is included. My youngest is now 13 months, but since 8 weeks after she was born I’d take an hour and workout. I prefer working out first thing in the morning before breakfast, so our routine now is we get up, I feed her, we play a little and then we go into the gym room. I play britney spears, who she LOVES to dance to, and she watches me as I work out. Between sets I pick her up sometimes or dance with her. I make it fun. And what better way to instill good habits into her?! She has a playmat in there with toys and is watching mommy work out. We dance, listen to music, and after it’s over we go make a green smoothie and share it.

Like Ashandra said those excuses “I’d rather play with my baby than go to the gym” are SO lame!! Gyms are so not needed. All you need is some light weights at home. That’s what I do and I am 103 pounds after my third. And there aren’t good “genes” here, my mom and dad are both overweight because they chose to not workout and eat the wrong types of foods. It’s a choice everyone has to make. AND I SWEAR if you do workout and eat sensibly for the most part you will FEEL so much better mentally and physically, you’ll be more positive and more confident.

mamabear on

@ Ashandra

Great point! I COMPLETELY agree!

Too many girlfriends do the EXACT OPPOSITE – they actually encourage the mother-to-be to indulge “Oh, go ahead and get the dessert – you’re pregnant after all!” instead of encouraging them to eat wisely.

mamabear on

@stormdan

Yes, sorry…bad typo. I did mean 25 lbs.

Thanks for correcting that error :)

Jessicad on

I agree with some things she said and said in comments. I don’t think 8 weeks is reasonable though, at all. That’s way too much pressure too soon after the baby is here and not enough time for your body to rest, especially if you have stitches in certain places! :) I also don’t think your body ever goes back to exactly how it was before baby. I’m 15 lbs skinnier but everything hangs a little bit lower, the friends I have who lost their weight say the same, their old clothes just don’t fit the same even if the scale is as it was before!

I think overall she sends a good message about body image though.

I remember when my daughter wouldn’t take a bottle, I felt trapped and frustrated for sure because I couldn’t get away for even an hour!

Mira on

Samantha, it is TOTALLY wrong to claim that every woman should be able to go back to her pre-pregnancy weight within 8 weeks of giving birth! I can’t believe you actually meant that seriously. Losing more than a pound a week is unhealthy, so this means that you should get out of the hospital with only 8 extra pounds. I know very few women for whom this is true!

In fact, the rule of thumb that is in every book about pregnancy (books written by doctors) is that it should take your body about 9 months ON AVERAGE to return to its pre-pregnancy shape, size, etc. For some women this happens much faster, for some it happens slower. But to claim that 2 months should be the norm for everyone is just plain crazy.

Sofie on

If you workout and eat heathly (and breastfeed), of course you will lose the weight, it’s just math!

emma on

Well 8 weeks – gosh! I’ve finally lost mine after 8 years! OK, OK, so that was my own fault but I still think 8 weeks is pushing it a bit!

Cheryl on

Samantha,

Good for you for looking so fine!! Would you like a trophy???

wifeinprogress on

I’m really amazed by the straight-faced women here railing on women for not dropping their pregnancy weight in 8 weeks! Mira is exactly right. 9 months to put on, 9 months to come off. Especially when you’re breastfeeding, it is not healthy to lose more than 1lb a week.
I have two children and am pregnant with my third. The first time, I gained 35 lbs. I exercised at home regularly starting 4 weeks post-partum, watched my diet and it still took a year to lose all the weight. I then lost another 10lbs over the next few months continuing to follow the same habits.
We could all be more healthy during pregnancy and women should encourage each other to eat better and stay active during pg instead of encouraging indulgence and laziness. BUT!!! Negative pressure about our weight and body image post pregnancy is the worst thing we can do for each other! As if there aren’t enough things to propel a women towards post partum depression…good grief.
If we all gained only 20lbs during pregnancy, having it off by 8 weeks would be a snap, since the majority of it is amniotic fluid, blood, placenta and baby…I dropped 20lbs easily in the first two weeks post partum. But another 15-20lbs on top of that…not going to come off so quickly.
The focus should be on educating and supporting women and their nutrition during pregnancy not pressuring them after the fact to look like their pre-baby selves right away.

Ashandra on

Cheryl, I don’t think personal attacks are called for. Samantha, it sounds like you are being a very good example for your children. We do inherit our parent’s genes but it is more likely that we just inherit their habits of bad eating and sedentary lifestyle.

@Mamabear, thanks. Living in the US, I find that sometimes women, instead of encouraging each other to be healthy, encourage their friends to eat a lot and gain weight, especially during pregnancy. I don’t know if any of you out their have noticed it but this really bothers me.

Danielle on

I think everyone is going a bit overboard on this. Genetically everyone is different. I gained between 40 and 60 pounds with my three children. I lost it all within 6 months to a year after they were born. My doctors were thrilled to see me carrying some extra weight because I was underweight to begin with. I never went out of my way to gain or lose weight. I worked out every day like always and ate what I wanted. I never pressured myself to get back down to what I was before. If you eat right and exercise you will be the weight you should be. Some women are genetically prone to being heavier then others. We need to quit focusing on losing the weight after a child and just focus on being healthy over all.

I am in a petite size 10 these days and am very proud of it. I weigh 127 pounds which is perfect for my height. I don’t look rail thin, but I don’t look over weight either. I look and feel healthy and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Quit trying to do what is right for others and do what is right for yourself as a person. Love yourself the way you are and you will be happier for it.

Ok I’m off my soap box and off to finish my finals. Enjoy!

mrsh on

Ashandra – I have noticed that. When I was working, I got a lot of pressure from my female coworkers to eat more, and they would make fun of me for eating healthily. Not sure why this phenomenon exists. They did it when I was pregnant and not, and during my pregnancy, I had gestational diabetes, so these women should really have been more tactful. I got really good at saying, “no, thanks!”

Ratty on

I’m a bit bemused by the person who said that you should not lose more than a pound a week. Over here in Australia we use kilos and I’ve been told that you shouldn’t generally lose more than a kilo a week – which is rather a lot more than a pound (about 2.25 pounds to the kilo if I remember correctly).

Catey on

Ratty, I’m with you. A kilo a week is what we are told in Australia is healthy weight loss.

I was in great shape before I had kids, with a thorough fitness routine and a good approach to diet. When I was pregnant, it didn’t really change. I played competitive sport until I was 4 months along and after that, I would go for long walks with different family and friends to catch up. I always ate well, three meals a day (plus a big bowl of icecream every night after dinner) and made sure I was getting all the nutrients I needed.

After each of my three kids, I got back to my prebaby weight in about 8 weeks. The fact that my body was in great shape before hand, I didn’t over indulge during prenancy, I breastfed and began exercising soon after birth all meant it happened quickly.

And just to be clear, I don’t exercise and eat well because I am trying to loose weight. I do it because I feel better and have way more energy to play with my kids.

I agree with everyone above, health and wellbeing should be a part of your whole life, instead of when you decide you need to loose weight.

Lori on

Hope see feeds Lou for as long as Lou wants breast fed! I think one year is minimum. My 3rd and 4th children would not ever take a bottle or a soother and were finally both weaned around 2.5 yrs :)

acidstars9 on

I think Heidi is making a valid point…in reality, you are not supposed to gain so much weight that it’s difficult to come off. A normal human woman in a “natural environment” is walking around, gathering, preparing, etc. We have lost sight of the fact that in our culture, we are inactive most of the time and have an abundant supply of cheap crappy food. If these issues were not involved, most women would be thin to begin with, would not gain too much, and it would come off easily. But as you probably have figured out by now, our culture has a huge problem with food and obeesity. Most people are already overweight and inactive, so is it any wonder so many women have trouble taking it off? I just don’t like how so many people act like when you have a baby your figure is ruined or you are just going to be fat. It isn’t supposed to be that way, and it doesn’t have to be that way.

Patrice on

I know I am wishing in vain, but I do wish people would learn to qualify their opinions with “IMO”, “don’t quote me but I think”…and if what they are saying is FACT, give us the source. For the record, I love Heidi’s attitude. I love her approach on life and the great passion and vest she does in everything from her business to her parenting.

Having said that, I am a childbirth educator, a student birth doula. I’ve taken classes on pregnancy nutrition as it relates to wellness and preparing for breastfeeding. To the person that said women are only suppose to gain 15lbs during pregnancy this not only an ignorant blanket statement, but a false one as well. The ACOG Recommended guidelines for a weight gain for a woman of average or “normal” weight (although I winch at the word normal, but that is another discussion) is 25-35lbs. ACOG being the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. For women underweight (as quite a few models seem to be these days) it’s 28-40, for women overweight it’s 15-25lbs and for women Obese it’s 15lbs (and then there is the multiples factor too).

http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp001.cfm

ACOG also talks about weight loss after pregnancy quoted here:

“Most postpartum women want to return to their pre-pregnancy weight. The goal should be gradual weight loss. With a healthy diet and exercise, much of the weight gained during pregnancy will be shed naturally during the first year after delivery. For all but women who had high or very high pre-pregnancy weights, the recommended weight loss after the first month postpartum is a maximum of 4.5 lbs/month.10″

http://www.arhp.org/Publications-and-Resources/Clinical-Fact-Sheets/Postpartum-Counseling

Like I’ve said before, I don’t mind a sharing of opinions, let’s just stop passing them off as facts, especially when may do a disservice to your fellow sister. We need to stick together in educating, supporting, and uplifting one another.

Amanda on

Funny because I was stuck on the couch–BREASTFEEDING— Ever heard of cluster feeding? And I wore a shield, making feedings take longer. I struggled so much with it and my hormones were completely out of whack, I should have just bottle fed. It’s hard to exercise when there is a baby attached to you all the time for the first 3 months of their life. I lost the weight faster with my first whom I bottle fed. Every body is different and each pregnancy is different.

desiree on

Sorry Samantha but you have no idea of what real life is like for many women. Walk for a minute in other women’s shoes and you would not be preaching like a stepford wife.

CelebBabyLover on

Patrice- The poster who made the comment about gaining 15 pounds while pregnant clarified later that she DID mean to say 25 pounds, but simply made a typo. :)

Anyway, I love Heidi’s comments! :)

Lorus on

I’m overweight to begin with and gained 29lbs with my first. I was down 32lbs by the time my baby was 2 weeks old. I had pretty bad edema though so I imagine a lot of that weight was water.
With my second I gained 25lbs and it took about 6-8 weeks to finally lose it all. I dropped about 15 quickly and the last 10 stayed around as I had a lot of trouble shedding the water weight. I had the worst cankles for like a month!!

I agree with the previous posters. If you gain the recommended amount then you shed about 15lbs just from baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, and blood.

Samantha on

wifeinprogress “9 months to put it on, 9 months to come off” Look at the chart below, it seems most the weight should come off right away since it is mostly blood, womb, baby, amniotic fluid, etc. That’s why I said about 8 weeks, because by then the body will be rid of all of it. So YES i disagree with 9 months to come on, 9 months off. I feel that applies to all the woman who gorged on junk food and gained 40 or 60 pounds, which isn’t healthy for mom or baby!! And Cheryl if you want to give me a trophy for being a good role model for my kids go right ahead, I’m flattered. And desiree I don’t understand your comment at all, “real life if like for other women”??? I’m talking about health and exercising, and if you don’t have a medical condition, it’s the same for all of us. And I don’t care if you work fulltime, make dinner, lunch, breafsat, etc. everyone has time to exercise and eat healthy. If you tell me you don’t, I’ll ask you when the last time you watched a movie or went on to this website to look at gossip…I guess you do have some free time after all :)
Where does it all go? http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/159_153.asp
Approximate breakdown of a weight gain of 29 pounds
Blood 3 pounds
Breasts 2 pounds
Womb 2 pounds
Baby 7.5 pounds
Placenta 1.5 pounds
Amniotic fluid 2 pounds
Fat, protein & other nutrients 7 pounds
Retained water 4 pounds

Sofie on

I like you Samantha :-)

christine on

There are many reasons for a high weight gain during pregnancy. Some of us, believe it or not, suffer with conditions beyond our control that contribute to a high weight gain. I was diagnosed with hypertension in mid-pregnancy and put on bed rest. I was forbidden from any exercise, and even doing housework. Nothing. You don’t burn a lot of calories on bed rest. I was extremely swollen and gained 50 lbs by the time I delivered my daughter. 25 lbs came off in 3 days, I lost so much water from the swelling. My midwife told me that there was nothing I did to cause me to eventually have preeclampsia, it just happens to some women. The remaining 25 took forever to lose.

Janice on

When I got pregnant I gained about 18lbs. Eventually I managed to lose 12 lbs, I guess maternity leaves it’s marks.

Amy on

OMG, people seriously need to get off their high horse. The worst is Samantha, think much of yourself? Nothing against stay at home moms at all, but your workout routine would not fly for someone who works outside the home all day, drops/picks up kids from day care, has to come home make dinner, play with kid(s) clean up a house, in my case pump for my son, do laundry, etc. Congratulations to you for having that lifestyle, but the majority of us do not have that freedom.

Also when the first said that your shouldn’t lose more than 1 lb. a week was talking about when a woman is breastfeeding. I know my milk production significantly drops if I cut back too much food. S

christy on

I totally agree with samantha….way to many women use pregnancy as an excuse not to eat healthy and way too many women use having a baby as an excuse of carrying around extra weight…sorry everyone but its the truth…unless you have some medical condition there are no excuses for not losing the weight…

Jenn on

Well… Samantha is correct in the breakdown of weight in the AVERAGE pregnancy. Patrice is also correct in the ACOG ( American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) guidelines of 25-35 pounds, but this is also for the AVERAGE pregnancy. If you have a slight build you are more likely to gain more weight and if you are obese you may loose weight.
As for weight loss the ’9 months on and 9 months off’ rule comes from a book called the Girlfriends guide to Pregnancy, and in my opinion is a horrible book that spreads misinformation and validates self serving points of view. Most weight will drop off in the first few weeks after pregnancy from night sweats, urination as well as from the loss of baby, fluid and placenta from the birth. The rest of the weight should slowly come off in the next few months depending on body type, genes and habits.
As a birth doula and lactation consultant I agree that as Americans we have distorted views of almost every aspect of pregnancy and birth but all we can ask of anyone is to become informed and make choices on there own. As long as everyone is informing themselves about the choices they are making then they can be held accountable for there choices and stop blaming others. Only then, when people start taking responsibility for their bodies, will pregnancy, birth as well as in health itself change.

Heather King on

I think it’s so great when a celebrity speaks out about breastfeeding for the health benefits of their babies. It’s also great to publicize, as many breastfeeding advocates do, that this helps moms lose weight and regain their normal physique.

The only problem with the breastfeeding weight-loss publicity is the backlash of people who decide that every celebrity (or any mom) who breastfeeds (especially for the recommended 1-2 years) does it for vanity and weight loss.

If any of these women spent 1% of the time and effort they put into breastfeeding their child into their looks and workouts, they’d look even more slim and put together – but looks are not the reason these dedicated moms do it!
Heather

crispers on

When I was pregnant, people at work said “you can eat whatever you want, now.” I was horrified at that statement. Is that what people think you should do? When pregnant, my husband and I splurged on organic food for me and I felt it was my “job” to eat very healthy and be active for the growing baby inside me. Just the same way it’s now our “job” to make sure our daughter eats healthy and stays active. Plus, how miserable and swollen would you be if you gained 50 or 60 pounds. I couldn’t get off the couch myself, having gained 32 or so.

Shajavon on

Of course everyone’s body will respond differently after having a baby. I see mothers carry weight for months and months and blame it on having a baby. I also see those same mothers indulge with unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical exercise. After having my first son I lost the weight in less than 3 weeks. I started eating healthy immediately after giving birth. I also began walking around the neighborhood (nothing exhausting). I am now pregnant with my second child and everyone thinks I am a weight control freak. I plan on getting the majority of my weight off within 4 weeks. I just believe that if you become comfortable in your situation, it remains the same. If I sit around and eat unhealthy I am allowing this weight to make my body its permanent home. I have set very strict goals that I plan on maintaining. Worst case… It doesn’t work as planned and I continue until it does. Simple as that!

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