Your Body Isn’t the Same After Baby, and That’s Okay

You’ve got a new reason to stay strong and healthy.

I had a lot less time to think about my postpartum body, which is why I developed a better appreciation for it. Eventually, worrying about how my body looked or didn’t look became less of a priority. boring. Instead of examining every wrinkle and pound, I wanted to kiss my baby’s chubby cheeks, get some much-needed rest, or enjoy a glass of wine with my husband. I didn’t want to lose weight; instead, I wanted to feel strong and energised. And I wanted to love myself for having brought a new life into the world and for always giving my all as a wife, mother, and woman.

“Be gentle with yourself and your body,” advises Forster. “At a time that is already innately stressful, the cultural pressure to bounce back postpartum as though you did not just grow a friggin’ human being is extremely stressful,” Although your postpartum body will always be different, this does not necessarily mean it is worse. Trust your body—don’t hate it. ”.

You realize that women, and mothers, are constantly inundated with unrealistic cultural and social expectations around bodies.

Just to get off my soapbox for a moment, the only reason we worry about our bodies changing after having children is because we are constantly told to worry about it. After all, the goal is to maintain a single norm of being as trim and toned as possible AND to make motherhood appear effortless on all fronts, especially the physical aspects of it. And new mothers see images of other women “doing it right” everywhere they look. ”.

Will My Body Ever Be The Same After Pregnancy

“Most women have culturally induced unrealistic expectations—i. e. pictures of Beyoncé on the red carpet three weeks after giving birth or Kate Middleton in full makeup outside the hospital seven hours after giving birth,” claims Forster. Although it is her job to look good, Middleton shouldn’t be shamed for it because it sets the bar extremely high. The harder battles, like those of Blake Lively or Serena Williams, are uncommon. ”.

As a result of magazines, television, and social media, it’s simple to feel inadequate, unsuccessful, or completely alone about your postpartum body. When that happens, you might want to unfollow someone or take a break from consuming media that makes you compare or doubt yourself.

Your body is literally adjusting to a new norm.

Your body may have to deal with crazy hormones, breastfeeding, weight loss, weight gain, acne, larger feet, and frizzy hair after having a baby. And all of that is highly influenced by other factors, such as your age, genetic makeup, and your level of activity both before and after pregnancy. That also assumes you had a straightforward labor and delivery, which does not always occur, and that you have no ongoing medical conditions like diastasis recti or pelvic floor disorders.

“Most women hope they will indeed return to their former self,” says yoga and pilates teacher Lauren Ohayon, who also specializes in postnatal fitness. “There is nothing wrong with that, but I wish more moms would focus on how their bodies work (function) hand-in-hand with how they look (fit). There is so much focus on fitness, but fitness and health are not always synonymous. You can be super fit and your body still breaks down with the load of pregnancy, birth, and mothering.”

Will My Body Ever Be The Same After Pregnancy

Personal trainer Candice Cunningham says many new moms become hyper-focused on their stomachs and lower body after baby; they often assume either breastfeeding will help rapidly drop pounds or tons of training will lead to a flatter tummy and fitting back into a favorite pair of jeans. However, Cunningham warns that this approach can actually lead to disappointment, unnecessary stress, and even injury.

Many women are unaware that hormone levels can remain high for up to three months after giving birth, and it can be difficult to find the right fit, so to speak, with a workout schedule to get her body to respond appropriately, according to Cunningham. “So many women return to the crunches and planks they used to do prior to having a baby, but they don’t realize that doing so can further harm their stomachs and core muscles.” ”.

Jamie Shifley, a registered dietitian nutritionist with 15 years of experience and a mother of five, bases her work with postpartum bodies on five variables: weight prior to pregnancy, weight gain during pregnancy, physical activity during pregnancy, breastfeeding (or not), and mother’s age. For instance, younger mothers might find it easier to lose weight after giving birth because metabolism slows with age. And while breastfeeding can make some women lose a lot of weight quickly, it can also make some women retain more weight.

She continues, “If you struggle to lose weight before getting pregnant, you may struggle more to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy.” “While some women gain a lot of weight, others gain a lot less,” It goes without saying that it will take longer to lose weight if you gain more weight. But, there are some women who lose the weight fast. Usually, those women were pretty thin prior to becoming pregnant. Women who continued to exercise (within recommended limits) frequently find it easier to recover after giving birth. By remaining active, you maintain strength, fitness, and flexibility. With the advised postpartum rest, you’ll probably lose a little bit of weight, but it will be much simpler to gain it back if you’ve only rested for six weeks as opposed to 10 months. ”.

Meaning: Be kind to yourself about how your body looks and feels now that you’ve had a baby. Give yourself plenty of grace because your body is literally adjusting to a new normal, which will take time, rather than worrying about getting back in shape.

My Body After Baby | 3 Months Postpartum

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