I really want to have a conversation about postpartum life, postpartum body more precisely. A year into motherhood, and I feel like I am just ready to talk about it. I struggled soooo bad after I had Grace. I was already self-conscious because my thigh gap disappeared during my second trimester, and my husband commented on the fact that my face and legs were “filling out” so after having the baby, I expected all of my clothes to fit me right away and everything would be back to normal! I would have my normal body back…I missed being a size 4!
Being a first time mom I didn’t exactly have the best time management skills and all I did was cuddle with Grace on the couch for the first 3 months. But I still felt so ugly….And I hate that. I hate that I deleted certain photos from my Instagram feed or even UNPUBLISHED a blog post from right after I had Grace because I felt like my stomach or legs or arms looked too big. I have never been a majorly self-conscious person but I felt so vulnerable and unattractive.
The truth is my body did so much while pregnant and had been through SO much. Emergency c-sections and tons of ridiculous pain meds after are no joke! Not to mention the normal pregnancy “I’m going to eat everything in sight” part of the last two weeks before having baby. I didn’t eat unhealthily while pregnant with Grace. I was very conscious and yet I still gained lots of weight in odd places.
ADVICE FOR NEW OR PREGNANT MAMAS:
If I had to offer any advice to new or expecting moms, this is what I would say to them:
1. if you’re breastfeeding you have to eat.
Do not starve yourself or diet thinking it will help you get back into shape at 3 months PP. That is just silly!!! Instead of getting right back into exercise in a rush, try just changing your eating habits a bit. There’s a difference between dieting and changing up the food you eat. That was a giant thing for me and I’ve felt so much better since. I do not diet.. in fact, I always eat until I am full, BUT I eat whole foods, mostly plans, and it’s been going really well so far.
2. it takes time.
I *still* don’t have a regular workout routine (mostly cause the weight melted off at around 6 months PP and now I can’t keep weight on because of breastfeeding) and I don’t have time to eat enough but don’t hate your body image like I did…. Appreciate all you’ve done and everything you’ve sacrificed to create a life!
3. be kind to yourself.
Please remember that you grew a human and it wasn’t an easy or short task… Your body has been through a ton, and it took 9 months for it to get that way. Rule of thumb is that you should give yourself AT LEAST 9 months to be back to your pre-pregnancy self, some women take even longer. So, please remember to be KIND to yourself. We are our own worst critics, and i know next time around, I will make a conscious effort to not be frustrated, and realize it just takes a little time.