Embracing Your Physique Post Baby
During my initial pregnancy, I encountered numerous postpartum anecdotes that were predominantly pessimistic and resigned. The anecdotal tales were rife with flabby stomachs, surplus weight, broader hips, and stretch marks—suggesting essentially that my physique would never revert to its prior state after childbirth. There was also the stress to appear flawless and be perfect as an expectant individual and a mother, as well as the anticipation to effortlessly rebound to some semblance of “normal”.
Then I gave birth, and while my physique was drastically different, I also felt entirely okay with that reality. I meant, I JUST TRANSFORMED INTO A PARENT. I felt like a formidable, remarkable mother who could endure with minimal sleep, a robust cup of coffee, and a sniff of my newborn’s head. Even though I occasionally longed for my well-toned physique and reacted cynically to recently minted mom celebrities who looked chic and slender right after childbirth, for the most part, I acknowledged the fact that my body would never be entirely the same, just like my life could never revert to the previous state due to my charming little boy whom I now had the privilege of nurturing.
I comprehend that the move to motherhood can be bewildering and overwhelming on multiple fronts, and the physical transformations post-childbirth are no exception. Nevertheless, it’s acceptable that your physique isn’t identical post-baby, and here are four rationales why:
1. Your physique is veritably adjusting to a novel standard
Your physique experiences numerous transformations post-baby, encompassing contending with hormonal fluctuations, breast variations, weight adjustments, acne, expanded feet, and hair shedding—all of which hinge on facets such as age, genetic composition, and levels of physical activity before and after pregnancy. Furthermore, the recuperation process can be impacted by complications during childbirth or existing conditions like diastasis recti or pelvic well-being concerns. It’s pivotal to prioritize how your physique functions alongside its appearance. Instead of fixating on regaining fitness, grant yourself leniency as your physique acclimates to a fresh standard over time.
2. The convalescence and recuperation process fluctuate for every physique
The postpartum phase results in alterations in pelvic sturdiness, hunched shoulders due to infant care, and the necessity for core and pelvic floor respite and revival. With the added strain of infant care and the contemporary forward-leaning attitude, restoring your physique “back” will not take place instantly, nor should it, as your physique requires time to recuperate and heal.
3. You realize that females, and mothers, are inundated with implausible cultural and societal expectations regarding physiques
Cultural and societal expectations frequently engender impractical body image benchmarks for females and mothers. The burden to hastily revert to a thin and well-toned figure while adeptly managing motherhood establishes impracticable benchmarks. It’s imperative to be cognizant of these influences and deliberate taking a hiatus from media that fosters comparisons and self-doubt.
4. You’ve acquired a fresh motive to remain tenacious and hale
With less time to ruminate on my postpartum physique, concentrating on its appearance became unengaging. Alternatively, I directed my attention towards treasuring moments with my infant, compensating for sleep deprivation, and nurturing my overall well-being. Embracing a constructive standpoint towards your physique post-baby can be a potent catalyst to remain tenacious and hale for yourself and your little one.
After delivering a child, numerous women experience pressure to revert to their pre-pregnancy weight and physique. Nevertheless, it’s pivotal to be affable to yourself and your physique during this juncture. Postpartum physiques differ, but that doesn’t indicate that they’re inferior. Trust your physique and don’t resent it. Embrace the changes and prioritize looking after yourself and your new infant.
Our readers share how they found peace with their physiques after childbirth—here’s the guidance they imparted:
“My physique produced and sustained life! This is my odyssey, and no one else’s. As long as I am endeavoring to tend to myself, that’s what counts. The stretch marks, the peculiar belly button, the flat boobs… they’re just labels.” —Nicole B.
“Subsequent to my daughter’s birth, amid the weariness, nurturing, sentiments, and assimilating the role of a mother, I realized I wasn’t resuming my exercise routine anytime soon. Nevertheless, I would at least, if anything, allocate myself 10 minutes to stretch. To breathe. To shut my eyes and envisage where I am presently and where I am capable of reaching.” —Alyssa P.
“I curated a postpartum attire and amassed transitional pieces in sizes that fit me. This has aided in feeling normal and more at ease in my own skin. Moreover, I grapple with postpartum anxiety, and group therapy has immensely assisted me!” —Emily M.
“For me, it’s been a struggle, but I’m learning to value myself through this transformation because I have a robust boy and that’s the most pivotal factor. It’s distinct for each one of us. I habitually compared myself, but not everyone’s physique reacts similarly to pregnancy or postpartum hormones.” —Michelle J.
“I noticed a substantial shift in my mood when I commenced consuming better. I would invariably prioritize nurturance of my own meals last, and everyone else in the family first. When I finally honed in on my own diet (and skin), I was astonished by how much healthier I felt. I may not weigh the same, but at least I’m prioritizing myself, which is a commencement.” —Michelle L.
“Frankly, it was challenging when individuals would remind me of how slender I was before my pregnancy as though I wasn’t cognizant of it myself. What aided was unequivocally disregarding those remarks and concentrating on my infant, while also being particularly resolute about hitting the gym at least once a week and making prudent food choices.” —Mayra C.