The internet, magazines and TV are inundated with information and tips as to how women can ‘get their pre-pregnancy body back’, ‘how to get rid of stretch marks’, ‘how to bounce back in less than 6 weeks after giving birth’. But why are women sucked into these types of articles? Didn’t they just carry a person around in their bodies for 9 months? Didn’t they just put their body through hell in order for this tiny person to be delivered safely into this world? Pregnancy and childbirth are two colossal things that are inevitably going to change one’s body in numerous ways. And you know what? That’s perfectly ok. Here is a list of 7 things to expect and accept post pregnancy:
1. Stretch marks are normal.
They happen to almost everyone no matter what size you are. Big, small, tall, short, women AND men. Even Victoria Secret models have them. Do not waste your time worrying about stretch marks. See them as ‘lightening scars’ given to you by the new little bundle of joy in your life. Wear them with pride. You know why? Because you earned them. Time to silence that worrier in your head and be the warrior that you are. Warrior mom.
2. Sometimes skin Sags.
TThere are numerous factors that contribute to the sagging of skin on one’s body. Weight gained, weight lost, weight gained, weight lost. Up and down. Up and down. Maybe you’ve only had one kid? Maybe you’ve had three? Perhaps more. Either way, bearing a child means you’re body will change. Skin is going to stretch. Especially the areas that women are most prone to hiding e.g. hips, tummy and thighs. We all don’t have the amenities to keep our bodies in tip-top shape after childbirth. We don’t have personal trainers and chefs fighting the fat with us a week after giving birth. Skin stretches. Skin sags. It’s normal. You don’t need to hide it. It was a worthy price to pay for your children.
3. Scars are something to be proud of.
We all have scars. We are all scarred for different reasons. Why do men show off their scars while women have a tendency to hide them? When did that become ‘a thing’? Men proudly show them off – “look what I survived”. Women – “OMG please don’t look at this imperfection”. A C-section scar is a serious scar to wear. A scar that should be worn proudly. If men were able to give birth you’d be sure they’d be taking out their C-section scars at any given opportunity to show off. Time for women to adopt this mentality and wear their scars with pride.
4. Cellulite is common for everyone.
Everyone I know has cellulite. Everyone. Understanding this is the hardest part. We find imperfections and we focus on them. We think that these are the things that we need to fix in order to feel good about our appearances. Why do we have this incessant urge to constantly cover up our little imperfections? Cellulite is normal. Just like stretch marks, it happens. You just gave birth. Your body just produced another human being. Your hormones are running around crazily. Adrenaline is pumping with having to care of this little person… and yet some of us still have time to stare at our cellulite and wonder what we need to do to make it go away. Cellulite is normal. Cellulite happens. And it’s ok.
5. Your priorities change.
You may have spent 4 days a week in the gym over the past number of years. Your priorities may have been making that pilates or spin class twice a week after work. You may have meal prepped and counted your carbohydrates in order to stay on target. There is no doubt that your priorities will change once you give birth. Hitting the gym might only happen once a week – or maybe not at all. Meal prepping won’t be for yourself anymore – you’ll be prepping for baby. Your entire daily routine has been turned upside down and inside out.
6. Weight fluctuation is ok.
Weight fluctuates for a number of reasons. Calorie intake, your daily exercise, weight training, metabolic rate, water intake…. and sleeping pattern. When you are lacking a good night’s sleep your weight will change. When you’re lacking a good night’s sleep for several weeks and months, chances are your weight will noticeably change. A good night’s sleep goes out the window when you become a new mother. This could be for a week, a month, a year, or maybe 18 years! It’s difficult in early days but try to find a sleep routine that allows your body and mind to rest in conjunction with baby’s sleeping pattern.
7. It’s not a race.
The slower you lose weight the better. You read articles about how to lose the baby weight in 6 weeks. Oh, hell no! How does anyone have time to do that with a newborn in their life? Some weeks your weight will be up, sometimes it will be down. Chances are you’re not going to have the time to even weigh yourself! Hormones are balancing out. It takes time. You just carried another person inside you for 9 months. So relax, take your time, you’re not in any hurry, your body will appreciate it and bones will appreciate it too. The slower you lose the weight the better.