Long before Adam and I chose to add a little one to our family, my body was in its prime. I was working out at the gym at least four times a week and I ate only healthy foods such as grilled vegetables and chicken. Life was good, I thought that I could easily maintain my healthy body even with a baby growing in it. Boy, was I wrong.
A few months after Adam and I got married we decided it was time to bring a baby in our lives. Months later as an expecting mama, I thought to myself, “Oh I can eat what I want, I’ll be able to drop baby weight with no issues.” I ended up gaining 64 pounds during my pregnancy and that came with loads of health issues. I struggled with high blood pressure and walking long distances was a big struggle.
Once I was able to walk again after my c-section, I took a good look at myself in the mirror before getting in the shower. I no longer was an mama to be with a cute baby bump, I now was a mother and my body was a mess. All I could see is my previously stretched out skin no longer tight like it had been before. I still had a half inflated belly where Connor was. The toll of giving birth had a rough effect on me, my skin looked gray and I had bags under my eyes. Even though I just went through a monumental life experience, I felt the worst about my body.
Postpartum body changes are never quick. It took months for me to drop my weight down and get out of maternity clothes. In a world that is covered in ads with models with perfect bodies, and other moms pushing the sale of magic body wraps that will tighten my stomach, I felt even worse about myself.
It’s been over a year since I’ve given birth and I’m still not in my pre-baby body shape. I’ve struggled through postpartum depression. With the help of my doctor and therapist, I’ve come to realize that it’s ok. Instead of prioritizing getting back to being fit I’ve focused on the other important aspects of my life: my family, my job and most importantly myself. Even though my body probably won’t get close to what it was pre-baby anytime soon, I’m alright with it. The stretch marks are a reminder of the life that I carried for 9 months, he was absolutely worth every single mark.
If you’re struggling with body image after baby, it’s absolutely normal. Woman rarely bounce back into shape. I recommend these following tips to help you get through the post baby body blues:
–Buy clothes that fit your new body. I tried my hardest to wear what little clothing I had left from my pre-baby body, and most were not flattering at all. I’ve been on the hunt for a wardrobe that fits my awesome mom bod. I feel so much better and more put together in clothes that fit.
–Pamper yourself. If that means getting your hair done or taking a spa day, by all means go for it! Sometimes you need to relax and try not worry about the baby. After all, to take care of your family you need to take care of yourself first.
-Find support. If that means finding a friend you can confine your feelings to or see a therapist for support, do what it takes to get your mind back to a positive place.
-Try your best to look at your new body in a good light. When you feel the negative thoughts creeping up, try to replace them with positive ones. Nothing brings you down more that keeping the negative feelings going. You’re body had just done something incredible, celebrate it!