Thoughts on My Post Baby Body

It's hard for me to believe that Henry is already three months old. Where did the time go? I find myself scrolling back through my phone every once in a while looking at his itty bitty self thinking man, he was small!

I thought it would be interesting to write about my thoughts on my body post pregnancy. I know I enjoy reading and talking about body image, so you might too.

From the beginning of my pregnancy, I made a point to tell myself that the journey back to my pre-baby body would be gradual as I was going to be gentle with myself both physically and mentally.
I have a tendency to want to do all the things and have everything a certain way as soon as possible in most realms of my life. But we know that's not very realistic.

As a result, I made a pact with myself to wait the full six weeks until I started any kind of exercise beyond walking. By six weeks, the bleeding had finally stopped (yep, there's a lot of post birth bleeding for most women), and the midwife gave me the go ahead to start exercising. But as I mentioned before, my body wasn't quite ready to get back into running and weight lifting that soon.

Luckily, I wasn't even interested in exercising for those first six weeks and I didn't feel guilty at all about still wearing my maternity shorts and tops all summer long.

A week or so after having Henry, I was down about 10 lbs from my final pregnancy weight (I gained 30 lbs in total). Every month or so, it seems I had lost another 5 lbs likely from breastfeeding, plenty of walking, and carrying a baby around all day.

While the weight has gradually been coming off, I'm still about 5-7 lbs above my pre pregnancy weight and who knows if the extra lbs will stick around or continue to come off. Either way, I'm not too concerned. I can fit into at least one pair of my regular jeans, so I'll be just fine for fall.

Around eight weeks postpartum, I decided to try on some of my old shirts to find a non maternity shirt I could wear to switch things up a bit. Unfortunately, thanks to breastfeeding, nothing fit like I had hoped. But instead of feeling depressed about it, I simply headed to Target and sized up on my favorite vintage tees.

While I might be lacking a toned, flat stomach, honestly, it's refreshing to feel less body conscious in my new role as mama. Sure, I could do without the stretch marks or extra skin hanging out around my mid section, but I'm not giving it near the amount of worry my old self would have.

Seven weeks pregnant

I look back on the girl who thought she still needed to lose an extra 5-10 lbs to look good running in just a sports bra and think "Geez, really? I'd love to have those abs now." 

But rather than wish for the body I had, I'm embracing the fact that my post pregnancy body is different as a result of growing a human for 41 weeks. And not only that, I'm now breastfeeding and caring for a baby, which is my #1 priority and requires a lot of energy.

So, I'm eating well, indulging in treats regularly, and staying hydrated.

And yeah, I'm still wearing my maternity tops and shorts because they're comfy and fit (gotta love the stretchy midsection).

Have you ever had a shift in your body image and if so, what brought it on? And tell me something you're looking forward to this fall.


missris said…
"I have a tendency to want to do all the things and have everything a certain way as soon as possible in most realms of my life." Um YEP this is me to a "T"! I think your attitude is great, though, and that you look fabulous and seem to be really hitting your stride in motherhood. Also, you grew a human! Your body might never be exactly the same but that's to be expected because you GREW A HUMAN. The human body never ceases to amaze me :)
I am glad that you have such a great perspective on your body image and that you are focusing on the fact that you GREW A HUMAN!! I think so much of the process of having a child is out of our control so it's tough to expect things to just go back to how they were before. I think it is really great that having Henry has given you a new perspective on things and makes you appreciate what your body has done. I personally think that you look FABULOUS!

I find that as I get older, I am more kind to myself in terms of body image. My stomach is always going to be my trouble spot but I have learned to dress to down play that and play up my other features that are great, like my long legs (hello, lots of pairs of fitted cropped pants!). Training for marathons has also given me an appreciation of what my body can do, too. So instead of nitpicking over my imperfections, I try to marvel at what I can accomplish. And lastly, having RA has also given me a new found appreciation for being able to move my body pain free. I think that's something that a lot of us take for granted (I know I did before my RA diagnosis).

Some things I am looking forward to this fall is running my 4th marathon on October 4th, Julia Child Night on October 10th, going to Miami with my mom, sisters and sisters-in-law in Mid-October, and going to Boston with Phil in late October!! So basically October is going to be awesome (and will also wear me out!).
lyk said…
Oh my gosh, thank you for writing this. I had my baby six weeks ago and only fit into one pair of regular pants. It seems like so many bloggers are back in their clothes in like two weeks. I appreciate you telling it how it is, and yes, shirts fit so differently with breastfeeding. Learning to embrace the changes and love the body for all that it's done and been through seems more important than being critical. Your honesty and perspective was so encouraging to me today.
Amber said…
For what it's worth I think you look AMAZING and so healthy and happy and great. You are a hot mama! I know that the way you look and how you feel are two different things though but I'm so glad to hear overall you have kept a very positive and realistic attitude about your post baby body. You only do these baby years once and will have lots of time to get super fit again, some of the fittest women I know are ones who are in their 40's and done having their kids!! So your opportunity to be as fit as possible definitely isn't behind you!
You look great! I don't think there is any rush to lose those 5 lbs; you will have no problem doing it once you decide to, because you are an active person. However, it's important now to spend time with your baby and don't worry about the other small stuff!

I am looking forward to getting back into shape...this summer I have been doing less activities than I normally do, and it's making me feel quite sluggish and mentally tired. I have gotten out of the habit of doing workouts and I need to get a new, fresh routine going so that I can feel better about myself and be refreshed for the day!
Leigh said…
Oh man, it's crazy how many changes your body goes through during pregnancy then after you give birth then the months after having a baby! I find that mine is still changing and still isn't quite the same. I still find it hard to dress my breast feeding boobs! I love that they nourish Amelia, but oh man, they get in the way sometimes, haha.

I think you look fabulous momma!
Sara said…
I think you look great and I love your perspective! I'm 4 weeks pp and I went to target to try on jeans toddy and it was a mistake. I think I'll stick to leggings for awhile.

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