Standing up for the average woman’s postpartum body… Quite frankly because I just can’t take it anymore.

I’ve made it 12 months without making a stink about it. Quite frankly, though, I cannot take it anymore. For anyone who is currently pregnant (congratulations!!!) or dreaming of having babies in the future… let me clear the playing field for you and level set your expectations so that you don’t come out of this feeling like a failure if you’re not stick thin as you walk out of the hospital. It just doesn’t work like that (at least not for the VAST majority of us). 

To be as direct as possible…. THIS is not the norm:

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No one stressed this to me before I gave birth to my daughter in March 2012. I worked out my entire pregnancy. I indulged in rice crispy treats a little… and had some shamrock shakes… but I was generally pretty good! I was determined to lose the baby weight quickly yet thought I was being realistic in giving myself 6 weeks. 

Wow. 

Doesn’t work that way.

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I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl… a 10 pound beautiful baby girl. I’m 5’2 and was 120 pre-pregnancy. If you don’t think my body is changed forever, you’re sorely mistaken. If you think I was 120 pounds 6 weeks postpartum, I can tell you it wasn’t true. I’m still not 120 lbs again (though believe me, I’m still working on this every day). 

In the past year, I’ve learned a few things. I could go on and on with a laundry list of things about pregnancy and postpartum that people don’t tell you… but there are a lot of eloquently written blogs about that! What I do want to accomplish is to level set your expectation so that if and when you have a baby, you don’t feel like a complete and utter FAILURE when you leave the hospital still looking 2nd trimesterish and still aren’t back to your pre-pregnancy body 6 weeks, 6 months, 9 months, a year later. For some of us…. scratch that… MANY of us…. our bodies are changed forever. 

I dream of a day that the media doesn’t tell us we have to be back to our pre-pregnancy body within weeks. I shutter at the thought of my daughter ever having to feel that pressure when she grows up and has the opportunity to be a mother. I want her to love her body and be empowered to feel confident and beautiful in her body when it has created a miracle. 

Growing and giving birth to a baby is a beautiful miracle and how incredible is it that our body knows how to do all of that on its own? Why can’t we, as a society, focus on that aspect of it instead? It’s a process. A beautiful miracle of a process. We need to learn to love that. 

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