This may be a bit late coming considering that Finley is now over 18 months, but let’s talk pre-pregnancy bodies, or rather, why I believe ‘getting back to your pre-pregnancy body’ is total BS.
Almost from the moment you give birth, there’s a certain pressure to get back to how you were before you were pregnant. It’s not helped by images of celebrities looking incredible without a stretch mark in sight just a few weeks after they’ve given birth. At a time when you really don’t need to feel any more rubbish, that comparison and pressure to bounce back can be really hard. Of course there are some lucky women who, down to genetics, do bounce back without the need for a personal trainer, personal chef and nanny.
I certainly envisioned that I would have Finley, breastfeed him and watch the weight just fall off while I sat in front of Netflix with him clamped onto my boob. After 6 weeks, I’d be back at the gym and within 3 months I’d have lost a stone and a half and feel like a gorgeous glowing goddess mama. Obviously.
Well that sure as shit was not how it went, and in reality I don’t think that happens for very many new mothers out there either. In my case there was the premature birth, heart defect and associated hospital trips, stress and having to tube feed, nurse and then pump every 3 hours for over 2 weeks before his op to deal with too. Breastfeeding and sleep deprivation only gave me a bigger appetite!
So clearly I feel that this bouncing back to our pre-pregnancy bodies within a couple of months is just not realistic. However, I sit here with an 18 month old and I still don’t have or want my pre-pregnancy body back and this is why: it doesn’t freaking exist! Being pregnant, growing and giving life to a whole new person, giving birth and then the nurturing that comes afterwards changes our bodies so completely. The body we had before we became pregnant is gone and is replaced with something new, and in my opinion, something even more amazing.
My boobs aren’t going to lift themselves back up to where they were before I became pregnant. My stretch marks aren’t going to suddenly disappear. My rounder tummy, in all likelihood, is not going to be replaced by six pack abs no matter how hard I train in the gym.
I will never get back to how I looked pre-pregnancy, but I feel that accepting that and letting it go as an ideal is so freeing, there’s so much I can still do with the mama body I have now. Finally, after 18 months I actually feel like this is the first time since having Finley that I can start to focus on me and work on being the very best version of me physically.
Now that we’ve moved and settled (yey!) I’m finally ready to start focusing on me and my health and wellbeing as the priority it should be. I’m not hating on the body I have now, rather I know that the way I’ve been eating and the total lack of exercise is impacting it, and once I get those things in order I should see some changes in my body. I’m not going to weigh myself, but I’m going to take measurements and I have a pair of fabulous jeans that I’d like to fit into as my goal.
Getting my pre-pregnancy body back ain’t going to happen because it doesn’t exist, but I can still work on becoming my best self with the body I have now.
If you’re a mama, did you feel any pressure to bounce back to your pre-pregnancy body? How long after birth did it take you to feel comfortable in your body?