Post-baby bodies are amazing. They have done something truly spectacular! Making, carrying and then giving birth to a baby is a privilege. And one that not all of us are able to experience.
When we are pregnant, our bodies can feed, nurture and take care of our babies every need without so much as a second thought from us. Amazing.
So it’s sad to me that as soon as our babies have been born, our bodies are no longer considered amazing. We forget the wonderful things that we have spent the past 9 months doing and we focus on how we look! We read magazines and newspapers that show celebrities in bikinis when their baby is a week old. That’s not real life but it’s what we compare ourselves to.
My body is….softer than it used to be! I have a wrinkly “Mummy Tummy” where I used to have a toned waist. But that wrinkly “Mummy Tummy” gives Austin no end of enjoyment when he blows raspberries on it! Daddy’s muscular physique (Daddy will smile to himself when he reads that!) doesn’t provide as wobbly a surface for raspberry blowing!
Every time I look in the mirror at my softer, rounder body, I make a point to be thankful for the two little people it made such a fabulous job at creating. Then the wobbly bits don’t seem half as bad at all.
This doesn’t mean I don’t want to change how I look, I do. I want to lose weight, I want my body to look like it did before I had children. I don’t know if it ever will. Right now, that seems a million miles away! I know it will take time for me to regain my figure – I used to be a gym bunny for a start – but I’m heading in the right direction.
I have signed up with The Fitmama Studio‘s Postnatal course which is an exercise, nutrition and repair course. At the beginning of the course; they assess your Pelvic Floor function and see if you have a Diastasis (gap between your tummy muscles – thankfully mine was very small at 1cm). Then you go on to learn something called the Hypopressive Technique which really, is just plain weird! Hypopressive is all about decreasing pressure within your body and it’s a way of exercising which targets your core, without adding detrimental pressure to your abdominal wall and pelvic floor. I admit, at first, I wasn’t really sure what was going on or even if I was doing it right but now I know what I’m doing and have started practising at home, I can see a difference in my tummy, it’s slowly going back to normal. Of course, being pear-shaped, my hips and thighs are still more than adequately sized! But I’ll get there!
Post-pregnancy brings another body woe. Clothes. What the hell are we supposed to wear? Those of us not lucky enough to ping back into pre-pregnancy shape are left wearing maternity clothes that are too big because our pre-pregnancy clothes are too small. Has anyone else been clothes shopping with a new baby in tow, only to buy something that you don’t really like, in a size bigger than you’d hoped, just because you need something to put on each day? I don’t want to spend money on clothes that I don’t intend to be wearing for very long. I have no answer to post-natal clothing, other than to follow my lead and wear clothes that don’t fit!! It’s all a bit rubbish really isn’t it?!
So in summary, I would tell any other new Mum out there not to get caught up with how you look! Your bodies are awesome, no matter what you think they look like. Try to embrace the way you look in your “Fourth Trimester”! If you don’t have time to wash your hair, stock up on dry shampoo. If you have dark circles under your eyes (I did even before kids!) invest in some YSL Touche Eclat! Buy a new bubble bath, face cream, shoes or some clothes that actually fit (good luck with that!)! Eat good food and go for nice walks (once you feel up to it). Do whatever you like to make you feel like the wonderful woman that you are.
Will I listen to my own advice? Yes, some of it! I apply layers of Touche Eclat and nothing comes between me and a new pair of shoes! But like most of you reading this, it won’t make me like the way I look. I won’t feel guilty about that. I will however, keep remembering what a good job my body did at making my babies. And for that, I will be eternally thankful.