Your Body After Giving Birth: 3 Things Every Mom Must Know!

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3 Things Every New Mom Needs To Know About Their Body!

You know those women who have a baby and then about three weeks later they look so wonderful it’s like nothing ever happened to their body?

Yeah –confession timethat’s not me!

And if you are one of those women, that’s awesome, I am seriously happy for you! But if you aren’t I have something you might want to hear.

Four days after I turned 21, I married my husband… fast forward a half-sec… and 1.5 months later… we were pregnant.

My wedding-perfect body started to instantly transform.

Before I got pregnant I hadn’t ever dealt with insecurities concerning my body image. I really liked the way I looked. I wasn’t “skinny” before I had my first baby. In fact, I always just felt -for lack of a better term- “average” and I was great with that.

Even while I was pregnant I felt great about how I looked. I knew I was growing a baby inside of me and I loved it!

And then it happened…

It was about 3 days after giving birth to my first baby that I seriously freaked out! I had read that I needed to be prepared to look about 5 months pregnant still by the time I left the hospital. So I brought to the hospital some clothes that I fit into when I was 5 months pregnant, expecting to be able to leave the hospital in them. As you might be able to imagine, that didn’t happen.

I seriously could not fit into those clothes!

A couple days after that I was starting to feel pretty recovered from giving birth and ready to go out on my first outing to Target! The only thing I could really fit into was some old stretched out sweats…yay…

I immediately started crying and to be honest, I completely lost it!

I felt horrible, embarrassed, and scared that I would never look the same again! I didn’t even want to leave my house. What if someone that I knew saw me? What if I would live the rest of my life feeling awkward about how I look? I know these thoughts may seem terrible, but they were real, very real.

I experienced for the first time what it felt like to be uncomfortable in my own skin, and I really didn’t like the feeling.

As I am writing this I am 3 weeks postpartum with my fourth baby and I have learned a few things that I want to share with you.

First, it is very possible to get back into the shape you were before having your baby!

For most of us it takes a lot of hard work and time!

Give yourself time. I am going to say that again: give yourself time!

I always tell people to give yourself at least a year after giving birth. With my second child I gained 70 pounds during my pregnancy. I know, I know, that’s a lot of weight to gain. I don’t know what it is, but my body just likes to gain a lot of weight when I’m pregnant (I promise I don’t eat 15 brownies every night)!

It took me about 14 months to get back to my regular size and once I did I never really thought about how much weight I had gained during my pregnancy. I was just happy to be feeling healthy and more like myself again.

Keep in mind, it took me 14 months of consistent exercise and a very strict diet.

If I can do it, you can too. Just remember that it is possible, but it takes time and it requires dedication.

Second, nobody, and I mean nobody analyzes your body as much as you do!

 

How do I know this is a challenge you are likely facing? Because, I have never met a woman who didn’t over-analyze her body after giving birth. It seems to be an issue that all postpartum moms struggle with. I wish I could go back in time and say to myself what I’m about to say to you.

My suggestion, stop looking at yourself so much! I know that sounds crazy, but for real, stop looking at every little curve and stretch mark. Your body just did something amazing! It literally created a human inside of itself and sustained its life for 9 months!

Your clothes might not fit right and you might be wearing those same maternity pants for the next several months. But -if you can- don’t make the mistake of letting your looks be the primary focus of your life.

Instead, think about how incredible you are… not your body, but… YOU!

You might look a little different for a while, or maybe even for an extended period of time, but that doesn’t mean you are different. You are still the same amazing woman that you were before.

And -in truth- you are even more amazing because of all that you accomplished in having your baby.

And third, remember you are not alone. We have all gone through it before.

Every mom has had to go through that awkward after-pregnancy phase where nobody comments on how cute you look with that “sweet little belly”. Where your older children come up to you smiling and say “your tummy still looks like it has a baby in it”. Or how about the countless times you walk into a public place and want to tell everyone, “Hey, I just had a baby! I don’t normally look this puffy!”

You are not alone. I feel it. With each child I have felt it.

So remember this, you are beautiful.

Not because you have a flat stomach and a thigh gap. You are beautiful because you are YOU.

You are a momma…and when your baby looks into your eyes, you are the most wonderful thing he can imagine seeing. Because your body -regardless of how it looks this moment- made him and brought him into this world.

You are amazing and don’t ever forget that.

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