I’m now almost 5 months post-partum. This is scary enough in itself! I have an almost 5 month old baby boy, who rolled over the other day. Ah the fun begins! I wondered what my body would be like after my third baby during the pregnancy. Would I lose my baby weight this time around? Would it take a little longer this time due to having more children to look after and less time?
It has been slower this time I would say but I am pretty close to my pre-pregnancy weight and feeling confident in my denim shorts again. And I guess I should be proud of this but it seems the opposite.
I was at my daughter’s school sports day last week and one of the Mums I chat to came over and pointed to my stomach, exclaiming, “Look at you skinny minny!” I knew I looked like I had lost all my baby weight and I guess I pretty much have.
Honestly, I didn’t know what to say. How about: “Wow thanks, yes! I’m just so lucky. I have good genes. I didn’t get any stretch marks. I’ve been trying to eat well. I breastfeed. I’m lucky enough to have a husband who works from home, so I fit in home workouts and the gym.”
No, as all of that makes me look like a smug, annoying cow. No one likes a humble bragger do they really?
So what did I do? I kind of shiftily looked around and muttered, “oh I’ve been back to the gym.” I was like some ashamed child, who has been caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I felt embarrassed. I felt guilty. The conversation swiftly changed to her fitness goals and we moved on.
Why should I feel bad for what has happened to my body since having a baby?
I have seen an awful lot of body positivity posts all over social media recently. Loads of people are stripping off to their undies and showing off their bodies; loud and proud. Fighting back against the Insta-perfect bodies. However, I haven’t seen many slim people doing this; people who have bounced back after having a baby. I’m not saying no-one but not as many.
It seems frowned upon. I saw a while-back, a celeb put a picture of her body on Instagram a few days after birth and her stomach had reduced drastically. She trained during her pregnancy however and was followed probably for that reason and of course her image.
She got a lot of slamming for this.
It was unrealistic for many; promoting high expectations for women after giving birth. Yes, fair enough. It was. It is! I certainly took me almost 5 months to get to where I am now. A few days after giving birth to the little guy, I still had a bump. A good-sized bump too.
But even now, after 5 months, where my stomach has shrank and my abs are returning, I feel guilty.
People may say I’m not “realistic”. But it is my reality. It’s my normality. Yes some of this is genetics and just me but I have tried hard to eat well and train when I can.
My realism may not be the same as others and I should be proud of what I’ve managed this but it’s hard. I often feel if I posted a bikini shot when on my recent holidays on the old Insta grid, I would get slated for it, as it was not long since I had the little man. This maybe my insecurities bubbling over but I feel, it is what some would think.
All women are different.
All women have different priorities after having a baby. I’ve made it no secret I wanted to get back in shape after the little man. I love to workout and I love my food too, whether it be healthy food or not. I’m breastfeeding, busy with two little girls as well and the weight has just disappeared. I often think my body likes a specific weight and tries to gravitate back there most of the time.
Should I feel guilty for losing my baby weight? No but it’s a funny time to a Mum right now. You feel guilty for losing the weight and feeling confident and often guilty if you don’t!! Social media has a lot to answer for.
But we shouldn’t! Kids just see you, not a stretch mark, or a bit of extra flesh. They love you regardless and in those weary, first few months after you have had a baby, it’s all that matters.