After I had my first baby, I did a series of “Body after baby” posts because I felt like post partum bodies weren’t being shown or talked about enough. I didn’t know what to expect my body to look like (or feel like) post partum because people weren’t openly talking about their experiences! Part of what I love to use this blog for, is to shed light on topics just like this… to open up a conversation! Sometimes, by not talking about something we end up feeling ashamed or like there is something wrong with us. If all you see are post partum bodies that look super fit or thin, then it’s easy to feel like there’s something wrong with yours if it isn’t that way. Yet, most women do not snap right back into their pre-baby body! Nope. We definitely go through a period where our body is very different looking… for some of us, it never goes back to how it was (actually that’s probably most of us! I am wider since having babies even if I don’t weigh more or wear a larger size).
1 year ago
Anyway, I’m 2 weeks post partum right now so safe to say by my body does NOT look like it did a year ago. I’m totally okay with that. Part of self love is loving yourself (and your body) NO MATTER WHAT. Post partum might be a more challenging time for women to really embrace and love their body’s but if you ask me, it’s one of the most important times to do so. With my first baby, I lost the “baby weight” (28lbs) within just 5 weeks but it took a few more months before I actually fit back into my jeans. It was around that time that I started really working out too. It was pretty amazing to see what the female body is capable of! With this baby I gained closer to 40lbs but started at a lower weight so oddly, my weight at the time of both my son and daughter’s births was the same! I don’t even own a scale any more so I have no idea what weight I’m at right now but that’s fine because I really don’t care. I don’t even care that I gained 40lbs because I know I was healthy through out my pregnancy! If that’s what my body needed to gain for me to have a healthy baby, great! And it will come off (or not) as it needs to too. I don’t feel pressure to lose the weight quickly as long as I am treating myself well (mind, body and soul).
2 weeks post partum after baby #2
That all said, I have had a few people ask me what sort of things I do or I recommend others do in order to lose the baby weight and just feel good in my clothes. So that’s what I want to share with you today!
after my first pregnancy
Loving Your Body Post-Baby
Affirmations: It can help to have some body-positive affirmations you repeat to yourself! If you catch yourself thinking something negative about your body, replace it with a compliment. Do this enough and it becomes second nature! Remember that you are strong. You birthed a baby! Whether it was a cesarean, natural, home birth, hospital birth…. you are so strong and your body is incredible! Praise yourself.
Fuel your body: If you want to feel your best and look your best, food plays a huge part. I paid to have a ton of premade healthy meals (Fresh n Lean) for this post partum period and it really helped me to make nutritious choices. Make it as easy on yourself as you can! Chances are, you won’t want to be cooking every day with a newborn. I keep raw nuts on hand for snacking, make nutrient dense smoothies, reach for fruit as something sweet, use my Instant Pot for fast, easy meal prep etc If you’re looking to lose weight, nutrition is going to play a big part in that! Remember, if you’re nursing you need around 500 extra calories!
Stay hydrated: Sounds silly but when you’re properly hydrated you just feel better! You’ll have more energy, your skin will be clearer… It may not sound like drinking water could impact your self confidence but it really can. This is also key for weight loss and SUPER important when you are nursing!
Surround yourself with body positivity: Unfollow, delete and remove people in your life who make you feel less than. If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to people on Instagram and feeling like poop as a result, find new people to follow! Find people who embrace, love and celebrate their body’s. Find people who are honest and raw rather than photoshopped and misleading. Who we surround ourself with, both online and offline has a big impact on how we feel about ourselves!
Pamper yourself: Slather oil on your tummy, get your nails done (or do what I do and wear Jamberry wraps!), get your hair done (try a new look!), get a massage… Whatever makes you feel pampered! When we love something, we want to take care of it right? So if body-love is what you’re after, you’ve got to treat that body right! Give it some extra love.
Practice self care: Self care CAN be pampering but it doesn’t have to be. It’s anything that helps you feel refueled and more like yourself. Make sure you are doing things for YOU. Read a book, go shopping alone, ask for help, take a nap, meditate… whatever works for you! This is a must for your mental health which in turn will have you feeling better about yourself overall.
Wear clothes you love (that fit!): I remember with my son, I went out and bought a bunch of new clothes that fit. Yes, I went up 1-2 sizes and of course after a while it was all too big but it was totally worth it to have clothes that I felt great in! I’m a firm believer in dressing for the body you have, not the body you wish you had. This time around I haven’t really had to buy much or size up because I’m wearing a lot of over sized sweaters, leggings… At some point I may decide to buy a few things but for now I’m good with what I have. Point is, make sure you have clothes that make you feel good no matter what size they are!
Try shape wear: This ties into the previous point. I am NOT saying you need to look skinnier in order to be healthy or anything like that. Personally, part of feeling good about my body is loving how my clothes fit and that is what shapewear helps me with during that time that my belly is a little extra squishy! I don’t feel like I *have* to wear it by any means but if it helps me get into a pair of jeans that I love and that make me feel sexy, heck yes! Saves me from buying a lot of new clothes too. I have this super affordable pair of shapewear underwear and love it. I did buy a Bellefit corset my first pregnancy but it was too small and so far it’s too small this time too. Belly binding has been around for centuries and is perfectly safe and even beneficial (helps strengthen your core, offers back support etc).
What do you do to love your body?