New Mom Real Talk: 6-month postpartum body image, dieting, working out etc. My last post on the topic of post-baby body image, etc. was written almost three months ago, so I thought it was time to revisit the topic.
Confession time. A few days ago, for the first time since my first trimester of pregnancy, I thought to myself, “I feel fat and disgusting. Maybe I shouldn’t eat as much today.” But you know what, about one second later I thought, “What a horrible way to feel. I don’t think that way anymore and I’m not going to start.” Well, that’s the short version but it’s true. My thoughts about my body changed so much when I got pregnant as did my perspective towards food. Postpartum, I’ve actually surprised myself at how little I’ve “cared” about the two subjects. And you know what? It’s liberating. I always wondered what I’d have time to worry about if I didn’t worry about my weight, calories, etc. and turns out I have time to worry about a baby and family. Seems like a pretty good trade-off to me.
The thing is, I basically let myself off the hook. After L was born, for a while it felt like it would be pretty selfish to worry about counting calories and losing the baby weight. And frankly, I didn’t have the time or the energy. Plus, I’ve been breastfeeding, so my main concern has been eating enough to make sure I can adequately feed L. Generally I eat when I’m hungry (pretty much whatever I want though I typically choose healthy foods) and every day (usually at night), I have some sort of treat. Sometimes it’s two cookies or a couple pieces of chocolate. Some days I go a bit overboard and have a bowl of ice cream too many. The amazing thing, though, is that I realize I’m a little too full and I probably shouldn’t eat so much but don’t let that feeling of guilt creep in. Like I said, liberating.
Hi, Rach! <3
Somehow I’ve been lucky enough to get back to my pre-baby size (er, well, my shape and form is a bit… different). For the last couple of weeks I’ve even been able to wear some of my long-lost and neglected jeans. There are still plenty of shirts that don’t fit and don’t expect me to wear a tight shirt with pants that button, but still, progress. If you are counting, that’s about six months to get back to my pre-baby and pre-hormone size (I gained a few pounds while trying to get pregnant). That might sound like a long time to some people, but I actually thought it would take much longer than that. Letting myself off the hook made it SO not stressful. Seriously, I think back to the days where I’d let my weight consume me and wonder how I can prevent that from happening again.
I’m not perfect and I know that there will be ups and downs in life (and weight) that may mess with my mind. There is a part of me that’s afraid for what will happen when I stop breastfeeding. Will I be able to continue to eat intuitively and maintain my weight? I certainly don’t want to go back to the days of diets, restrictions, and all-consuming body shaming thoughts.
With L on Passover
Hi, I breastfed all 3 of our babies, finishing between 8-13 months. Remember as your baby grows he is going to get more active!! I found my body just naturally settled into itself with regards to hunger and what I ate. Obviously everyone is different and the fact that you generally choose healthy food, which I presume you are going to pass onto your son should help. In all honesty, the best advice I can give is to feed your baby, once properly weaned, the same food you eat. I pretty much made all our meals into baby friendly (ie spaghetti bolognaise – without garlic/wine and extra added carrot for the baby all puréed up), the advantage of this is that our children have grown up eating what we do! Yes I used the occasional jar of baby food if out, or tired! I have never dieted, just always tried to eat things on balance. This has now passed onto our 3 children, who all have very different builds. They will polish of a bowl of melon and strawberries in a flash and love salad with practically every meal. Yes in the beginning one would leave celery, but now eats it. I really believe if you feed your child what you eat from the start you are laying down a good example for life! I’m sure you will be fine. Sammie x http://www.feastingisfun.com
Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Sammie! And I love the idea of cooking baby friendly meals since they will always be healthy (or at least what I would offer will be healthy).
This is such a lovely post about positive body image ♥
Thank you so much, Tina!
1-you’re doing amazing and I think you look great!
2-I love your new attitude about eating/weight, I think it’s exactly the right mindset!
3-Little Liam is SUCH a cutieeeee
I think you look great and so so happy. I am seven weeks in and last week I still was 6 pounds higher than my pre-pregnancy weight. It isn’t the number that bothers me so much as the fact that things don’t really fit. I have the same 5 our so outfits that I have worn since she was born. I am sick of them but don’t want to buy more with the hope that in another few weeks my button pants will fit again. Haha, makes me laugh that your 6 month mark is still a long way for me to go. I might be asking for a shopping trip for Mother’s Day!! And I have dessert after lunch and dinner!!! I don’t think I have ever eaten so many sweets!
I totally recommend investing in a few new inexpensive clothing items or a couple of things that will fit even if you lose a few pounds. I ordered some sale Old Navy pieces to hold me over for a while and lived in those, leggings and button downs for a few months. It definitely feels good to be in my old clothes again but it really did take that six months! Maybe it will be faster for you but don’t stress:-) Happy, happy first Mother’s Day!!!
you are doing exactly what you should be – focusing on your family! you also look so happy and healthy and so does L, so that is really all that matters!
Thanks, Rachel! It really helps to hear that:-)
Look in the mirror! Look at you! Look at my great great nephew! You guys look great!!
See you soon! Xxxooo
Love you! Can’t wait to see you!!!
That’s awesome, Lauren!! I’m so happy for you!
Thank you so much, Erin!
First of all, you look AWESOME. And so happy. And I love that. Second of all, six months is totally normal for getting back to pre-baby weight. I know other bloggers are all like “look how I looked in six weeks”, BUT I’m sure they were dieting and not happy and struggling to produce breast milk. So there’s that.
You look totally glowing Lauren! And I can’t believe that L is six months already; the time has totally flown by.
Thank you so much, Kathryn! And I know… the time flew!
It sounds like you and I had the SAME exact feelings towards food before and after pregnancy. It’s amazing how little I thought about food/calories after the baby was born. I lost a TON of weight due to not having time to eat after B arrived, and now that some of the weight is juuuust starting to creep back, I find myself thinking about calories again…and i hate it :( It’s so great that you’ve got a new outlook on eating. I definitely do as well, and I’m still letting myself eat whatever I want in moderation because if there was one thing I learned from eating without rules during pregnancy/postpartum, it’s that you won’t get fat because you eat dessert/pasta/whatever when you want it! Sounds and LOOKS like you’re doing great. Much more fun to worry about a baby than about your body ;)
So, so agree! Good luck not slipping back into the old habits. It’s so much easier this way:-)