Look, there is such thing as naturally bouncing back from having a baby. Unfortunately that isn't the case for many women. Many women find themselves struggling to lose the weight. There are many difference reasons for wanting to lose the weight fast. Some women feel panic'd to lose the weight before returning to work, some feel pressure to look as good as whatever celebrity had a baby at the same time as them, and still more just put pressure on themselves to get to their old selves as soon as possible. These feelings are normal.
If those feelings motivate and get you going to lose the weight, kudos to you my friend. That is fantastic. This article is going to be for the Moms who need a little more time to get their bearings after they have the baby. The Moms that found that their priorities were slightly different. The Moms that have a hard time showering let alone exercising while recovering. The Moms that are anxious that they are going to be frumpy from here on out and yet they can't get themselves to the gym due to exhaustion or lack of desire.
There is no reason that you need to rush getting your body back and this list will prove it. To be clear on this"Bouncing back" to me implies a quick return to form, and that isn't something that needs to be rushed. Below are some reasons that you should not GAF about bouncing back to your pre-baby body.
15 That Fullness!
Come on now. Those things are banging. By that I mean respectfully, that they are lovely ladies bumps. You don't want to get rid of those too soon. Enjoy that a little bit. Small chested ladies enjoy a little more fullness. Large chested ladies well enjoy a little more fullness too - your cups runneth over. I'm just saying the first place that a lot of us lose weight is in our breasts. That doesn't change so much after a baby. You don't get to choose where to lose it and where to keep it (unfortunately.)
They don't want to be crammed into a sports bra right now and restricted from moving. This is the time to relax. Your pre-baby body never had those. Is it tempting to make a joke about "bouncing" in regards to breasts bouncing when you run? Yes, yes it is. Am I trying to take the high road here? I guess.
14 Biggest Fan Could Care Less
Your new little buddy doesn't care whether you bounce back within 3 months or not. They are already in love with everything from the beat of your heart to that gorgeous extra pooch that you got by carrying them around for 9 months. That is one of their mos redeeming qualities. They don't care much about your looks- toss them a boob or a bottle and change them. They love you to bits. Try to look at yourself through that baby girl or boys' eyes. When you feel like you are starting to have some self defeating ideas about bouncing back, check in with them and see if they have any notes on your appearance. I'm betting that they won't. If they do than you have some phone calls to make and an agent to book because that is amazing.
13 Never Have This Time Back
This is cliche and almost pains me to write it, but you truly won't get this time back. You may have more kids, but you will never get to spend this time with this kid(s) again. You may some day ache in your chest to feel the stiffness in your shoulders that occurs after you rock your baby to sleep for the night. You pause and think because want to put them in their crib, but you also want to catch sleep. Some day you will think about that first little smile that they gave you when they were in a milk coma. The first time they blew out their diaper and you learned that the onesie shoulders and made with that opening so it's wide enough to pull it down off their bodies instead of going over their head with poo. The diaper change... ok, that you likely won't really miss.
12 Slow And Steady Wins The Race
You can't really go by anyone else's timeline when it comes to losing the weight. If you are following a celebrity that gave birth at a similar time as you because you want to be on their track- that is fine, but it's not likely to happen. Unless you have a personal chef, night nurse, day nurse, personal trainer, and glam squad. In which case, if you have those things- why aren't we best friends yet? And if you don't have those things- hey, we can still be best friends.
You should go at a pace that feels comfortable for you. Maybe you can't go to the gym right away even if you have been cleared by your doctor, but you feel comfortable walking the mall with the baby while you try to find some new shoes. That's great. Slow and steady as she goes. You are fantastic.
There is no overstating how much sleep factors into your life after baby's happen. There was no question in my situation that sleep ranked above most activities in my daily life. If the kids weren't sleeping through the night my whole next day was going to be rough. Functioning on low sleep was not ever something that went well for me even in school. That means that any meal planning activities to help lose weight, gym exercises to tone up, or any kind of meditations about weight loss were gingerly tossed to the side while I slept. The positive is that you can't eat while you sleep, therefore it sort of was helpful to keep me from eating too much. Losing weight is 90 percent diet they say.
10 Looks Don't Define
It's never to early to model self confidence. It's never too early to allow others and your child to see that you are more than looks. That again sounds pretty cheesy, but that doesn't make it less true. You have so much that is amazing about you. Whether you are too short a few pounds or you have a few extra pounds, that isn't what is going to define you. You have accomplished amazing feats in the last few months. I mean do you realize what you did? You had a baby. Like a really tiny human. That tiny human is going to some day look you in the face and talk to you. They are going to tell you what they want to be when they grow up. They are going to parrot back the lessons you taught them. Let one of those lessons be that no matter the size, you aren't defined by a body type.
9 Priority Shifts Are Healthy
It's healthy to have a shift in priorities at times. This doesn't have to be a permanent shift. Again it bears repeating- there was a tiny human that excited your body not too long ago. Since you put so much effort to making him or her, maybe they can be priority for a little bit as you get used to them. Get to know them a little bit and see how the whole family dynamic is going to work with them around. See if they are going to be a mama's baby or if they are pretty chill with everyone. Check out what sort of activities you guys can enjoy together. Personally (and you might see this coming) me and my baby's liked to nap during the day together. That was a good time. Didn't help me to bounce back at all, but my priority was shifted and by goodness it was fabulous.
8 Got Buns Hon
There are many women that swear that they carried the baby in their butts through pregnancy. That is where they put on the weight and that is where the weight stayed. Coming from someone that does not have a butt (unless you count pancake butt) I am jealous. Yes, you bet your rump I'm jealous (bears repeating). Therefore butt is going to make my list. Enjoy having a behind. Do it for me. Don't get rid of it too soon. You don't see Kim Kardashian running off to lose hers do you? Actually I'm not sure on that, I saw a picture recently where it looks smaller. J-Lo though, she still has her signature derriere. Do that. You shall do no bouncing back with that butt unless it's the bouncing of a quarter off of that thing. That probably all seems creepy, but it's just that you always want what you can't have.
7 Excess Skin
As much as we all think that we want to get rid of the fat there is another layer to the process. If or when you lose the weight from the baby you should be prepared to see some extra skin hanging around. In some instances the loosey goosey hanging skin to look or feel worse than the few extra pounds did. Those it's obvious that there could be extra skin in the tummy area due to the baby rooming there, some find when it's all said and done they have excess skins on legs and arms too. Not to mentions stretch marks. Some women don't have them through out their pregnancy only to achieve them when they start to lose the weight from the pregnancy. If that isn't the ultimate FU from your skin, I'm not sure what is. Don't let your skin screw with you like that.
6 4th Trimester
There is such thing called the 4th trimester. That goes from the time your baby is born until the time that he or she is 3 months old. During the 4th trimester the baby is doing a lot of adjusting to the outside world. In this time it's kind of important for you to be a little more attached to the baby than you will eventually be. They may be soothed by mom more than anyone else. They may want more skin time. They may not sleep at all when they are placed in their crib. They may seem pretty high needs at this time and you may seriously wonder WTF you got yourself into. Along side that you will not GAF about bouncing anywhere. Keep in mind that the baby came from somewhere dark and constant to this exciting place we call earth. They have a lot of adjustment to do and you are their guide.
5 Start Small (Posture Changes/Core)
You have to start small if you are going to be doing anything. If you haven't exercised in anyway through the pregnancy than you definitely can not start running marathons to bounce back now. The things that you are going to want to worry about first and foremost are your core strength and with that your posture. Your stomach muscles have just been put through some things. They have some war stories. You will want to be gentle with them and yet build up some of what they do. To start off in the time between not GAF and starting to get out there again you can start to sit up straighter. Pay attention to if your back is straight and your feet are on the floor. See if you can work on not crossing your legs so much (unless of course you sneeze or laugh, than you might want to - trust me.)
4 A Year Is Realistic Goal
Again when we think of "Bouncing Back" it sounds like a short process. Taking the recovery from child birth in stride and getting back to yourself can be a year long process. What's more that time frame is recommended and healthy to take. That means that you don't have to watch Blake Lively walk the red carpet and feel bad because you aren't ready to walk alongside her (maybe pushing her out of the way to hold Ryan Reynolds hand.) A normal person that doesn't have all of the resources that stars have will take up to a year to get back. Heck many mom friends will laughingly tell you that their baby is 10 and they haven't lost the baby weight. You know why? They DGAF. So you shouldn't either you lovely thing with a realistic head on her shoulders and beautiful tiny human on her hip.
3 Normal To Look Pregnant After Birth
Do you know it's normal to look pregnant after you have the baby? This was something that no one ever told me. How can that be that into my late 20's I never realized that people still look pregnant and the stuff in the womb doesn't just come out and magically disappear that day? Not sure. I blame the school system and my parents. That won't happen with my kids. I'll tell you that much right now. So you may look pregnant for a few weeks as your body rids itself of built up fluids etc. You should be especially careful at this time to not beat up on yourself and give it time to happen. There are fantastic women that do bounce back and can wear their pre-pregnancy jeans out of the hospital. I know very, very few of them. Go easy on yourself.
2 Nourishment More Important Than Restricting Foods
You should at this moment care about getting nourishment instead of about what foods are going to help you get to a certain number on the scale. This is especially true if you are breast feeding and providing food for you little one. You should be mindful of cutting calories as you will require more for breast feeding. If you are formula feeding you still should focus on nourishing your body rather than bouncing it back to it's pre baby glory. Striving to nourish your body is a good goal when striving to lose "x" number of pounds by whatever date is tempting. For many women that have struggled with weight for all of their lives this time can be very freeing. Allowing themselves to set free a little bit and focus on how to nourish instead of restrict every little piece of food that is in sight.
1 Never Too Early To Model Self Confidence
This probably rings in for me a little truer because I have daughters, but I never want them to think that there was a time I wasn't proud of where I was. Even when the pictures that are there show me larger than what might be ideal, I still smile and have the picture taken. They need to know that in those moments they were my focus. That my confidence came from being their mother and realizing my dream. They need to know that I overcame self doubt and that they can too. They need to know that it's ok not to look "perfect" in the Hollywood sense of the word. Looking perfect to me in those moments were any time they were in my arms because those were the moments I was living for (well, I mean that and sleep.)