There is a real fear of weight gain in our society and a lot of us work extremely hard to avoid it. We will wake up at 5 am after being awake til 1am, train even harder after a day of indulgence, and even work through aches and pains that our bodies endure on a daily basis.
For many pregnant and postpartum women, they will work way beyond where their body is currently at so that they A) don’t gain much weight during pregnancy, B) bounce back post-pregnancy. No one tells us the impact that pregnancy has on our body, that adaptations it goes through to support a growing baby and certainly not how we still look pregnant early postpartum. We definitely don’t talk about the impact this can have years after our children are born.
I know that I didn’t walk out of the hospital with the same frame that I had before pregnancy. I was honestly mortified of my postpartum body when I became a mom for the first time. It was emotionally hard on me and I was ashamed. I worked so hard to “bounce right back” after all, that’s what I was told at the gym. I felt like I failed.
I was being praised for my perfect attendance at the gym which felt good. The weight on the scale came down but I still wasn’t happy with my results--so I worked harder and longer. I didn’t understand that because I was breastfeeding and being awake 24/7 for nearly a year, my body was going to carry more fat especially, in the mid section.
My fitness mentality wasn’t healthy. It was obsessive because I was looking for something to help me cope. I was depressed in the body that I was in. After all, I was being praised for my dedication and commitment. In my mind, I thought I was doing something that was positive for myself. This fitness culture was reinforcing my obsession with my body.
I look back now and wish that someone had talked to me about this. I wish that I had known that I didn’t need to be working out for 2 hours every single day to have a healthy body. I didn’t need to be beating myself up or pushing myself to the point of exhaustion. I needed to be taking care of myself by rehabbing and retraining my body first, getting rest, and taking care of my emotional health in addition to my physical health. That’s where the real results happen.
It is perfectly normal to carry extra weight during after your baby is born and you don’t have to work to the point of over exertion to get rid of it. Your body is going to do what it needs for the demands that it’s under. You are transitioning to motherhood which is a rollercoaster in itself and you are much better off starting slow post-pregnancy. Going for walks when the weather permits and low impact workouts for 15-20 minutes a day, a couple times a week is a great place to start. As you feel ready to move on to more, introduce a little at a time.
Trust and love your baby body,
Come and join me for a free Post-Baby Rehab class, London's newest fitness program for new moms. It's the oonly class of it's kind and it's pelvic floor physio approved!