Misconceptions of the postpartum “snap back” body

Hello loves!

It’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to compose a well written blog update, let alone even have the time to get dressed in anything but PJs or leggings. Hopefully you’ll all be able to tolerate my inevitable rambling in this post. With so many life changes in the last year, it’s been a little difficult finding the right time or energy to make any type of content for The Blair Bitch that won’t come off as “blah blah blah I’m making zero sense”.

Processed with VSCO with s2 presetAs a quick life update, I got married last August and we welcomed a baby girl into our family in late December. Now, when I initially became pregnant my plan was to post updates on my pregnancy frequently. As a type one diabetic, I figured I could offer a different perspective on pregnancy, but holy shit did I underestimate how difficult it all would actually be. While I’d love to go into details regarding my pregnancy struggles, I’ll save that for a later post. My main focus of this post will be regarding the postpartum “snap back” body all women strive to get after their pregnancy.

Now, wholeheartedly, I’d like to say “screw you” to whoever convinced people women needed to snap back to their pre-pregnancy body so quickly. Yes, I totally get it being a huge want and desire to maintain a nice body after giving birth, but no one actually tells you just how difficult it can be. We can’t all be Kylie or Kim and bounce right back after growing a baby for 9 months and then dealing with all the new stresses of motherhood.

It took me a long time during my pregnancy to understand that I needed to stop comparing my baby bump to every other women’s. I felt bigger than most women at all stages. The second I learned I was pregnant I literally felt as though my body was finally like “okay, you can breathe normally and stop holding your gut in – it’s time to finally relax”. From 8 weeks and on, every part of my body grew so quickly. Thanks to many, many, MANY doctor visits, I learned most pregnancies as a diabetic result in more amniotic fluid than most pregnancies (yay diabetes). This was still really hard for me to accept for a very long time though.

As someone who has constantly struggled with my weight, the weight gain took a huge toll on my mental health. I never wanted to take pictures of myself. I hated even leaving the house. I felt like a balloon! The pregnancy groups I ended up in on Facebook didn’t make me feel any better either. So many women would post pictures of their bumps. We’d be in the same week of our pregnancy and they wouldn’t even look pregnant. Thankfully, these groups also helped me understand that every body is different though. Some women had bigger bumps and some simply had smaller. There wasn’t anything to it. That’s just how it is.

My whole pregnancy I kept reminding myself that once I had my baby, I’d be back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Boy, was I wrong. Breast feeding didn’t go as planned, I never got enough sleep, I lived off of coffee, I couldn’t even go outside to take walks with baby, because it was the middle of winter, and my new birth control made me gain back all the weight I had just lost. Then, as if life hadn’t been difficult enough, COVID hit the world and I couldn’t even sign up for the gym. It’s literally as if the odds were against me ever losing weight again.

Here I am, 7 months postpartum, weighing the most I ever have. As frustrating as it’s been, I’ve had to take a step back and remind myself that just like pregnancy bodies, everyone’s postpartum recovery body is simply not the same. I’m doing more work mentally and physically than I ever have in my life and if my body isn’t where I want it to be, that’s okay. I’m raising a child. I’m working from home, WHILE I’m raising my child. I’m still not sleeping, even when baby girl is getting a good nights rest. I still don’t drink enough water and drink way too much coffee. I can’t expect my body to go back to 120 lbs. right away or even ever right now and THAT. IS. OKAY!!!

We need to stop projecting this idea that women are expected to be done up, right back to pre-pregnancy weight with no stretch marks throughout this whole process. Our bodies have taken 9 months to grow a human and now we need to raise a child. There isn’t time for rest. There isn’t time for perfection, or makeup, or workouts. Whoever says there is has it made. Life can be hard enough without the challenges of motherhood, but add in a new baby and it becomes that much harder.

If you’re a new mumma, remember to take your time. Don’t be so hard on yourself. All of our bodies are different. Some women don’t get stretch marks, some women have fast metabolisms, some women had enough energy during their pregnancy to still be active, or had such severe morning sickness they lost weight during their pregnancy. Everyone is different. You’ve just grown a whole human and carried that weight (literally and figuratively) for 9 months and now you’re carrying that weight on your hip every single day.

No one and nothing can prepare you to be a parent. It’s a learning process. Things are going to be rough and it’s okay to not be “okay” with your body right now. As long as you remember to keep yourself healthy. Keep your child healthy. The rest will happen when it happens. Especially, now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic and life just is not the same as it once was.

I’ve recently invested in a jump rope, more home cooked meals, daily vitamins, and stretches. Across the internet you’ll see a lot of people taking up new activities like skateboarding, rollerblading, and yoga. Now, I don’t know about you… but, some of these activities are a little difficult to fit into my schedule. The point is though, is that as you take the time learning how to juggle being a mom, there’s always new things we can learn to take care of ourselves. If you have the time, going on walks with your baby is great exercise and can help you get out of the house in a safe, social distancing manner (just remember to bring your masks if you’ll be in a crowded area).

What are some activities you are taking up these days? What issues are you finding the most difficult during your postpartum recovery? Feel free to share your tips and stories in the comments and more importantly, stay safe and healthy!

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xoxo,

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