Lets just start this article off with a little disclaimer. This is coming from someone who lost all of the baby weight but still has the same discord with my post-baby body as everyone else. This isn’t to suggest that I don’t feel incredibly grateful to have lost the weight but to say that “the bounce back” we all seem to covet isn’t necessarily anything to do with weight loss.
I don’t understand why “bouncing back” is even a term. From the outset, my body ‘bounced back’, but as we all know if you pull a rubber band it will go back to a smaller size but it isn’t going to look how it did before you stretched it.
When I first had Rory I was just 24 years old. I remember always looking at my newly baggy tummy and just feeling disconnected, although I am INCREDIBLY proud of what my body has achieved, it just didn’t feel like the stomach a 24-year-old should have.
I get a lot of requests to talk about making peace with our post-baby bodies and never felt like I could comment as I did what we are all supposed to do. I lost the baby weight – hurrah! That’s the goal, right? That’s what we are all meant to do to bounce back right? We lose the weight and then our bodies instantly look at how they did before babies, right? Wrong.
My post-baby body definitely isn’t the same body. My belly button has a new frame of stretch marks, my stomach still kind of hangs around like an airless balloon (if I lean forward its more of a turkey neck) and my bum? Where the hell did that go! I used to have a bum. It was a great bum. The second they ejected Rory out of my uterus, I am 99% sure they took my bum too and dropped it on the surgery floor. Oh, and of course there’s that whopping scar now on my knicker line. That definitely wasn’t part of my pre-baby body!
I may have lost the weight but my body still didn’t feel like “home”. I actually felt more comfortable in my skin when pregnant with Elin because at least I had a bit of a curve to me again.
The point of this post is, we need to absolutely stop coveting our pre-baby bodies. I know, I know we know this. I know this isn’t new information. But we need to ditch this term of “bounce back” and thinking that there are some mums out there that have a magic pot of wishing gold and a leprechaun and they are the lucky ones that get their bodies back because it’s just not true.
NO ONE BOUNCES BACK.
No matter what shape or size you are after your baby. Your body isn’t the same because it did a thing.
It got stretched. Its internal organs got moved. Its inners did ten rounds with Mike Tyson. Our skin tones changed. Then after all that it basically went through a car accident, twice (hello childbirth).
Its bizarre to me that we even aspire to have post-baby bodies. Like who made that up? Send him my way so I can have a few stern words.
If I body went through any other form of “trauma”, if we broke a bone, or scarred our skin – would we expect for things to be exactly as they were before?
It’s all relative. If you believe weight loss is the solution to body confidence then I’m not here to tell you that it isn’t, I’m here to tell you not to expect an exact replica of your pre baby body back.
If you think that there are some lucky mums out there with some kind of unicorn magic – I’m here to tell you that they probably feel a discord with the “new them” too.
If we constantly look back, we’ll never move forward. Our post-baby bodies are magic. They created miracles. They deserve some love and respect.
Remember, your words are your wand and to make peace we need to say kind things to ourselves. Not to tell our bodies need to change or that they’re making us miserable like they’re some shiity boyfriend.
We all changed. We are all in this together. We all need to ditch the dream of our post-baby body. We all need to get on board with the new us. Saggy tummies and all.