I love that model Lara Stone has published untouched photosof her postpartum body. Granted, she is a supermodel with a physique worthy of Calvin Klein underwear ads, but seeing the fabulous photos with freckles, stretch marks and other “imperfections” made me relate to her on a mom-to-mom level.
Sure, I literally wrote the book on prenatal and postpartum fitness, but I advocate the love-your-postbaby-body mentality as opposed to the elite “fitness secrets” or celebrity weight loss stories so often publicized. New moms have enough to worry about; the last thing they need is pressure to get back into their skinny jeans by three months postpartum. I approach the baby weight issue from a health and wellness perspective. You already know you feel better when you exercise and eat right. So focusing on being a healthy, fit mom is a better than focusing on a six pack.
So let’s get real about post-baby bodies. What can you expect?
-It usually takes six to nine months to lose pregnancy weight if you gain the recommended 20-30 pounds, longer if you gained more, and even longer if you don’t work at it. You don’t have to be radical; just make healthy nutritional choices and try to do something physical every day. You can even just walk around the block or make 10 trips up and down the stairs.
-Even after you lose the weight, your body might not look the same as it did before. You may feel you have loose skin, and the muscles of the midsection are overstretched and take some time to recover. Doing a few core exercises a day can work wonders on firming up those abs.
-If you are breastfeeding, you get to keep those enlarged ta-tas (bonus!) for a while longer, but when they deflate, they often leave you with less than you had before becoming pregnant. So buy a good push-up bra and do lots of push ups to firm up those pectoral muscles underneath.
-Even those who were fitness fiends while pregnant find it tough to settle into a regular workout routine. Life is dramatically different with a new baby. Sneak in a few minutes of activity when you can. Walking, stairs, squats at the kitchen sink or a short workout video with your babycan help you meet your exercise quotient.