After being overstretched and overstressed, your postpartum body needs some love. It’s tough not to frown when faced with sagging skin and a fuller frame in the mirror, but remember what your body has accomplished! Remember, it took nine months to stretch everything out, so you shouldn’t expect it to “bounce back” a week or two after giving birth. It’s not realistic, but we think we can make it happen. Or even think that we should.
Why We Obsess Over Post-baby Bodies
Everywhere you turn, there are images of celebrity moms looking slim and trim just weeks after giving birth. And we are voyeurs. We love to hate those skinny women who have nothing sagging and sport small everything except for giant, perky breasts. So we look. And we look. And then we look some more. Then we go to the mirror, and inevitably compare ourselves to the supermodel types of Instagram. And we wonder: ‘What’s wrong with me and my postbaby sag?’
The answer: Nothing! You are normal. You are YOUR normal. For the majority of the population, pregnancy abs are not normal. But for model Sarah Stage it is normal. Or it was, since Stage delivered her baby a week ago. She had rock-hard abs and a sculpted body that she worked years to develop and maintain. So, sure, while pregnant, she still had incredible muscle tone and strength. It should be no surprise, then, that Stage could post a flat stomach selfie just four days postpartum. That’s her normal, but not yours.
The message here is not to just have another cupcake and embrace your postbaby body, flabby as it may be. It’s okay to want to get your body back. In fact, it’s healthy to want to lose the baby weight and get back into your favorite clothes. What you can do is make healthy food choices and exercise regularly. If you are determined to get your waistline back, be sure to add some specific core exercises that target the muscles affected most during pregnancy and childbirth. But get real. Most likely, you are not going to have the body of a supermodel weeks after giving birth, especially if you didn’t have the supermodel body type before pregnancy! Try to only compare yourself with yourself. Chart your progress — with weight loss and with measurements such as waist and thigh size — to help keep you motivated and on track. And whatever you do, remember that what your body did was miraculous.