How (Not) to Get Your Pre-Baby Body Back

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{Because it’s Not Coming Back}

After I had my first child, I was in a rush to lose the baby weight. I didn’t have a template to follow and I didn’t know if my body would return to the way it was. Now, on my postpartum journey for my third time, I realized how silly I was being on trying to “get my pre-baby body back.”

The Truth is, there is no such thing as getting your body back, because after having a baby, your body will never be the same. The trick is to change our perspective of that phrase. I have compiled 3 tips to help you live a beautiful life with your kiddos and to help you recognize the treasure in being a postpartum woman.

Give it Time

I know this isn’t a new concept, but incredibly important. I don’t know about you, but when I had all 3 of my babies, I was desperate to fit back into my jeans as soon as possible. I risked my milk supply just to get back into my jeans. Thankfully, I was able to nurse for as long as I wanted with my two babies, and am currently going strong with my third. However, I realized that with my second one specifically, I cared way too much about the speed of the weight coming off. For the first 6 weeks I didn’t even lose a pound. Seriously. It took me 5 months to lose the weight with my second, and 9 months with my third.

I didn’t realize until recently the damage I may have done to my body. According to Dr. Beth Westie, a Women’s Health & Weight Loss Specialist, you deplete your nutrients to grow a baby, so your body needs time to replenish nutrients. This is why time is so important. If we cut back on calories or get pregnant again immediately after, we can’t replenish our nutrients and our bodies just won’t function the way they are meant to function. Don’t risk the health of your body just to fit into some societal idea of how quickly you should be “bouncing back”. It can take up to a year, but a minimum of 3 months for our hormones to regulate.

I am telling you from experience that the waiting game is hard. I am not sugar coating this. It takes patience and trust in your body. I am being much gentler on my postpartum body and the weight is (very slowly) coming off. Trust that yours will do the same if you treat it with respect! Respect is KEY, which leads me to #2…

Love your body, as is, now

There is no shortcut to loving your body. You have to do the work, daily. I had a really hard time with this one. I didn’t understand how I could love my body as it was, not at the weight/size I desired, but I trusted that my guidance was leading me to something important. Prior to having kids, I spent probably 25 years hating my body. After my third delivery, I decided to google a bunch of affirmations on loving your body so I could start repeating them to myself. Here are a few I found:

My body deserves love and respect

I love my body as it is today

My body is perfect the way it is and I honor it in this state

My worth isn’t defined by my weight. I define my worth and I am worthy.

I accept my body the way it is

My favorite one, and one I use for nearly everything in my life now, is Ho’oponopono. When I catch myself in a negative thought pattern, such as when I look in the mirror and the critical self-talk starts, I stop myself with this phrase. I put my hand on my chest and repeat “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.” I do this all day long, for anything that I criticize myself for or any mistakes I may make throughout the day. If it helps you, write out the affirmations and tape them on the mirror, or wherever you tend to catch yourself being self-critical the most.

What I found, was when I treated my body with loving care, and spoke positive words to it, as is, it started to lead me to things that felt good. While my initial response was to jump back into high intensity workouts like I once did, I first had to work on healing my Diastasis Recti, which slowed me down. Then I just didn’t have the energy to get back into my morning routine so I slowly got back into something by choosing to do 30 minutes of yoga every morning. When that started to feel like too much, I allowed myself some grace to get up and do it only when it felt good. I have spent the better part of these past nine months resting, which is quite a different approach than my previous postpartum journeys. A postpartum body is super fragile, and we should really ease back into things much slower than society is making us feel like we should.

Acceptance

It took me 3 pregnancies and a lot of eye-opening experiences to realize that my body is never going to be the body it once was. That’s a beautiful miracle and accepting that fact is important. I was incredibly lucky to have 3 healthy babies, and my body shows that. I have stretched skin that isn’t going away. The gift of being able to nurse my 3 babies have completely changed my breasts, and don’t even get me started on “down there”. It’s all different, but a constant reminder of the miracle I got to partake in by having 3 babies. Accepting that your body is changed because you got to be a part of growing a human and helping him/her enter into this life is nothing short of a miracle. Celebrate that! Enjoy the journey on uncovering the natural beauty of your postpartum body, because it is, after all, your new body.

A final point: it’s important to remember to nourish your body throughout your postpartum journey, and always. I feel like this goes without saying, but I must bring it up. Eat what makes your body feel good over the long term, not the short term. When you feed your body well, give it time, talk to it with positive words, and accept that where you are at right now is exactly where you are meant to be, then all the stress of trying to get anything back, falls away. Rest, mama, you deserve it.
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Regina
Regina lived most of her adult life in California while pursuing her dream of being a working actress. When life blessed her with being a mother, her and her husband, Will, decided it was time to return to the Midwest, where both of them grew up. Regina returned to her home state of Wisconsin and has since added a second daughter, and a son, to her family. She is extremely passionate about living a balanced lifestyle, which includes nutritious eating, meditation, fitness, and wine. A recovering perfectionist, Regina now focuses on progress over perfection and is working on being more compassionate to herself, and vows to have self-care be a part of her daily life. She also loves to read, listen to music & podcasts, and experiment with baking. Regina lives in Verona with her husband and three children. You can follow her further on her journey at www.MoveYourRoots.com (@moveyourroots on Instagram).

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