This is an uncharacteristically personal post for me and one I wasn’t sure about writing, but I think in Blogland and on Instagram it’s easy to project this image of ‘bouncing back’ physically after having a baby. But for me, the reality is that adjusting to this new body after baby number two has been hard.
I came out of pregnancy number one relatively unscathed – sure, after breastfeeding for eight months, my boobs looked a bit deflated and everything was a bit softer and saggier, but overall I was very pleasantly surprised (much like Nicky). So I think I went into pregnancy number two with high expectations, thinking everything would be the same.
In the days after Thomas was born, amidst the rest of the hormonal craziness, I started to wonder when my tummy would go down, but after two weeks, I had to resign myself to the fact that a soft, squidgy belly and extra love handles were as good as it was going to get for a while. And truthfully, it bothers me – every time I look in the mirror, I feel a bit disappointed. I know it shouldn’t bother me, and deep down I feel a bit silly going on about my belly when I’ve just grown and given birth to a baby – I should feel like Wonderwoman! I also keep trying to remind myself that Thomas is only nine weeks old (and I absolutely subscribe to the idea of ‘nine months on, nine months off’). Right now, though, nine months feels like a really long time to wait.
The thing is, it’s hard enough to get dressed when you have huge boobs that need to be accessible at all times, but add a sizeable pot belly into the equation and it feels impossible. I like to look nice and, for me, it’s especially important right now as a way of reclaiming a bit of my identity in the midst of a new baby taking over my life. I am slowly figuring out what to wear and what’s most flattering – and, as I say all the time, a bit of lipstick works wonders, too!
As I mentioned the other week, I‘m trying to make exercise a priority (we love exercise on Everyday30), not only to lose weight, but also because it makes me feel good and I want to feel fit and strong rather than worrying about a baby belly. Of course, I’m also trying to be somewhat restrained with my eating, but it’s so damn difficult – after a whole day trying to soothe a crying baby, I can stress-eat a tub of ice cream in no time!
How did you feel post-baby? Did you find it difficult to find flattering clothes? Did you even care about how you looked? I’d love to know.
P.S. Why we don’t need to love our bodies anyway, why exercise is so great and how to meditate.
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It definitely took me at least a year to lose all the weight second time round. Walking and breast-feeding definitely helped – although I didn’t actually diet or do any proper exercise until after I finished feeding at 1 year. I think it comes off as gradually as it creeps on. It’s early days for you, but of course you’re going to be bothered by it, it’s only natural. Nearly five years on, although I’m back to my old size, my stomach still refuses to be completely flat – but I think I feel ok with that. If you don’t already have them, then invest in some flattering high-waisted jeans – they work wonders and feel so much better.
Thanks Lizzie. Yes, high-waisted jeans are the best!
My son is 7 years old now and I still have a tummy. I tried sit-ups but soon gave up. I think not walking as much as I used to and not exercising might be to blame. Wearing high-waist jeans sounds like a great idea. I try to wear blouses and tops that are a little loose around the middle. I stay away from any tops that would hug my tummy. For a while after I had my son, I continued to wear maternity clothes but then I wanted to feel like my old self as much as possible again so I started wearing regular clothes and tried not to feel discouraged because I was now wearing large when I used to wear small. The good news is that I still shop in the petite section. I have gotten used to my tummy and as long as I have flattering clothes to wear, I’m good.
Thanks for your comment Adele. I’m always torn between (a) feeling shallow for overthinking how I look when my body has produced a lovely son, and (b) feeling like it’s my right to take the time to look nice if I want and that I shouldn’t beat myself up about it. It’s hard not to beat ourselves up about everything, basically! But, like you, at the end of the day, I’m good X