Pregnancy: a beautiful thing that bears some temporarily not-so-beautiful results—including stretch marks, saggy skin, droopy breasts, and extra pounds.
Got post-baby body blues? You’re not alone.
If you think you’re the only mom who can’t get back to her post-baby body, think again. “No pressure from the world, I’ve received many compliments. More pressure from myself. Missing my jeans!” shared one of our moms, @SerendipityMama, on Twitter.
“A new mom can feel insecure as she gets to know her post-baby body,” says Kristen James, a Manhattan-based fitness and wellness instructor and founder of Kristen James Fitness. The stress—and emotional ups and downs—of caring for a newborn doesn’t help: “All of a sudden they have these whirlwind, out of control feelings that new parenthood brings, which can leave a women feeling unsure about themselves physically.”
Don’t worry, it’s not all bad news. Despite how Beyonce and Angelina Jolie bounced back to their pre-baby shapes in a matter of weeks, you don’t have to. Instead, spend those early, hectic weeks and months loving the post-baby body you’re in (after all, it just gave you an infant!). Easier said than done? Here’s four tips to help.
How to love your post-baby body
It took nearly a year for your body to get to where it is, and it’ll take at least that long to go back. In the meantime, get familiar with your post-baby body you have through yoga, James says. The poses will boost your posture and flexibility—and help you get acquainted with the new you.
You just spent nine months training for a grueling physical event: Birth. If you look in the mirror and start feeling negative, remember that—and let it motivate you through the challenges to come. Your mantra should be, If I could do that, then I can get through anything.
Set an example
Your baby might not even be able to say Mommy yet, but she’s paying attention to every little thing you do. Be a good role model by showing her that being healthy isn’t just about looking good—it’s about feeling good about your post-baby body, too.
Accept the change
Chances are, your post-baby body will be different even if you lose all the pregnancy weight (hi, stretch marks!). Learn to be okay with it—and do whatever it takes to make yourself feel great right now. Buy a new (non-maternity!) outfit to dress your newfound curves, treat yourself to some new perfume, or just gaze into your baby’s eyes. When you see her starting back, this whole rollercoaster ride will be worth it.