Weight loss after baby is born is the goal of every new mother. Well, MOST moms. Ok, SOME moms. And some new mamas are too busy with snuggling baby, changing diapers, loss of sleep, or feeding baby to even care about weight loss! Is it time for us to change our expectations of what is beautiful in mothers?
While the tabloids glamorize the latest fashion model who loses all her baby weight and can fit back in her bikini when baby is a mere six weeks old, the rest of us are just thankful to be accomplish getting a shower each day in the beginning! As we flip through the channels at 3 am, trying to convince a confused infant that nighttime is for SLEEPING, we see the weight loss ads and the beautiful people with the flat bellies who absolutely do not fit the reality we are living, and our loss of self esteem is magnified. If, by chance, there is a rare celebrity who doesn’t slim back down and lose her baby weight, critics are quick to rip her apart in the headlines.
But, really, does it matter? As you look down at that tiny person, dribbling milk out of the corner of his mouth, giving you that adorable drunken sailor look, is there anything more important in the whole wide world than that bundle of sweetness? Weight loss can wait another day, because that tiny one won’t stay little for long.
And be patient, because if you are breastfeeding, weight loss will happen naturally. Nursing burns an extra 500 to 1,000 calories a day! That is weight loss without any extra exercise or starvation diets or pills or anything.
Instead of looking at the extra weight and the stretch marks as things that make you less attractive, why not look at them as badges of honor, kinda like guys look at their battle scars. You made a baby! Your beautiful body grew an entire person inside that belly. So what if you have stretch marks? Not everybody gets those, you know. How many men do you know with stretch marks on their mid-section? That’s right. None. Because they don’t grow babies. Parenting speaker and writer Ann Douglas has this to say about weight loss and the postpartum period:
Many new mothers comment that they feel “out of shape” when exactly the opposite is true; they are in perfect shape for having just had a baby. Still, in a society which equates slimness with beauty, is it any wonder that many postpartum women have a difficult time coming to terms with their bodies?
So what if you have less-than-perky breasts. Yours are providing everything that a baby human needs to grow into a bigger human! They have all kinds of incredible things going through them, like antibodies to protect from illness, nutrients that build baby’s brain, and fat and calories that grow baby. And the fat cells in breastmilk are different from other fat cells. Weight loss will ultimately be easier for your child!
It’s like the recent Olympics in Sochi. There are some who are up in the stands watching all the amazing feats of the athletes, but never getting in on the action. And you, as a mama, are the Gold Medal Olympic Gymnast, whose amazing body has performed all kinds of incredible exploits!
So embrace the beauty of your postpartum body with pride! Weight loss will come, and you can work on it when you get time. But for now, focus on loving that baby. Extra weight may still be with you, but time with baby while she’s still little goes by really fast.