Body After Baby: Bring it on!

Baby O has finally arrived and now that we’re home and I’m gradually recovering from surgery and counting down to the coveted “all clear” from my doctor, it’s time to shift focus a bit. I’ve spent the last 42 weeks documenting as best as I can, my journey through a fit and healthy pregnancy. All in all, I did awesome! I moved, I grooved and I kept my weight gain to a reasonable amount of 33lbs which is 17 less than I gained last time. But it wasn’t as much about the weight as the lifestyle. I felt good, I felt strong and I know my body will bounce back faster because of it.

That being said, I also recognize that the portrayal of post-pregnancy that the media sheds light on is far from accurate. Those 33lbs don’t just melt off the second the baby comes out. My abs aren’t going to magically fasten themselves back together and suddenly form a six-pack and I can guarantee you the only thing flat on my body right now are the bottoms of my feet. The only thing that irks me more than the skewed views society imposes on us for what is healthy vs. unhealthy (i.e. size 0->healthy; size 6->plus size) is the idea that women’s bodies can, should and do shed the veil of pregnancy instantly.

People…it just ain’t so.

I am not a professional, I have no fancy degrees or education therefore the views here are strictly my own and based on my own experience. That being said, I can also say that as an average, every day women who juggles 2 kids, career (when not on maternity leave), home, outside family demands and so forth, what you see in magazines in not realistic. But that does not by any means say that you can’t have that same end result…just don’t expect it to happen overnight.

In shifting gears from pregnancy to post-partum, you’ll get the opportunity to follow me through my Body After Baby (BAB) series. You’ll get a firsthand look at how a regular person (me) goes about getting back into shape, losing the baby weight and hopefully being in fighting form to run a half marathon later this year. As with anything I write about, you’ll see the good, the bad and the ugly in this journey. Starting with….the post-baby belly. Not as adorable as the big belly from a couple of weeks ago but hey…THIS is what we look like after giving birth.

Nearly 42 weeks pregnant

5 days postpartum

No six-pack on this mama

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Stephanie is a Canadian Mom of 3, Runner, Certified Functional Strength Coach (CFSC), Christ-follower and all around reeker of awesomeness. When she's not chasing after her kids, you can find her dreaming big dreams and bringing them to life.

23 Responses to Body After Baby: Bring it on!

  1. Thank you for sharing this post! So many moms( myself included) need to be reminded that the tabloids and magazines do not completely show what it looks like post baby. I just had my 2nd baby boy 2 months ago and am working hard on gaining my abs back! Congrats on your little boy and I am excited to follow your progress and gain motivation myself!

  2. This is really interesting to see. I didn’t know that the belly stayed outwards. From the (not so fun) stories I heard, the skin “fell”, or melt off like you mentioned. That’s really naive of me, but I really thought the belly disappeared. Obviously I’m not a Mother yet, myself. So it’d be neat to continue to read your BAB series. Thanks for sharing.

    • The belly gets markedly smaller in the second week (at least that’s what I’m noticing). I also have a lot of swelling from a difficult c-section delivery. But yep, the happy poochie belly doesn’t disappear when the baby comes out. After my first, I thought the exact same thing as you. That was a tough one to swallow.

  3. Beautiful – and yes THANK YOU!
    I remember when I had my son and I was still in my maternity clothes – I was quite stunned… Uh… but I gained 50 lbs and he “only” weighed 8 lbs… But I’d never really done that math before – ha!
    Congratulations & welcome home!

  4. I can say that I was stunned when I was “checking out” of the hospital after my first born and was STILL rocking maternity clothes AND was annoyed and almost mad at myself for still having a belly. It took a couple of days for me to accept that it just doesn’t all fall off.

    Now, I’m a mom of 3, but still have a belly (youngest is 17 months) :( I am glad to have you (via Laura Lohr) and will be following your BAB and hopefully, can find workouts for me out of shape self.

  5. Thanks for sharing it like it truly is! We don’t have any kids (yet?) so I appreciate seeing a real, fit women looking REAL after a pregnancy and birth! Neat post. :) Congrats on a beautiful new addition to your family! 😀

    • Thanks :) Some women bounce back really quickly but I don’t think there is any differentiation in those first few days. We all still have a “tv tray” as my hubby calls it, it’s just a lot squishier after the baby is born :)

  6. You rock! My belly button never poked out so that is pretty cool to see. I thought my mom was crazy telling me that would happen.
    You look awesome and I know you are going to inspire, empower, & inform with this project.

    • I used to have an “inny” but since Fit Boy, I have this major “pokey-outtie” that never went back. In my house, it gets more pokes than I’d like!

  7. Such an important post!
    With my first baby, I actually packed non-maternity jeans to go home from the hospital in! My husband and I still laugh at how little we knew about pregnancy and babies back in the day! ( and we’re both biologists!)

    • I couldn’t even fit into my sweats or pj pants after my first. I thought I was an abomination of nature. If only I’d known then what I know now! I expected the loose skin but just assumed there would be a flat tummy underneath it. Ha ha! Oh how we learn from experience :)

  8. Thank you so much for this post and your candor about post-baby bodies. I’m pregnant with my second and already stressing about my postpartum body. I never lost the baby weight from #1 and I had such a hard time accepting how much my body had changed after I had my son. Even though I know deep down that the “post-baby bodies” in celeb magazines are unrealistic, I still felt like that’s how I ‘should’ look.
    However, I’m proud to say that I’ve treated my body so much better during this pregnancy than I did with my first, and I’m hoping that will at least help me get back to my former fitness level, even if I’m never as thin as I once was!
    I’m so very excited for this Body After Baby series, please keep up the good work and know how inspirational you are to this mama!!

    • You’re very welcome! I’m glad it was able to provide some realism. I don’t particularly like the look of the post-baby body but it helps knowing that this is how it is supposed to look. I’ve also noticed that with a second pregnancy, the recovery is slower so don’t fret (as I am trying not to!) if that lovely belly pooch hangs around a bit longer this time. Also normal.

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