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I am going to talk about something all of us mamas really love to talk about (not really)… our postpartum bodies. The changes your body goes through during pregnancy are amazing! There’s no other way to describe it. You created, and carried around 24/7, a tiny person, or two, or three for 10 months. Then you birthed them. But after giving birth you may not feel so amazing when you catch a glimpse of your new body in the mirror.
While it can be hard not to be frustrated with your new body, it kind of is what it is. Every pregnancy is different. And every body is different. Some people gain barely any weight, some people gain 50lbs. Some people get stretch marks, some people don’t. And some people lose that weight (seemingly) instantly, while others don’t. My body has definitely changed in the four years since I found out I was pregnant with Blaire. I gained about 20lbs with both of my pregnancies, and while that was within the healthy range for me, that doesn’t mean my body isn’t COMPLETELY different, thanks to both pregnancy and breastfeeding.
I love food… even more-so when I’m nursing and ALWAYS hungry. And I love not working out. I would rather go on a walk with my babies and relax on the couch in the evening when they’re finally asleep. But I’m trying to find the motivation to get to the gym while they’re in bed… I’m almost there! haha. I want to be healthy for myself and my family, and I realize that being active and healthy eating are the only ways to do that.
Since I know I’m not the only mama with a toddler begging to go to the pool or the beach this summer, I wanted to share 4 things with you that I hope will make you feel confident to don that bathing suit and get out there with your babies. Just because you don’t have that same body you once had doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful and don’t deserve to have some fun in the sun.
1. EVERYONE at the pool is self conscience about something. It may be cellulite, it may be their love handles, or it might be their feet! For some reason so many of us worry about how we look, even when there’s WAY more important things to worry about… like do you want nachos or french fries from the pool’s snack bar?
2. You are teaching your kids about body image. If your child grows up with a mom who always sat on the sidelines because they didn’t look like a flawless supermodel/celebrity (Shout out to Photoshop), they’re more likely to grow up with body images. I never want Blaire or Ben to think their body makes them better or worse than someone else. We all know it’s what’s on the inside that matters.
3. Contrary to what you may see on social media: Pictures are NOT mandatory. You do not have to take pictures of yourself in a bathing suit. And even if you do, you don’t have to post them to social media. But I will go on record to say I am a huge fan of pictures and I’d hate to miss out on capturing special memories just because I was worried about my side roll making an appearance. (TIP: Hiding your body in the water or hiding behind your baby/toddler/husband is the perfect way to take a picture at the pool without having to show your entire body in a bathing suit!)
4. It’s way less terrible than you think. I’ll paint the picture for you: It’s your first time heading to a public pool in your bathing suit since birthing your child. You look around at everyone, convinced they’re staring at you and wondering what your body looks like under that coverup. You take off your coverup and think everyone is staring at you, comparing your body to that of some (made up) flawless human. Now I’ll paint the real scene for you: You take off your cover up. You realize everyone is actually focused on their own families and fun than they are on your body. Contrary to what your brain tells you, people are too busy enjoying themselves. You are your own worst critic! If you can win your internal battle, you’ve done the hard work and you have nothing to worry about.
Just get out there and enjoy the summertime with your family! Whether that means wearing shorts, instead of jeans, so you’re not sweating to death, or wearing some type of swim cover up so that you can get in the water with your kids… you’ll be so glad you did! Dads shouldn’t get to have all of the fun! The suit I’m wearing is from Lime Ricki. I love the high-waisted bottoms. They’re perfect to cover up my C Section scar. And the top has built in bra that’s great for someone with a large chest. It’s been impossible to find a suit with the appropriate cup size that didn’t look completely inappropriate or like I was about 3 seconds from a wardrobe malfunction. The exact pieces I’m wearing are linked above. If you’re in between sizes, I suggest sizing up. You’ll be more comfortable and comfort is key!
Remember, donning that suit seems so much scarier than it really is. US moms are worriers by nature, thus making everything seem scarier in our own heads.
This body of mine has made and fed two tiny humans. One of which was literally living in my body just over 4 months ago. I may still struggle with finding the motivation to put down my evening snack and get to the gym. And I may use any of my time outside of the office to soak in every, single minute with my babies. And I’ll never regret that. Snuggling my baby and running around the house with my toddler will always take priority over a workout… and I’m fine with that! And it doesn’t mean I can’t rock a bathing suit! xo