Written by Sarah Reid, Bumps & Burpees Trainer and Mum of 1
I have to begin by saying I loved pretty much every second of pregnancy, including the way my body changed. It’s a shock at first but I constantly reminded myself that these changes were only temporary and they were necessary to create a safe and happy home for my baby.
After I gave birth to my baby girl last October, my interests of course changed and I started transitioning the content I follow from prenatal to postnatal and I was really surprised by the messages I was seeing. My Instagram feed was flooded with messages such as “why would you want your body back, you already have one” and “your body grew a baby for almost 10 months, you should appreciate it rather than try to change it.” Messages with judgemental undertones that made me feel guilty, selfish, egotistical and shallow for thinking about my plan to “get my body back.” So there I was, adjusting to life as a mum with spit up in my hair, wee down my trousers, a flabby tummy and an extra 10kgs. And I was just supposed to accept the latter two?
No. Just no. It is never ok to make a woman feel like this. Women literally relinquish all control of their bodies for 10 months for the sake of another life (more if you choose to breastfeed) and now we want some of that control back. I wanted to feel confident in my own skin. I wanted to feel healthy. I wanted to feel beautiful, dare I say sexy. But mostly, I wanted to feel like ME!
And so I continued with my plan at absolutely no expense to the care and love I provided my daughter. In fact, I felt I was able to provide even more to my baby as I started to feel more and more like myself. Not only that, reconnecting with my healthy habits through diet and exercise will surely provide a positive example for my daughter as she grows up.
Pregnancy changes you and a lot of those changes are hard to cope with – stretch marks, diastasis, reduced strength, increased breast size, decreased breast size (that tend to hang a little lower than where they used to) and weight gain just to name a few. Only a few of which we can control. So go ahead and control the controllables – if that makes YOU feel better about YOU.
One of America’s most talented athletes (he played both professional American football AND baseball) once said: “If you look good, you feel good. You feel good, you play good. You play good they pay good.” And I can’t think of a quote that rings truer for post-partum mamas.