Bouncing back after baby

A friend of mine posted to her Facebook page yesterday, celebrating the fact that she fit into her pre-pregnancy jeans at only one week post-partum.

Any other day I may have just thought, “Well, good for you. Thanks for sharing” and moved on, but the comment struck a chord with me. You see, I had spent an hour recently convincing another good friend that it is completely normal for her body not to bounce right back after pregnancy. I told her I subscribe to the nine-months-up, nine-months-down philosophy that says no matter what you do or how few calories you eat, it is going to take at least nine months to get your body to feel normal again.

So I crossed my fingers that my disappointed friend wouldn’t see the gloating post of my elated friend. While that’s great news about her speedy slim-down, it’s not normal.

Normal is not being able to zip up your pre-pregnancy jeans for a year (if ever) because your hips are permanently wider even if your legs can fit into them. Normal is trying on five different shirts every morning that used to fit perfectly but now are mysteriously too short or too tight or otherwise unflattering. Normal is wondering when your body will start to feel like your own again.

And honestly, that day may never come. My body is way different now than it was pre-pregnancy. In fact I finally bought myself some clothes that actually fit my new body style — and it has made all the difference. Rather than squeezing into clothes that really don’t fit and constantly feeling bad about myself, I am wearing clothes that actually flatter my size and body shape.

My friend who is struggling to lose the baby weight wondered if she was doing something wrong. The bottom line is everyone is different and sometimes it just takes time. Yes, some women leave the delivery room looking incredible, but others may never look the way they did before that baby busted things up. That’s OK.

As mothers, our bodies change to create these little lives, and I don’t know many mothers who would trade in their little ones to fit back into those pre-pregnancy jeans. They are worth every pound, every sag and every pair of jeans we keep in our closets because we swear we will get back into them someday.

So, congratulations to those who squeeze back in quickly. And to those who never do, who cares? Rejoice in your healthy, post-pregnancy body anyway.

How did your body change after pregnancy? Any advice for my friend who is struggling to feel normal again?


  1. Danny Chipman

    I’ve been thinking along these lines all week as I finally finished boxing up all the pre-pregnancy (before I had three kids) clothes I’d been holding on to, thinking, “Someday…”. I’ll be taking them to DI later this week. Part of me feels bad for “giving up”, but I got really tired and frustrated ransacking my closet for something to wear for church once I no longer fit in the “normal” or the “maternity” categories. On the other hand, should I ever manage to get back down to the vicinity of 105 lbs again (hahahah, I’d give up a kidney for 140 now), a shopping trip will be a well-deserved reward.

    In the meantime, while I battle the urge to fight my childrearing stress with desserts (and often losing), I’ve come to accept that it’s better to keep striving for healthy rather than skinny, and that my kids wouldn’t love me any more if I weighed ten, twenty, or fifty pounds less. With my six-year-old daughter already pining for skinniness, I’ve got to teach her now not to confuse skinny with fit, and lead by a much better example!

  2. SLCgal

    I posted a similar brag on fb after my son was born. What I didn’t mention was that the jeans were really tight, I had a muffin pouch pouring over the top that three years later is still not going anywhere, and I bought them when I was four months pregnant. In my mind, it was pre-preg, because I wasn’t in maternity clothes at that point.

    As women, we have to go with what we got, instead of playing this crazy one up game. Maybe the friend of yours that is back in her jeans lost more because she’s up all night with her baby that can’t stop eating. Maybe the friend that isnt’ bouncing back as quick gets a little more sleep. My point is there’s always a trade off. There’s always good, and bad. It helps to look at whats going right.

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