There’s already so much pressure on mothers to basically be superhuman, and I don’t think we need to add any more by including “losing baby weight” in the equation. However, I know it’s a key concern for many women (including me, at one time) and something we all grapple with. I have some big opinions around this, so bear with me!
First of all, it’s completely and totally okay to mourn the loss of your “before baby” body. Becoming a mother is life-altering in every single way, and the toll on our physical body is enormous. I like to say that when we become mums, we don’t just give birth to a child, but to an entirely new version of ourselves, and this includes our new body. And it takes time to come to terms with it. There’s no shame in feeling sad that your body has changed, because it’s natural to feel this way.
However, I do think it’s important that we as mothers give ourselves a break, and really think about what we’re prioritising when we focus on losing baby weight. Diet culture has a lot to answer for here, and I loathe the way that women (and men!) expect new mothers to simply become who they were physically before having a child. It’s not realistic for many women and it can be mentally and emotionally damaging.
There is absolutely no need to “bounce back” after giving birth. I blame celebrity magazines and all those before-and-after shoots for making women feel as though there is a ticking clock for returning to a certain size or shape post-birth.
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