I was a distance runner when I had my first baby. I ran throughout pregnancy, and started running about 2 weeks after he was born (I DO NOT recommend that, BTW). It was important to me. I was a little surprised when I got pregnant with Nathan, and I was determined to keep life as “normal” as possible.
If I only knew then what I know now. Famous last words, right? Now I know that body changes happen, regardless of how you treat your body during and after pregnancy. Body changes happen even if you didn’t gain much baby weight and are able to lose it quickly. Body changes just happen.
I was talking with some new mothers at Breastfeeding Bootcamp, my support group for breastfeeding moms. The conversation started because of nursing bras, and what to do about sizing. Breast size increases for most women during pregnancy, and even more after the baby is born and the milk comes in. A good fitting nursing bra can be a hot topic of conversation. From nursing bras to new clothes – and the mothers got into a conversation about finding comfortable pants that fit after baby. One mother, whose baby is 5 months old, confided that she is at her pre pregnancy weight, but her pre pregnancy pants don’t fit.
Things happen during pregnancy. Body parts expand and grow and stretch to accommodate a growing baby. Sometimes things don’t quite go back to where they were before pregnancy. Hormonal fluctuations can bring on changes too. This is a very normal part of having a baby.
Remember how I said that I was running again pretty quickly after I had Nathan? Well, within a year and a half I found myself pregnant with twins. I was told that I could not run during my pregnancy this time. I am blessed with big babies, and the twins were no exception. By the time they were born, I was so big and stretched out. This is the conversation I had with my doctor at the 6-week checkup:
Me: “where is all this extra skin going to go?” I seriously felt like I could remove the skin that had stretched on my belly and build a new person with it.
Dr. V: “hmm. Maybe no bikini this year”.
Seriously? No bikini THIS year? How about ever?
For years after having my kids I had that desire to look just like I did before I had kids. Even now, there are days when I think about that. But the desire is not as strong as the love I have for my kids. I worked hard for those body changes. I am proud of that. I want every mother to be proud of that.
For more on all kinds of body changes during pregnancy and post partum (I am sure there are more you have never even heard of!) check out the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast this week. Dianne and Abby will break it all down for you. Don’t miss it.