My post baby weight stories
I scroll through Instagram at 9 months pregnant.
“How on earth can she look like this after just having a baby?” I say to myself.
“Agh! I won’t look like that in a few weeks!!”
Five months later, I give birth, I don’t have much weight to lose, I take a photo of my outfit and post on my Instagram.
Comments from my followers:
“Wow, you just had a baby?”
“How do you look so good?”
“I didn’t look like this after my baby!”
Six years earlier…. 2011 my first pregnancy
“Agh, I have no idea how I am going to lose the 25kgs I put on after having Aston. How on earth can I exercise when he won’t stop crying! I am going to be like this forever! Goodbye skinny Topshop jeans, goodbye expensive tops I own! “
I was 29 years old, one of the handful of fashion bloggers in Melbourne, I had a three-month-old baby and all I could fit into was my maternity jeggings(!!!) and baggy tops. I felt like crap, my baby clearly had reflux (which I didn’t know at the time) and I had spent the last nine months eating and sitting on the couch. I had an audience who wasn’t ready to hear about babies and expected me to flaunt the WHAT WOULD KARL DO eccentric outfits that I was known for. I was so sad and lost my mojo for confidence and fashion.
As months went by, I was desperate to lose the weight, I increased my walking (my exercise) and started Pilates, reduced my sugar and carb intake and it was a slow and steady race to get to my post baby weight. By nine months post-baby, I was back into my skinny jeans and feeling somewhat normal, I had previously heard that it takes nine months to put the weight on, it would take around that or more to lose it. They weren’t wrong!
2014 my second pregnancy
“Yeah, I just put on around 16kgs this time, must be because I am chasing a toddler around! Remember how big I was after I had Aston? Mannn I kept getting bigger even after I had him!”
After having my second son Will, my post baby recovery was different, I had a caesarean and needed longer to heal from the birth. I wasn’t too worried about my post baby weight, in fact, it didn’t really cross my mind to lose the weight I had gained, perhaps because I didn’t have as much to lose compared to last time and maybe because, I was in newborn bliss with my perfect little baby boy.
When Will was around three months old or so, I had a blood test at the doctors (if you have been following me for a while, you would know that I have anxiety triggered by health fears and at its height, I tend to get everything checked, scanned etc.) and the results came back saying I had high cholesterol. Me, being me, I freaked out about this and went into panic mode. I thought the worst, that I was going to have a heart attack or a stroke or something along those lines and from that moment, I went Paleo. Yep, in my mind I had to act quickly to get my cholesterol reading back on track before I… well, in my mind, before I died of high cholesterol (I know…). Looking back, it might not have been a bad reading I received with the high cholesterol, but as it was a highly anxious time for me, any result was a bad one.
I ate clean, so clean that if there wasn’t any food available when I was out and about that was clean/unpackaged etc (I was one of those people that ask “whats the dressing made of?” what oil do you use?” “does it contain dairy?”), I would just wait until I got home to eat, sometimes I would pack some nuts or vegetables for situations I would face like that, I didn’t even eat the pastizzi’s at my Maltese grandparents’ house on a Sunday and I loooove pastizzi’s!
Then what do you think happened? Well, I was super healthy, my cholesterol was perfect and I lost more weight than what I was pre-baby, pre-both babies and losing weight wasn’t the intention, the intention was a better cholesterol reading! I was super thin, and then, I got gastro, and then I lost another two kilos. And then… as the vicious cycle goes for me, I got anxiety. I was anxious because I was thin and I thought I was sick and that there was something wrong with me to be that thin. If someone told me I was skinny or said, “I can’t believe you had two babies, look at your body, you are so skinny!” (which was often) it wouldn’t make me happy or proud, I would simply give them a fake smile, my blood would rush to my throat, my heart would beat faster and I would immediately be consumed with thoughts that I was unwell.
(six months PP)
All I wanted was to put the weight back on and I regretted ever wanting to lose weight after my first baby and any time in my life, I just wanted to be healthy, I just wanted to be ok, I just wanted to live a long life.
From then on and when I came through the other side of that anxious time, I vowed to never want to lose weight again and to always be happy with myself whatever the number on the scale reads. Some mums are naturally thin or easily drop any excess weight, some mums struggle to lose the baby weight or never lose the baby weight, some mums care about their weight and others don’t give a #### but you know what? you can be healthy at any weight and that’s all I wanted. Clearly, I wasn’t mentally healthy but physically I was, I was just skinny.
2017 my third pregnancy
“Yeah, I just never have time to sit down, I am always on the move with Will and Aston and work and the house, the only time I sit down is on the toilet, when I drive and in bed! I threw up for five to six months this time but I think the ‘always moving’ thing has kept me from putting on any baby weight! Trust me, I am not dieting or doing it on purpose!”
My third pregnancy, I only put on about 8-10kgs. I didn’t eat differently or do anything different apart from having two kids to chase after. I worked more and my house had more mess to clean with the two boys, I was doing cardio without realising it I suppose. I stopped exercising when I found out I was pregnant because I was extremely sick and also because I had no time anymore as work was so busy and plus I became a school mum which took up extra time with volunteer duties and school pickups.
After Freddie was born, I had lots of comments from people in real life and on Instagram telling me how good I looked and how I didn’t look like I just had a baby and then I would receive messages asking me about tips on what to do to look like me and how to lose the weight, what I did and what they can do too.
Well, this time, I wasn’t worried or anxious about my weight, but I felt bad. I felt bad for the mums out there in Instagram world who would see me post a photo of myself and then feel like crap because perhaps they put on 25kgs after having their baby that they had the same day as I did and compared themselves to me. I felt bad for ‘looking good’ and I felt like I had to justify myself many times in my comments just to make sure ‘Instafollower2000’ didn’t get down on herself and maybe didn’t unfollow me because it made her feel like crap seeing what I looked like.
I have been saving this blog post so I could write it properly and thoroughly. I wanted the new mums to see that I had three different post baby weight experiences and that this time round, it just is what it is and that I didn’t do anything this time that was different apart from naturally being an active working mother. As you can see from baby number two experience, I learnt the hard way that your post baby weight DOES NOT MATTER OR DEFINE YOU, OR MAKE YOU BETTER OR LESS THAN ANYONE ELSE.
Currently, I am 10 weeks PP and am only four to five kilos heavier than my pre-baby weight, and so what!
Yes, breastfeeding makes me so hungry, I find myself snacking on anything sweet that I can find. I have cellulite for the first time in my life after this baby, my skin is dry and terrible and my mummy tummy is still a tummy (one big roll and then the ‘caesarean roll’) and is so squishy, my boys take enjoyment in seeing whose hand can disappear into it, like a bowl full of jelly, like Santa!
Yes, I look pretty good for just giving birth but you see me with clothes on, I see me naked and it is just as squishy, frumpy and cellulity as most women but you know what I do? I strategically dress! Have you noticed? I wear baggy t-shirts or tops to hide my tummy and wear tight skirts, jeans or baggy shorts and have my legs out because they aren’t so bad. Flaunt your assets and hide what you don’t like! I learned that fifteen years ago before I became a stylist. If someone takes your photo, smile, put your shoulders back, pop a hip and you will be babe’n, weight-smeight!
Whilst I am breastfeeding I have no intentions to diet and I might start to think about seeing my personal trainer again, but not to solely lose the 4-5kgs or any kilos, but to tone up, be strong again, to maintain a positive mind and wellbeing and for self motivation/me time.
And for those of you appreciating this post but was kind of hoping for a food plan and an exercise regime, well, when I get into my personal training or pilates again, I will let you know what I am doing. When I see a professional regarding food (naturopath or nutritionist) or a healthy eating plan for breastfeeding, I will let you know also, so that way, I can give you my best personal experience when it comes to these two things. I will document my journey on the way also, without getting too ‘fitness/health blogger’.
After reading my three stories above, I hope you can walk away from this post a little more in love with yourself, proud of yourself and with less pressure to be something that actually isn’t really important right now. Oh, and one thing I know for a fact, your partner doesn’t see what you see, they don’t see the lumps and bumps that you see in the mirror, they just see you, the mother of their children (they are probably still in awe with what you just went though) and maybe they see your new milky breast size, that we all know they can look at but not touch!
*Please note, this is all my personal experience and in no way am I endorsing a new mother to lose weight or make it a priority. (Just wanted to make this clear incase a troll slips in here)