In Defense of the Post-Baby Body

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It seems like every time I turn around I’m reading headlines or ads about getting your post-baby body back or posts from mamas bemoaning their postpartum physique. I understand it to a point, I DEFINITELY look different than I did three kids {and 15 years} ago, but guess what? I’m actually pretty okay with that! Here are a few reasons to be comfortable with {and maybe even love} our postpartum selves

1. It’s science.

You grew a human {possibly multiple humans} from scratch. Your body stretched and shifted and grew in myriad ways over the course of 9 months while you did the insanely powerful work of creating life! You then gave birth to that new life, either vaginally or through a c-section. Either way it was incredibly intense, and it left permanent traces on your body. Then, maybe after all that, you also made food for your baby with your miraculous body! It’s all indescribably amazing work that YOU did. So, of course it changed you in the process! If it took 9 months {plus another year or more, if you breastfed} to be transformed and accomplish all of that, then it isn’t all going to be undone in 6 weeks. Seriously. You are breathtakingly incredible! Your body is a work of awesome power! Think about that when you look in the mirror and some newly jiggly area tries to steal your attention and joy.

2. It’s practical.

So you just had a baby. What happens next? For me, it was round the clock cuddling, feeding, rocking, and co-sleeping. I’m almost two years past the birth of my youngest and she’s still physically attached to me much of the day. Motherhood is a contact sport and a little padding isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You know what has come in handy often? My hips, for holding up a toddler. My tummy, as a little place for an infant to sit while snuggled up against my chest. That little extra layer of cushioning that softens sharp angles and makes for perfect snuggles, not to mention the fact that our bodies are programmed to hold on to some extra weight so that our babies are protected in the event of a food shortage. The changes of pregnancy and birth equip us for the softness and strength of motherhood.

3. It suits my priorities.

I’m a stay at home mom, so I get approximately 1-2 hours a day to myself {not counting my sleep hours}. I do NOT want to use that time to punish push myself at a gym or run laps somewhere. It’s not my thing; it doesn’t recharge me or make me feel accomplished. Trust me, if I’ve got free time to leave the house, I’m going to be meeting my girls for Mexican food and margaritas … not heading to the gym! I get exercise daily: running {after a toddler}, weightlifting {a toddler}, wrestling {with a toddler}, doing squats {down to toddler-level a thousand times a day}, among other toddler-centric activities. I’m moving plenty! When it comes to free time, I would much rather spend it with people I love or simply chill with my heated blanket and Netflix than hit the exercise equipment. That’s okay. If you prefer to get a runner’s high with your down time or build some muscle in your CrossFit box to recharge your batteries, that’s okay too! I just don’t think any of us should feel compelled to hit the gym because of other people’s priorities or what magazines are selling us. The days of motherhood are long and full, and the formless moments are few and far between. Spend your time and energies on the things that are important to YOU, whatever that may be. 

4. It’s not a measure of health.

The number on the scale or in the back of your jeans is not a measure of how healthy you are. Really! They get conflated all the time, but they are not the same. Fitting into your pre-pregnancy wardrobe doesn’t mean you are healthy and failing to reach that {societal} goal doesn’t make you unhealthy. It is much more complex than that. Sometimes the simple act of letting that pressure go can increase your mental health, and that matters a whole lot too.

In Defense of the Post-Baby Body | Houston Moms Blog

If you only hold on to one tiny piece of this post, I hope it is the part that reminds you of the inherent and miraculous strength and power of YOUR body, no matter what size or shape it is.

Look at that life you created! The evidence is irrefutable. You’re amazing.

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Kyla was born in Alaska, but has lived in the Houston area most of her life. She met her husband Josh online when they were in middle school, and they married shortly after high school. They have three wonderful children, Nathaniel {April 2002}, Katie {February 2005}, and Josephine {April 2015}. Katie and Josie both have their own special medical issues and keep life at the Hebert house exciting every day! Katie has a metabolic disorder, suspected to be mitochondrial disease, and a host of other conditions that stem from that. Josephine was born with a congenital heart defect that was not diagnosed until she was almost 3 months old, and was later diagnosed with multiple life-threatening food allergies. In spite of the craziness at home, Kyla graduated from UHD in 2014 with a degree in psychology. She spends her days homeschooling Katie, caring for Josephine, trying to come up with allergy-safe meal plans, and occasionally ferrying Nathan to and from high school events. She enjoys writing, photography, listening to podcasts {mostly true crime}, binge-watching shows with her husband, and spending time with friends. You can keep up with their adventures at Life Is….

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