The Postpartum Belly

My plan is not going the way it was, well, planned.   I didn’t lose a full pound this week so there’s no way I’m going to lose 6 total by May 19.  That’s okay.  I was surprised at my reaction because I honestly didn’t care.  I’ve had a huge realization this week.

I need to love my postpartum body.  A pregnant belly is seen as something so beautiful, and it’s celebrated because a life is growing inside.  When pregnant, the belly isn’t obvious until well into the second half, so there’s several months of work in there before people begin celebrating it. 

For some reason our culture thinks that as soon as the baby’s born, the mother needs to look exactly the same as before.  I was really hating my saggy, stretch marked belly and then I came across an article about postpartum weight loss.  It said it can take up to a year before your belly skin shrinks back down.  A full year!  That’s longer than I was even pregnant.

So this got me thinking… if a pregnant belly is seen as something so beautiful, why shouldn’t a postpartum belly be beautiful as well?  After all, it’s the same belly, only better because I endured the 40 weeks of pregnancy and I pushed him out with my own strength.  Not only that, but I’m a small person and I had a large baby and too much amniotic fluid.  It literally looked like I was carrying twins at the end. 

As long as I’m trying to better myself (to me this means eating healthy and exercising) then I can love my body and especially my beautiful and still round belly.  It hasn’t even been 6 months yet and I’m already back to below my pre-pregnancy weight. 

And for the stretch marks?  I thought I was going to hate them.  In fact I did so well and didn’t get a single mark until 38 weeks.  Then one day I felt my skin tear and now my belly is covered in them.  But I earned them.  I lovingly call them my “mama marks”.  And I don’t care if someone else thinks they’re unsightly.The first pic is pre-pregnancy, then 40 weeks pregnant, and almost 6 months postpartum.

I did have a few things happen this week that I am so proud of.  I lost an inch off my waistline!  Now I have 2 more inches to go until I’m all the way back.  I’ve been doing push ups and sit ups followed by yoga in the evenings and I can’t believe how well my body is toning up.  This extra workout is making such a huge difference.  I’m very excited about it.

Because I lost another inch off my waistline, I had to put away my pregnancy underwear!  This was a really big deal to me.  I wasn’t fitting in my pre-preg ones because my belly still needed the extra room to be comfortable.  Well, I’m excited to say they’re put away for good, or if I get pregnant again.



Filed under Exercise & Nutrition

5 responses to “The Postpartum Belly

  1. You have a great attitude about this! I also think you have made tremendous progress on getting your body back. You are a healthy inspiration to all new moms.


  2. I stumbled across your blog through Ravelry. I don’t have any babies yet, but when I do, I know I want to cloth diaper them and breast feed. I read all your posts this afternoon and feel very educated! Keep up the great work!

  3. You look great! Seriously so much better than my stomache looks! And great that you are loving it. I for one do not love my stretch marks, but oh well they are here to stay! You have worked so hard on this, it may just inspire me to excerise more… but then again maybe not! Keep it up though, you are awesome!

  4. Hello Janelle!

    Long time no hear. I’ve been sick sick sick and busy busy busy and thus incommunicado. I’m reading your updates about the fitness with interest – good on you – though I have to concur with your realisation in your latest post that it’s not gonna be the same ever, and you possibly have to learn to love your body anyway. …

    You look fantastic!

    I’m almost back to pre-preg weight, but not nearly the same fitness level nor level of tonedness. But I do my best to just get out and walk a few times a week, would love to get back to yoga but the times just don’t work for us.

    Anyway, just wanted to stop by and say hi, been thinking of you. Hope the new town is treating you ok and you’ve got some good support happening and are doing ok.


  5. I’m 3 and a half months postpartum now and so far from being at my pre pregnancy weight. I’ve had 2 children now and I just got sooooo big with my second one that I have LOADS of stretch marks. I don’t hate them but I’m not in love with them. Not getting enough sleep because I have 2 children 2 and under is not helping my weight loss.
    You can be very proud of yourself and your progress. Looking that good at 6 months PP is not easy.

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