the one about the baby weight.

by Janetha on October 28, 2014

in oh baby

so, my blog was down for a few days and i just realized it. whoops. anyway, hi! how are you all? hope things are going well.

fox had his 2 month checkup and shots yesterday, and he did great. he’s always super smiley and happy at the doc, probably because we always go in the morning AKA his super happy time of day.

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little man weighs 10 lbs 1 oz and is 21.25 inches tall. he took his shots like a champ, but then had a really rough night afterward. he was in so much pain, it really hurt my heart! marshall and i were so sad—seeing your kiddo in pain is basically the worst thing ever, we decided. i just nursed him more frequently and gave him an extra bath and some tylenol. and lots and lots of cuddles. after a long crying fest, he passed out on my lap for a good chunk of the evening.

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he slept well last night and he is back to his happy self today, thank goodness. love that little boy.

well, it’s time for another post for my clueless FTM series! it’s been a minute.

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today i am rambling about the baby weight.

you know.. i have been putting off typing a post on this topic for awhile, mainly because i get so bothered every time i think about typical posts regarding losing the baby weight. i didn’t want this post to be one big rant, so i postponed typing it.. thinking that maybe it’s my postpartum hormones making me so annoyed by the subject. but, as it turns out, it’s not my hormones. those posts just suck. and they’re dumb. aaaaand my post is probably going to offend anyone who has ever done a post (or a series of posts) regarding losing their baby weight. oh well.

let me preface this by saying that i am not normal, not by any stretch of the imagination. i’m a weird one. but i do have a pretty good grip on reality and i know that it is NOT normal to obsess about your body. yes, it’s normal to care about what you look like and worry about being in good shape—but let’s not get crazy about it. it is extra not normal to obsess about your body right after you have a baby. simmer down, ladies. there are SO MANY OTHER things to obsess about—like figuring out how to be a mom! trust me, nothing can prepare you for what it’s like to have a newborn, and once you have that teeny new baby, your life no longer belongs to you. your priorities shift. i feel like many blogs put forth this pressure to put weight loss #1 and bounce your body back to what it was before you had your baby in 2.2 seconds.. and that’s just not normal.

i want to talk about it today because i never really see posts about how it’s okay to not worry about your body and that you should just focus on being a mom and all the overwhelming hardships that come with that. i wish i came across more “real” posts about life being flipping TOUGH with a newborn (it is!) and that you may find it downright impossible to focus on getting your pre-baby body back. and that not only is that okay, but it also is, in fact, probably normal.

so. before i was pregnant and fox wasn’t even on the radar, i would skip over body after baby posts because they were not relevant to me. then when i was pregnant i started to read them and noticed that they were somewhat strange—like why were people SO concerned about their body? didn’t they have a baby to worry about? why all the side profile photos of your belly? you aren’t pregnant anymore.. i understand the belly shots documenting your pregnancy—but you had your baby. side profile photos can stop. and now that fox is here, i am straight up bothered by all of those type of posts. i can’t even read them anymore, they bug me so bad.

they bug me for a couple different reasons…

one, because they are encouraging women to be overly concerned about the way their body looks very soon after having a baby. after just, you know, GROWING A HUMAN BEING INSIDE OF YOU. and then either pushing that human out of a small hole in your body or getting him/her removed by slicing a hole through the flesh of your midsection. yeah. there is no way we should focus on getting nor expect to have the same body we had prior to pregnancy and childbirth so soon after giving birth. and it’s always the same shpill–posting photos focusing on what that post-baby bod looks like and how much (or little) weight is left to lose, rather than focusing on regaining fitness.

and two, because every woman is SO different. the amount of weight gained, genetics, how our baby came into this world.. all these factors play into what our body is like postpartum. and because of that, every woman is going to have a different experience regarding “body after baby” –i hate that phrase, by the way. so when a blogger chronicles her incredible journey of getting her pre-baby body back, without giving tips or advice on how to get in shape as a new mom, it all just comes off as one big humble brag. nobody is worried about you getting a banging body back except for you. not your friends, your family, your new baby, strangers on the internet. not even your husband. at least i hope not.

don’t get me wrong, i haven’t given up on physical fitness entirely. i believe it should be a priority and being active, fit, and healthy is a crucial part of being able to be a good mom and is just important in general. i definitely think eating healthfully and moving are key throughout all points in life, including postpartum. i am not knocking a clean diet and regular exercise—hello, those are great habits. however, being active, fit, and healthy has nothing to do with what your body looks like.. which is what we see as the main focus time and time again in these body after baby posts. there is literally NO benefit in life to have a flat stomach. unless you are a swimsuit model or something, i guess. and, guess what? your stomach probably won’t be the same as it was for quite some time. sure, it may be flat and your abs may make an appearance.. but it will definitely be a changed stomach. some moms i know say their stomach will never be the same again. and that’s okay.

let’s talk about numbers for a minute. specifically, the number on the scale. it doesn’t mean shit, folks. it drives me batty when people say they are back to their prepregnancy weight.

GREAT. good for you! but guess what? that’s just a number. and it does not mean you have the same shape you did prior to pregnancy. that is where the real struggle is. your shape. bigger boobs, wider hips, a jiggly belly, and a saggy bum. those are some things you can expect to have postpartum. so while the scale may reflect the same number it did before you conceived, that doesn’t mean your clothes will fit the same. congratulations on losing your baby weight—but you still have to wear jeggings and baggy sweaters for awhile. okay, maybe that’s not the case for all women, who knows.. maybe their shape bounces right back. but not for me, and that’s all i have to go off of.

you know what’s strange about our culture? people constantly saying, “good job!” to women after they reveal how much of their baby weight they have lost/how little they have left to lose. yes, it’s great to congratulate a person when they put in a whole lot of effort and lose weight through making healthy changes to their diet and incorporating regular exercise into their lives. but when we are talking about postpartum weight loss? no. don’t congratulate me. i don’t deserve a medal for it. i have put zero effort into losing weight. i am constantly eating because i am breast feeding (and a lot of the time it’s not the healthiest food because i’m too busy to cook) and i haven’t broken a sweat from exercise since 2013. i need no congratulatory words when you ask me about my weight loss. any weight i have lost is due to giving birth to the human that was inside of me and all the fluids that went with it. that paired with genetics is what has put me where i am today, so don’t tell me good job.

the thing about pregnancy weight is it’s so specific to the individual. everyone gains a different amount of weight and there is nothing you can do to change that! i have a friend who worked out her entire pregnancy, diligently, and ate clean nearly the entire time. she gained sixty pounds. i didn’t exercise at all and ate like a teenage boy on a dollar menu budget throughout my whole pregnancy, and i gained 25 pounds. your body is going to make the changes it needs to make and gain what it needs to gain, no matter what you do or don’t do. i mean, i am sure diet and exercise plays a small part in your weight during pregnancy, but it is not going to dictate if you gain 20 lbs vs 50 lbs.

which means we are all different after having our babies. some will have 20 pounds to lose and others will have 50 pounds to lose. and let me make a very important statement:

you didn’t get FAT. you got PREGNANT.

it’s totally normal to care that your body is all weird and that you don’t fit into your clothes. yeah, you might get discouraged about it from time to time—that’s okay. you went through a big change and your body is totally different. it’s okay to miss the old pre-baby body. but it’s also important to realize why you are where you are. you didn’t give up on healthy living, you aren’t a failure—you grew a human. it changes your body.

losing weight after giving birth is not the same type of weight loss as when you gain weight from overeating/being lazy/etc. it is SO DIFFERENT. first of all, you will lose a big chunk of it right after you have your baby. turns out, that human and the placenta that it lived in weighs a good amount. and then in the couple of weeks following birth, you will probably lose weight at a pretty quick rate. and then that weight loss will probably slow down or stop, and then you will have to do things to keep losing weight. but you won’t want to do things, because you will be so obsessed with your baby and also you will be so busy with your baby and that’s just the way it goes and that’s A-okay. don’t feel like you need to bounce back to your old body right away. it will take time. and that amount of time will be different for every woman.

also, side note: the amount you do or don’t exercise and/or eat healthfully during pregnancy doesn’t necessarily dictate how easy your labor will be nor does it have a huge impact on how slow/quick your baby weight will come off. of course it doesn’t HURT to stay active, but it’s not going to make or break your experience. i didn’t work out a bit and my labor was a breeze and i have lost weight despite having a lazy pregnancy. i really feel like genetics plays a huge role. again, i am just basing this on my experience alone.. but i am so sick of people saying they attribute their easy labor/postpartum weight loss to staying active during pregnancy. and i am sure it makes gals with rough labors feel like shit.

my next paragraph needs to be typed because my blog DOES talk about weight loss/getting in shape from time to time and i don’t want to come off as a hypocrite. you guys know i am all about promoting healthy ways to lose weight and get/stay in shape. i am no stranger to the before and after photo. i have done body for life, insanity, jamie eason’s livefit trainer, and the advocare 24 day challenge. i like trying new things and sharing them with you. i like showing you what works for me in case you want to try it, too. however, pregnancy weight loss is not one of those things. my postpartum situation is my situation, and you don’t need to hear about it no see photos of the current state of my stomach. it’s not going to help anyone in any way. and that’s why i don’t understand why so many people pour so much time and energy into documenting their experience. it’s not helping people.

you know what will help? sharing how to squeeze an at-home workout in between feeding your baby because your boobs are his/her food source and you live your life in little “between feedings” chunks. or a quick make-ahead meal idea for those nights your baby decides to scream for five hours straight. those are the type of postpartum food & fitness posts we need to see more of. not a month-by-month photo comparison of how your stomach is progressively getting flatter. that’s only serving yourself. and it’s doing no favors when it comes to shifting the focus away from body image obsession. if anything, it is making other women fall into the comparison trap and make them feel bad. and that sucks.

that maybe sounded bitter. not the case. i’m just passionate about the matter, apparently. not bitter. in fact, i am so happy with things. my baby is two months old. my boobs are giant, my belly has flab, and my hips are wider. i am not even trying on my prepregnancy clothes yet because i don’t expect them to fit. (plus, leggings. love.) my body was turned upside down and inside out over the course of nine months. i would never expect it to be the way it used to be just two short months after giving birth. also.. it’s already hard enough to have a newborn! it takes all your time and energy and you are legit running on very little sleep. why waste the little energy and time you do have on worrying about what your body looks like? it can wait. for now, focus on creating a healthy, happy life for you and your new baby and your family.. not on how your body looks. your baby is only a baby once. your body will always be there—no matter what shape it is.

that concludes my body after baby post. guess it got pretty lengthy and wordy and ranty. oh well. thanks for reading. feel free to share your thoughts on the matter in the comments. we all have different opinions, and that’s what makes life interesting.

xo. janetha g.

 

it has been brought to my attention that the comment count is visible, and you can comment, but the actual comments aren’t visible. this is a wordpress glitch and i am working with my developer to try to fix it. you CAN view the comments if you are on a mobile device, but not if you are viewing the desktop version of my blog. i’m sorry! there are so many great comments on this post, so i hope to get it fixed ASAP!!

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Kem October 30, 2014 at 7:47 pm

I don’t care if Bloggers (or whoever) want to jump back into fitness and losing weight straight after giving birth, I just wish they’d be honest about it and admit that it’s important to them! There’s nothing more dishonest than in one breath claiming you’re not worried abut losing the baby weight then documenting your 5-6 crossfit classes / stroller runs / spin classes etc you’ve taken that week in the next. And then it’s made even worse when the blogger allows the multitudes of comments from their fan girls praising their “relaxed” attitude to weight loss!

Just be honest with your readers and be real!

And in my experience, the weight loss doesn’t mean jack, the pounds fall off some women but cling to others and it’s complete luck of the draw! (And speaking from experience, excessive weight loss brings about it’s own set of problems when you’re trying to maintain decent supply for bf’ing)

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Paige @ Your Trainer Paige October 31, 2014 at 7:18 am

“focusing on what that post-baby bod looks like and how much (or little) weight is left to lose, rather than focusing on regaining fitness.”

YAAASSSSSSssss. So much yes.

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Sam October 31, 2014 at 9:31 am

Hey Janetha-
I am a long time- silent- reader, and like so many above, had to pipe in. Thank you so much for this post- I wish I could reach through the internet and hug you. And, I am not a hugger, so take that as you will!

I am 4 months pregnant, just getting over being so sick and so tired, and I had a mini breakdown on how I was just sure I was doing some sort of damage to the baby and will have a horror of a delivery because I was living on bagels, bean burritos and netflix marathons. I have not worked out since I found out I was pregnant, and hearing “I was so active and healthy and am just SURE that is why my baby is so cute/healthy/smart/etc or am so POSITIVE that is why I had such an easy delivery!” It is almost downright hurtful when the least you can do is get out of bed in the morning to get to work- let alone work out for an hour or eat a whole head of lettuce.
So, thank you. I really can not tell you how much it means to me to hear- hey, it is ok.

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Sam October 31, 2014 at 9:32 am

that was terribly written, but the idea is- you rock.

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betty October 31, 2014 at 12:42 pm

um i love how realistic you are. ive read some of those blogs before like that and it makes me nervous to have a baby. i dont want to obsess over weight. i know i’m trying to lose right now, but thats so i can conceive easier and be healthier. i want to enjoy my baby, not feel guilty for eating milk and cookies, or skipping the gym. i just love you!

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Gina October 31, 2014 at 3:46 pm

I love your blog and i’ve been reading for a while but never commented. This post spoke to me even though i’m 50 and i’ve never had a kid. You are so down to earth and the HLB world needs more voices like yours!!!!!

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Katie D. November 1, 2014 at 5:31 am

Thank you!

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Trisha November 1, 2014 at 10:56 am

I just got caught up on your last 5 or so posts and you know what? You rock, Janetha. Your perspective and your realness are something I never get sick of! The world is so full of people who take life way too seriously but I love that I can come here and get a great dose of real. And a dose of that sweet baby!!

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Ileana November 2, 2014 at 4:14 pm

YAY JANETHA! I have quit following a whole bunch of blogs recently (you can guess which ones) for this exact reason. I am looking ahead to the time I have babies as a time full of joy (and yes, challenges) and I love that your blog describes it as that! I don’t want to think about how having a kid is just spending nine months gaining weight I’ll then have to lose. I want to think about the awesome little nugget I could someday soon grow in my belly and then get to watch become a person! Some people just completely miss the point! I feel so sad for people who seem to only be able to like their lives if they’re being praised for being skinny. It’s no way to live.

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Janetha November 3, 2014 at 11:52 am

i think this is my favorite comment on this whole post!

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Dalia November 3, 2014 at 10:37 am

I loved your post! Thanks for being so honest.

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Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections November 3, 2014 at 11:39 am

Wow this post hit me like a ton of bricks. I am 17 weeks pregnant right now, doing pretty decent with weight gain. I am a runner and have not been able to run at all this pregnancy until this week, so I’ve already started to REALLY miss running and think about how quickly I want to get back to it after baby. Although I have a lot more of pregnancy to go, I am already stuck envisioning what I want to do after baby – and I don’t even know what the rest of my pregnancy or birth or baby will be like! Dangerous, I know. I think it’s because I am so conditioned to care about my health and that I just plain love fitness. I really love that you just said “you got pregnant, not fat.” There is a huge difference! That really puts things into perspective for me!

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Paige November 3, 2014 at 3:56 pm

I am not pregnant and never have been pregnant, but this post was such a refreshing read. A real departure from the common HLB mindset on the “post baby body.” Thank you so much for sharing your real, down-to-earth thoughts.

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Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons November 4, 2014 at 4:46 am

Since my blog is mainly a food blog and my readers seem to loathe baby posts, I never felt as if I had an outlet for a post of this sort and I’M SO GLAD YOU WROTE THIS! Seeing all the blogs and IG posts [with those stinkin’ side profile progress shots] made me feel so insecure. I was super ill after having the chickpea [in fact I was sick the entire first year of her life, yikes!] so between my doctor visits and her doctors visits and nursing fails and pump-a-thons and trying to shove food in my face and do that thing.. what’s it called? sleep! yes sleep! I couldn’t give a flying fuck about societies pressure for me to get my body back. I slid my scale as far under my bookshelf as I could and didn’t work out until 6/7 months PP when the baby finally realized sleep was cool and she would start doing that. It’s rough. Ohmygoooosh no one really talks about how rough it can be sometimes. Or maybe they did and I didn’t want to hear it, that’s beyond likely. It’s also really really ridiculously awesome to have this teeny person in your life that is basically your newest best friend. They’re adorable, they smell amazing, and they need us. The last thing we need is pressure to reach some waistline milestone or fit into some ridiculously tight pair of jeans. Pants are overrated anyways! Woof! Longest comment of life! I just kind of wanted to ramble to let you know I’m here for you and if you ever need a sounding board or a random piece of advice on “WTF JUST HAPPENED?!” I’m here. Also, the scale is still under the bookshelf. It’s not coming back out =)

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Annette@FitnessPerks November 4, 2014 at 11:20 am

Well said. I never focused on how much weight I lost after baby (although I did do a postpartum series, it was all about my fitness & strength levels), and I never obsessed about either. For some reason I didn’t care as much as I thought I would. Baby L is the best thing that’s happened to me, and my fitness was regained eventually. I did bounce back pretty quickly, but I have no idea if it was genes, nursing, active pregnancy, etc. I am grateful for the quick recovery after labor though, being a mom is tough & I needed some of that agility to get up & down a lot!! hah

It’s hard to tell from a blogging reader perspective though, because you don’t get to see everything the blogger does–I will give bloggers that ;) But it’s always bothered me about focusing so much on inches lost & pounds lost. But that also come from my disordered past–I choose not to focus on those numbers so much, and instead focus on how I feel and the stuff I am able to do in the gym :)

xo

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Teena November 4, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Congratulations on taking care of your health, delivering a healthy baby and keeping your priorities straight. Everyone is an expert on what mothers should and shouldn’t be doing including how they should handle their postpartum weight. I felt very under the microscope after each of my babies and I had to remind myself every day that taking care of my health and my baby is all I need to worry about and the rest will take care of itself. :) Cheers!
http://savvybloom.com/savvy-blog/

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Teena November 4, 2014 at 2:15 pm

BTW…here is a great quick, lean, tasty, healthy snack or meal. Smart bite organic corn & quinoa cakes (like a rice cake but tastier), smear a layer of oil free hummus, add tomato, onion and top with broccoli sprouts. Cut up your tomato and onion and wash your sprouts while baby is sleeping or content so that it is all ready to go when things get crazy. My youngest is 6 and this is still one of my favorites. :)

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Janetha November 6, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Thank you!

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Kelli November 5, 2014 at 11:14 am

I love this! So much truth. It is so easy to get caught up in the world of comparison with social media all around. I love the quote “Comparison is the thief of joy”

I was of course obsessed with body after baby and comparing others and worrying that my old jeans would never fit again. But you know what? We should instead all be focused on the BABY (duh) and becoming the healthiest version of ourselves.

If we are too worried about our bodies, our baby’s health and our health could suffer as well. Let’s start a revolution!

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Kristie November 6, 2014 at 11:34 am

Great post and really awesome to hear! I’m currently 34 weeks pregnant with my second baby and this time around is completely different so you are right that genetics play a role. I also figured out I have problems digesting gluten and dairy in between babies so the massive weight gain I had on the first pregnancy was probably due partly to that but this time around although I’ve been active and my first I was not and my diet is a bit better I still have gained 30 lbs (which is better than 70+ lbs last time) so that part is genetics. I wish I was able to read this my first pregnancy because I got told by a lot of people(in person not virtual) I was big and people were “concerned” I wouldn’t lose the baby weight and pretty much a whole lot of negativity which slightly traumatized me so this time around I think I have fought with being slightly obessesed with weight gain but I have recognized this and am working on it. I did lose all my “baby weight” or should I say extra weight that wasn’t baby which was 50 lbs the first time around(took me over a year and half) so I’m not as concerned about it and everyone who is negative or makes a comment to me now I just tell them that is not what a pregnant lady wants to hear. You are absolutely right that we need to be more concerned with being a good mom instead of how our body looks, really people should always focus on how they treat others and their character then the way they look but I think it’s easier to go workout and eat healthy then be forgiving to someone that really hurts you. Maybe that’s not everyone but I know it’s harder for me, just being honest. Thanks for the good post, it helps me stay focused on the important things of life other than the extra .5 lbs I gained this week, lol.

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Janetha November 6, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Great comment! Thanks for chiming in!

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Jamie November 6, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Hi Janetha,
I think the points you make in your post, are amazing. They are valid and worthwhile and have merit. In short, I think they are great. I think women should appreciate how amazing their bodies are, regardless of the size or shape they are in. At GPP there is a quote on the wall, that says, “Your body is an instrument, not an ornament,” I think this is so true. I dislike immensely that so much of society’s value of women comes from their appearance.
With all that being said, – I do want to make a counter point about your post. I don’t think it is right to “shame” the women who do want their “body before baby” back as soon as they can. I think we as women should support each other regardless of someones goals or approach being different that our own. Maybe I misread or misunderstood some of the points you were trying to make or maybe it was just a sensitive topic for me, but I think we should support each other women regardless of our differences.

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Janetha November 6, 2014 at 4:04 pm

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be in shape. It’s the flaunting and vanity and pressure of it being OMGSOIMPORTANT that drives me crazy. It’s not just with postpartum bodies–it’s society in general. Puts a lot of pressure on us to think looking a certain way is important.. it’s sad that women who don’t bounce back quickly feel bad about it. And I know many women who feel this way due to society’s pressure, and so I am speaking out against promoting that pressure further.

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Claire November 6, 2014 at 6:30 pm

YESSSS you are da bomb bomb bomb

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Michele @ paleorunningmomma November 6, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Back when I had my kids I didn’t read blogs, and what a good thing, seriously. I had your feelings about these issues – really and honestly didn’t think about the state of my body or my shape because I was completely consumed with being a mom. I don’t honestly understand the pressure women put on themselves to lose weight quickly, it just wasn’t on my radar whatsoever, and prior to kids I was definitely into running and fitness and all of that. But as the mom of a newborn and then of very young children, I had so much more going on that weight and my body were things that just never came up.

Although my kids are a bit older now, I’m glad you wrote this and I really feel like every pregnant woman needs to read this! I see the “body after baby” stuff you refer to and even being removed from that part of my life, I still find it frustrating that there’s a big focus on it. Thanks for putting your thoughts out there!

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melissa b November 21, 2014 at 12:23 am

The feelings of pride and happiness I got from growing and now raising two amazing kiddos far outweigh any happy feelings losing a few pounds has ever given me. I focus on taking care of us and being healthy and happy…I can do that just fine in my stretchy pants until my jeans fit again.

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Leah December 8, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Just chimin’ in to say I ran up through 8 months of pregnancy and did yoga the last 2 trimesters and my labor was 27.5 hours. Just more evidence that being “in shape” does not make for an easy labor. :)
I do empathize with Melissa about not feeling like “yourself” when you can’t run (or other workout of your choice) during that nasty first trimester or when you start to get antsy near the “6 weeks–sex & workout” post-partum checkup. I loved being easier on myself during pregnancy and directly post-partum, but at some point it’s hard not to be able to do the stuff that makes you feel healthy and sane.

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Leah December 8, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Also…when I told my doc I was aiming for natural labor (no pain meds), he asked me whether I’d ever done an endurance event. I was like, “um, yes, I ran a marathon one time, 7 years ago??” thinking “How is that supposed to help me? I am nowhere NEAR in that shape now.” But he told me that the *psychological* endurance of training for and completing something like that was the key factor–not whether I was still in that shape. Food for thought.

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