Bouncing back after having a baby might not be just as easy as you´ve thought. As a matter of fact, it might not happen at all.
And that’s totally okay.
We all have heard or seen stories of moms who got their postpartum bodies back into the previous shape just weeks after giving birth. Social media love to show us the amazing looking celebrities who snapped back days after giving birth.
The snapback social game
The snapback is EVERYWHERE.
While it is totally understandable that as a new mom, you want to feel good in your own (and somewhat new) skin, and be healthy and strong after pregnancy, this snapback game just puts so much pressure on you.
I mean, I understand why celebrities and supermodels try so hard to lose the baby belly pouch as soon as possible. At all costs.
But for the rest of us – let’s give our bodies some time to cope with the changes.
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Why some moms snap back so quickly
Weight loss after having a baby varies for each mom. Getting back into shape isn’t always as simple and straightforward as eating healthy and exercising more.
There is one factor that plays a huge role and that really is out of your hands.
Our genetics don’t change just because you have given birth so remember that when youĺl start to compare yourself to all the Instagram new mom celebs. when following other mums on Instagram and take a look at what they looked like before becoming pregnant.
In general, a woman who was very slim before getting pregnant (and she doesn’t necessarily have to lead an active and healthy lifestyle) will most probably “snap back” very quickly after having a baby.
But this is entirely down to her genetics and the way her body responds to pregnancy.
Then, there is this other factor, that you can influence big time.
Lifestyle before and during pregnancy
This factor comes down to how fit you are and the level of your muscle mass.
Generally speaking, your pre-baby body shape can affect how fast you lose your pregnancy weight. The less weight you gain during pregnancy, the shorter it will take to lose it.
Your increased muscle mass will provide you with a faster metabolism, (that also contributes to weight loss) and it definitely will make it much easier for you to ease back into your postpartum training routine.
There are real dangers in bouncing back too soon after having a baby
There is a natural reason why bouncing back after having a baby is not that common and you shouldn’t focus on that.
The body adapts for nine months to carry and birth the baby and needs time to heal and return to its previous condition.
I know youŕe probably impatient and want to feel “yourself” as soon as possible but hear me out. At this point, this is the most important thing you need:
Time to heal, embrace and get stronger.
I know you might probably read this sentence everywhere, but honestly, that’s the real deal. Awaiting your belly to shrink back into pre-pregnancy shape anytime before 6 to 9 months postpartum is just not realistic.
Here is why bouncing back too soon after having a baby can actually hurt you:
1/ You need to heal your pelvic floor
A pelvic floor is a group of muscles around your bladder, vagina, and anal passage. It supports your pelvic organs and, during pregnancy, also the baby inside your womb. Pregnancy and birth can cause the pelvic floor to weaken as the weight of your baby and the labor put a lot of pressure on these muscles.
If you leak when you jump, run or sneeze, your body is trying to tell you that theres a disconnect in your system.
According to Christina Suprenant, a pelvic floor fitness coach, “The “Body Back After Baby” craze is hurting our Moms. The lack of proper guidance in the postpartum stages along with the desire and push to “look good” has driven our Moms back to traditional exercise activities too early and their bodies just can’t handle it.
Just like any weakened or injured muscles in our body, also the pelvic ones can be repaired. And even better – they can be strengthened beyond their previous condition.
Check out Christina´s targeted method that focuses on strengthening the pelvic floor the right way.
2/ Check for Diastasis first
Abdominal Separation or Diastasis Recti means your belly sticks out because the space between your front left and right abdominal muscles has widened. This is caused by much pressure on the belly during pregnancy.
I know my abs have suffered tremendously with two pregnancies and quite big babies. I have a diastasis and a small umbilical hernia I’ve managed to reduce with a help of a PT and specialized core workouts.
Don’t throw yourself into a “100 crunches a day” regime straight away. Before you start any core exercises, make sure you self-check for ab separation.
How to perform self check?
- Lie on your back, bend your knees, and put your feet on the floor.
- Place your fingers about an inch above your belly button with your fingertips pointing towards your feet.
- Lift your head as you were starting a crunch and see how many fingers fit in the space between your left and right ab muscles.
- If the gap is more than two fingers wide, you most probably have ab separation.
Healing ab separation is also closely linked to strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. That is why you need to work on both in order to get your core into shape.
Where to start when you have diastasis
There are certain dos and don’ts when it comes to exercising abs with diastasis. Make sure you check them out here to get your workout right!
Also, you might want to consider exercising with a PT or a specialist, who is focused on ab separation.
Look into online programs created by professionals in this field, such as MUTU System.
Wendy Powell, a founder and CEO of MUTU System is a globally recognized voice and leader in maternal physical and mental health recovery. She created this pioneering, body-positive, medically recommended online exercise program for all mothers in 2009.
Since then, they have helped more than 68,000 Moms get healthier, fitter, and stronger.
This holistic program and expert-led community empower women to gain confidence in how their body looks, works and feels. It gives you the body confidence you deserve.
MUTU provides evidence-based proven techniques to improve pelvic and abdominal symptoms from ‘baby belly’ or diastasis recti to embarrassing leaks, painful sex, or prolapse symptoms.
3/ Your hormones are a mess
Hormonal imbalance is a factor that many of us don’t take into consideration when it comes to losing weight. There are many studies showing that hormones after pregnancy can actually prevent your body from shedding those extra pounds!
Because of this hormonal cocktail flowing through your body, bouncing back after having a baby may be incredibly hard (if not impossible).
Here is the thing:
Not only sleep deprivation causes your body to crave sugary foods. The lack of sleep and the stress brought on by becoming a new mom increases the level of cortisol – the hormone is responsible for weight gain.
I struggled myself with this big time. I almost gave up on trying. Only about 12 months postpartum I finally started to notice bigger changes in terms of my body shape and scales.
The good news is:
You can actually help your body to cope with your hormonal imbalance naturally. If you want to know how, check out my FREE e-book on this topic!
You’ll regrow after giving birth. Forget bouncing back
There was a time when I felt the pressure of having to “bounce back” as soon as possible as well.
I checked my belly in the mirror every time and went by. I used to step on the scale every day and then ended up feeling gross and guilty.
I didn’t like my body. And yes, I tried to embrace it, but I just couldn’t. I hated looking at my post-baby photos. As a matter of fact, I have very few of them. Mostly pics of my babies 🙂
I couldn’t understand why despite being active and eating healthy, I can’t seem to make any progress.
Dear mom, here is the thing:
Give your body TIME to recover. Timing is everything.
- You don’t have to love your body right away after giving birth
- You don’t have to fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans to be happy
- You don’t have to look like you haven’t had a baby
BE PATIENT. Enjoy your baby. Give yourself the permission to just be and let go of that snapback game. Time flies by so fast the first few months. It’s not worth to push yourself.