Dressing (& Accepting) My Body After Baby

The truth is that my body looks (and feels!) very different since having Ben. It’s only been about 8 weeks since I gave birth, so I know I have plenty of time to get back to “normal”.

But in the meantime, I still need to get dressed every day and want to feel confident and comfortable in my new skin. Today I (well actually Casey) thought it would be fun to tackle the topic of how I’m dressing my body after baby. I’m definitely no expert in the post-baby body department, BUT hopefully, if I share my tips and tricks, someone else may be inspired to love her new body, or at least make the best of it, until we can all get back on track. Sound like a plan?!

Navigating My Body After Baby

How Much Weight Did You Gain?

During my pregnancy, I refused to look at the scale. When I visited the doctor the first thing they did was weigh me and I would make a point to look away. I wanted to focus on the fact that my body was doing an amazing thing that I needed to be forever grateful for, rather than being worried about what the scale read. But let’s be honest, I wasn’t always in love with what I was seeing in the mirror… especially late in the pregnancy (which seems so stupid now that I’m not pregnant anymore).

But I knew I was looking a bit larger when Matt and I went to a breastfeeding class and one of the husbands asked when I was due. I told him my due date, he looked at me and he seriously replied, “are you expecting twins?!”.  Not exactly something that any woman (pregnant or not) ever wants to hear from a man! Those are the times that I would quickly remind myself that being healthy was the most important part, even if that meant more weight gain than I anticipated.

At my six-week post-baby appointment, I asked the nurse how much I gained throughout my pregnancy (it was way easier for me to ask after the fact). She told me I had gained 40 (!!) pounds over the 40 weeks. I share this because pictures can be deceiving, and I don’t want you to think I was one of those lucky women who leaves the hospital in her regular jeans. Because that is faaarrrrr from reality for me.

Actually, when I was waiting in the wheelchair to be discharged, Matt was pulling up the car, a woman literally stopped, looked at Ben and said to me, “Isn’t it crazy that you had a baby and you leave the hospital still looking very pregnant?”. I got in the car and sobbed. I blame the tears partially on the hormones and partially on that crazy woman. What was she thinking?!

Either way, gaining 40 pounds was more than I anticipated, but I’m definitely not complaining because that weight helped bring a healthy little miracle into my life so I’m forever grateful.

What’s Different About Your Body After Baby?

Can I say everything?! The biggest difference that I notice is obviously in my midsection. I still have quite a bit of extra weight around my waist.. 13 pounds to be exact. I also notice that my hips are wider and my upper thighs are definitely larger. My boobs are bigger from breastfeeding and overall I’m seriously out of shape. When I say out of shape, I mean I have no stamina for any type of cardio exercises and have ZERO muscle. Not that I had a ton of muscle before the pregnancy, but anything I did have is long gone and replaced with a little bit of wiggle and jiggle.

So, What Now?

I have quite a bit of work ahead of me, but since I’m only 8 weeks post-baby, I just got the clearance to start exercising. I’m actually excited to be active again, but I definitely plan on taking it slow. I plan on joining our local gym and being a bit more committed to getting healthy again. I also want to get out and WALK as much as possible with Ben once the weather is consistently warmer here. Notice I said “healthy” instead of “skinny”. I’m honestly not too concerned about the weight, but I am more focused on getting healthy and strong again. I’m so grateful for what my body did this past year, the least I could do is take care of it.

Buying New Clothes

In the meantime, a lot of my clothes just don’t fit like they used to… or not at all. And if you’re in the same boat as I, know that these clothes not fitting is TOTALLY OKAY! Whether you’re 6 days, 6 weeks, or even 6 years post baby, you brought a baby into this world and that muffin top, those stretch marks, and the larger jean sizes are worth it. At least that’s how I’m choosing to look at it.

I bought a few new pairs of high-rise pants (these high-rise jeans and these black pants are AH-MAZING) and I am strategically buying a few pieces that I feel comfortable and confident in. I’ve found that peplum tops hide all the right places. Can I buy peplum in every color?!

I also found that buying loose yet trendy blouses (like my favorite tie-front option, Casey’s favorite twist front shirt, and this ruffle hem top) make me feel on-trend without feeling self-conscious. And I think that’s the key… trying to find items that fit well, instead of squeezing into my old stuff and feeling super uncomfortable about these few extra pounds.

And I figure since I barely did any shopping while I was pregnant (I literally wore the same two pairs of pants to work every single day!), I can splurge on a few key pieces without feeling bad about it.

Feeling Grateful

So that’s where I’m at right now post-baby. I’m accepting my body for the amazing gift it has given me and giving myself some grace as I slowly but surely work towards getting STRONGER and HEALTHIER instead of skinnier.

It’s going to be a slow process (since I have zero muscle) but I’m okay with that. I have the greatest gift of all time and he was WELL worth my new muffin top!

Bridget

P.S. If you’re pregnant (congrats!!), check out my hospital bag must-haves here and my favorite maternity gear here!

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