So much pressure is put on new mums to ‘get back into shape’ quickly and if you pick up trashy magazines there are pictures of all these celebrity mums who have gotten back into shape in 6 weeks or wot not. First off, they have about 20 people helping them with cooking, shopping, watching the baby, personal training, personal shopping… so it’s a little bit easier for them. I made a choice to not put an pressure on myself as I didn’t need the added emotional strain when I’d just had a baby. Let’s face it, some days getting showered is an achievement so getting down the gym or to the park for a jog is unlikely at best.
I was asked to be a bridesmaid at my friends wedding which was 12 weeks after Annabelle was born but of course I had to get the dress bought before she was born. I used to be a size 10 and so opted for a size 12 dress that was lose around the tummy and fitted around the boobs. First mistake. My boobs were so ridiculously huge after Annabelle was born that whilst I could get the dress over my tummy it was 3-inches from closing across my chest. So now I had an aim; to fit that dress by 12 weeks post partum. Gulp.
It’s worth noting that boobs will increase in size, but I had not appreciated that the rib cage expands in order to accommodate the guts since the tummy is taken up with baby. It takes some time, perhaps 6-10 weeks, for the rib cage to return to it’s original size. This can obviously affect the size of tops, bras and dresses you will be able to wear after your baby is born.
My first port of call was to buy some clothes that did fit. I went to Cotton World and bought two pairs of XL shorts. Just wearing something that wasn’t maternity was refreshing and made me feel less of a heifer. Of course I did keep wearing my maternity leggings and jeans for a good long period too. I also decided I would not even try on any of my pre pregnancy trousers or shorts for at least 8 weeks. There was no point stressing myself over it. Sure enough when I did go through my wardrobe I was pleasantly surprised at the number of clothes that did fit.
In terms of diet and fitness, well, diet? No chance. Food makes me happy and if I’m lacking on sleep and sanity I’m not giving up food. So exercise? Well just this week (12 weeks post) I started doing some workouts at home courtesy of P90 DVD. I can’t get out to the gym or to yoga since I don’t have any one to watch Annabelle so I have to do something at home whilst she’s sleeping. I use the 9am nap for this purpose.
The last thing I will say is not to worry in the least. There is so much else that’s new in your life, you may as well get used to your new body and buy clothes to fit it. I look in the mirror after my shower and I am shocked by how different my body looks now, but you should feel proud at what your body has brought you. Not saddened for the loss of you old body. I am certainly a lot curvier now, what with my new busty chest and nice voluptuous hips, but I am embracing it! And finally, people are far less critical than you think. People are kind and understanding and they really won’t judge if you’re taking your time getting back in to shape. Let’s face it, they are too worried about their own shape to take any notice of yours!