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Coming To Terms With Your Post-Baby Body

I found this article on Mommy Noire, a fantastic site. What I found the most compelling, however, were the comments in reaction to it…

beyonce-braids-3

When Beyonce first stepped out in public after having Blue Ivy, my friend shared a photo on my Facebook wall and said,

“Bey looks better than ever!”

I shot back quickly, “That’s an old picture, I’m sure. Where did you get it?” ‘Cause no one looks that good a month after having a baby – nobody. Then I realized, yes, this was Beyonce’s “post-baby debut” and she looked downright stunning. Who cares if she was wearing four pairs of Spanx—her body was still enviable.

After I had my first child, I was back in my regular clothes in just six weeks, but my body didn’t look the same. My belly was round and soft. Refusing to be camouflaged under shirts, it made its presence known. My thighs (already thick) were softer as well. While I was lighter than my pre-baby weight, things had shifted in a way that didn’t make me feel comfortable naked. And it did not get easier the second time around. My abs, stretched out from delivering two nine-pound children, seemed like they were holding on for dear life.

Perhaps I perused a few too many “Body After Baby!” tabloid covers or maybe I was just naive about what those aforementioned bundles of joy would actually do to my body. I’ve purchased countless exercise DVDs, researched sensible eating plans, and even ran a 5K in a quest to change the softness that has taken over since becoming a mom. But what I try to remember is that my body served a special purpose. It was a vessel and pathway for two healthy, beautiful children. Instead of loathing my body and the changes that have occurred since giving birth, I’ve learned to embrace it— slowly.

I realized why my earlier fitness quests never worked. Instead of working out to show my body love, I was working out to punish it, because I was disgusted with what I saw in the mirror.

Now I’m not killing myself in the gym to lose 20 pounds in a month or starving myself to achieve the perfect physique. I’m embracing change and loving my role as a mom. A few stretch marks never hurt anybody

Did you struggle with body image after having children? How’d you overcome?

Words By: Tara Pringle-Jefferson

Images: Google

  • Reese2 months ago

    I’m still struggling my daughter is almost a year old. I’ve gotten back to my pre-pregnancy size and my stomach is still tight but I have horrible, black stretch marks. I put on stretch mark cream and shea butter religiously but to no avail. Honestly, I haven’t accepted my post pregnancy body.

    • MissLovie34 Reese2 months ago

      have you spoken with a dermatologist. i believe there’s a treatment for the black stretch marks.

      • seesthetruth MissLovie34a month ago

        I’m guessing that she has black stretch marks because she has black skin, so the problem is with the pigment in the skin. Black stretch marks are not some kind of different stretch mark. There are creams and lotions that will get rid of the stretch marks, but may not even out the pigment. To even out the pigment, Cocoa butter might help, or a cream or lotion specifically for lightening the skin. Conversely, she may be able to even out the skin tone, but probably won’t be able to get rid of all the stretch marks if there is a lot of them over a large area. If creams or lotions for the stretch marks are used consistently, they will diminish.

  • Kokoa2 months ago

    Not everyone struggles with weight and body image after pregnancy. I had my babygirl and was back in a bikini and looking damn good 7 weeks post pardum. However, I was and still am exclusively breast feeding and worked out and hiked and ate healthy my entire pregnancy. The way you treat your body during pregnancy directly reflects how it is going to treat YOU post pregnancy.

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    no_bueno • 2 months ago

    I don’t think there was anything exceptional to how bey looked after her baby was born.Most of the weight stays near your stomach, and she is wearing a loose romper, then when she was wearing dresses she wore spanx. After my daughter was born, I lost weight very quickly because I barely had time to eat, taking care of her was around the clock.When she would sleep for her 2 hours or less the time would fly ,because I would be cleaning, cooking, showering, getting her food ready, or whatever other errands.

    My biggest issue is my stomach area I’m less then what I weighed before I gave birth.I’m not in a rush but if all else fails (body wraps, saunas, pilates) for a more toned tummy, I plan on doing smart lipo.I feel as mothers we should do what makes us feel good, but is still as safe as possible, considering you have a child or two.Starving yourself, working out to exhaustion is not healthy, but EVERYONE wants to look good and mothers deserve to as well for their mental well being and actual health.

  • Mamanzee2 months ago

    Sigh. Struggle doesnt quite cover it, dearie. After having two kids, and being hungry all the time, and having weird hormonal issues…my body is just…blah, to say the least. I have put on a lot of weight (and people who knew me before are quick to comment on it) and although my husband doesnt complain, I have never felt as unattractive and un-sexy as I do now.

    • Likewaterforchocolate Mamanzee2 months ago

      Have you been to see someone about your “hormonal issues”. Also, you may want to make sure your thyroid s healthy as well. Thyroid issues can make it more difficult to lose weight, but not impossible. You may also want to eat foods that are healthy but stick to the ribs (that’s a major with me) or try a portion control diet that requires you to eat 5 times a days, rather than 3 large meals (this may keep you from overdoing it by the time dinner rolls around).

    • MissLovie34 Mamanzee2 months ago

      you’re beautiful and still sexy. i know you’re busy with the kids, work, hubby and life in general. however, you can fix that. if you’re hungry, eat but find 10 minutes to counter the extra food with some exercise (preferably cardio). as you feel better, you add another 10 mins, on. it will be balance itself out.

  • King Jess2 months ago

    bey, let your daughter breath

  • Dee2 months ago

    I did struggle and I was very surprised b/c body image never mattered to me much before having kids. What you said about punishing the body is so key! I eat well and exercise when I can now to feel good, not to reach some ideal. As for Beyonce, she famously joked at her first post baby concert that she had to “eat lettuce to get here”. And we commend that?

    • chanela Dee11 days ago

      yes we do because apparently looking exactly the same as you did before giving birth to a human being is more important. it’s sad actually. people are only happy when women are skinny. if you are not skinny even if you have just given birth, the media and regular men AND women will torture the hell out of you and then only congratulate you when you lose the weight. it’s very very sad.

  • seesthetrutha month ago

    Beyonce did not have a good PRE-baby body. She always had a big stomach, saddlebags, big hips and a big *ss. That is not attractive, no matter how much money you have. She is not attractive, and should cover up her ugly, shapeless, legs and fat thighs. It is obvious she has no taste or decorum. It is ludicrous that the egos of these stars have to constantly be stroked, and even though they look terrible we are constantly being convinced that they look good. Stunning? Not even close. Nowhere NEAR stunning. Oprah has more money than God, and she looks absolutely terrible. But since we are a society of No Accountability, she is finding ways to convince everyone, including herself, that it is beautiful and excusable. Fine. It is not beautiful.

  • Avatar
    Beyonce had a fake pregnancy • 2 months ago

    BEYONCE had a surrogate!

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    🙂 • 2 months ago

    Nice article. I know I appreciate your candid honest account of something all (clicking on this article) can relate to! 🙂

  • sandy ware24 days ago

    i belive it when i had my first child my i was back down to my size in one week i lost and wasnt even trying to i wanted some weight on me after you have about four kids it might be a diffrent story she good

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    sony • 2 months ago

    not everyone struggles with baby weight. when i had my kids i snapped back immediately. being A. young when you have kids or B. fit – can totally play a part in your body changing or not after birth. don’t believe the hype.

    • chanela sony11 days ago

      well DUH! you aren’t even fully developed until you’re 21. of course having kids at 14 and 15 won’t make much of a difference.lol

    • Ms. V sonya month ago

      Agreed! I was 18 when I had my oldest and 19 when I had my youngest. I bounced back fairly quickly. Not-to-mention, I took the advice of my nutritionist who informed me that by breastfeeding and eating green leafy vegetables the weight would just fall off, which it did in no time flat. I can also credit exercising with my husband by going on walks, etc. Both my daughters are in their pre-teens today and I get mistaken for being their sister instead of their mother. I kept some of the clothes I had before getting pregnant and can still fit into them. The age you are and/or your fitness level when you decide to have children does play a major part in the aftermath. However, regardless if your pregnancy weight came right off with ease, or if you had to put in a bit more effort and sacrifice to get your body back, keep in mind that we (as women) are some fascinating people because we took on, succeeded, and still are succeeding at the hardest job in the world….to be devoted mother’s. Devoted fathers out there are to be commended as well….didn’t forget about ya (smile). Be blessed everyone.

    • Kokoa sony2 months ago

      I’m right there with ya!

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    Guest • a month ago

    stop eating so much dam fried chicken like moochelle and you won’t end up with a huge azz like her

  • Michele ♏ ® a month ago

    Age seemed to make the difference with me and my post-baby body. My son was born when I was 21, so the bounce-back took no time. I was back to the same size within hours of his birth. I was 32 when my daughter was born, and the transformation has been tear-inducing. I didn’t LOOK pregnant when I WAS pregnant, but the shape my belly took on during pregnancy never went away. Coupled with spinal reconstruction, exercise of the midsection is nearly impossible without excruciating pain. I’m not sure if I’ll ever embrace that–my daughter will be 2 soon.

 

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