Pressure to lose the baby weight

Every woman reacts to pregnancy differently. Some put on a ton of weight, some don’t gain any weight and some lose weight. But one thing they all have in common: their bodies don’t look the same after pregnancy. Although I am usually pretty open about my life and struggles, I purposefully did not talk about my weight during my pregnancy here on the blog or social media. I kept it private because it was easier that way for me to deal with food, weight and body changes during pregnancy. It was easier that way, to keep my eating disorder under control. And I didn’t want peoples comments on social media affecting that. However, for the sake of this post, I am opening that door. 

Photo by Jennifer Burk on Unsplash

PRESSURE TO LOSE THE BABY WEIGHT

It’s time people saw things for what they are: when a woman gets pregnant, she doesn’t just spend 9 months with a baby kicking her ribs for fun before coming out. Pregnancy is a process that affects the whole body of a woman. It takes us nine months to literally create a human being from a bunch of cells! So why do we think our bodies need to be exactly the same as before the pregnancy? Who puts that into our heads?

Full disclosure: I put on a total of 8kg during my pregnancy. And I lost that 8kg within the first two weeks after giving birth.

As I previously told you, the first four weeks I was basically a living dead. I did not work out (mind you, I couldn’t even walk straight), I didn’t diet at all. Oh, and I don’t breastfeed, so that did not make me lose the weight either. Truth be told, I did nothing at all to lose the baby weight. But my body? Oh, my body looks totally different! 

For one, I went up one size in pants. My body fat shifted and is now located more in my stomach, which is also wobbly and not flat at all. And I now also have a “belly flap”, which is when your stomach sort of hangs above your scar. So that is fun and not giving me confidence issues at all

SOCIAL MEDIA PRESSURING NEW MOMS TO LOSE THE BABY WEIGHT

You know what I think is the worst part? It’s new moms often putting pressure on other new moms – and themselves – to lose the weight. Beautiful, strong women who have beautiful babies and are unhappy about their bodies only a few months and sometimes even weeks after giving birth.

I understand that they want to be healthy, what I don’t understand is how they feel a number on a piece of clothing is important. It’s one thing to want to lose the weight because it is making your life harder or to get fit again. But condition does not always have to do with the number on the scale, it’s about so much more. For society standards I am overweight. However, all my bloodwork is on point. I am healthier than a lot of thin people, but the only things people see is the way I look. 

WHY I THINK THIS IS A DANGEROUS GAME

It’s dangerous because there are women publicly saying how they are “ugly”, “fat”, “disgusting” or “unworthy” for not having their bodies “back” just a few months after giving birth. Women who have little babies. Little baby girls, who will one day go on the internet and read those same words. Little baby girls, who will grow up to be little girls believing their weight is what defines them. And those little girls will turn into women who will teach those same things to their kids. 

It doesn’t matter if someone has 200 or 2000 followers on Instagram, everything we put out there may affect someone, somewhere, without us knowing. 25 % of my own audience on Instagram consists of girls between the ages 15 to 18. The reality is, women are posting pictures saying how they need to lose the baby weight, 4 MONTHS AFTER GIVING BIRTH because they are now wearing pants that are three sizes bigger. Women are asking for advice on over the counter medicine or “tricks” on how to lose weight because going to the gym for a month isn’t bringing their bodies back quickly enough. Heck, I even saw a woman asking for advice on how to “curb the hunger” – which is having a foot in the door of an eating disorder. 

I will be honest, I know women who had babies shortly before me and are complaining about the way their bodies are now. Who complain about weighing 5kg or 10kg more now. Our bodies need time. 

Our bodies went through MAJOR CHANGES in a short amount of time…9 months is nothing compared to 20 or 30 years! We need to be patient, we need to be more loving towards our bodies – the bodies who carried our babies, who took care of them for nine months!! We need to stop looking at the scale, stop looking at the labels on our jeans. Especially those of us who WILLINGLY share our lives with an audience, we need to STOP THIS CYCLE!!! We need to be a better example for our followers and, most importantly, for our children! 

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