These days it’s nearly impossible to be secure in your own body when everywhere you look there’s a tiny model in a swimsuit with a perfect tan, hair and makeup done by a professional every morning and their own personal trainer.
I think this is particularly true for new mums. Instagram gives you access to a never ending stream of gorgeous bikini bodies. Most girls my age will have heard of Tammy Hembrow. She documented both her pregnancies through regular full body pictures and was very critical of her body a few weeks after each pregnancy. She was very vocal about how she kept up her weight training until very close to her due date.
It’s deceiving. Most new mums won’t have the time to hit the gym in the early days and theres no shame in that! And as for working out during pregnancy? Great if you can but if not that’s not a bad thing. Take time to enjoy your pregnancy and watch your bump grow. The stronger your abs are the longer it usually takes for your bump to appear and I don’t know about you, but for me that was one of the things I enjoyed most about being pregnant!
Tammy Hembrow may have been lucky enough to be able to work out whilst pregnant but I certainly wasn’t. For a start I had a job and a degree to study for which isn’t exactly conducive with several hours a day in the gym and secondly my health didn’t call for it either. I had morning sickness so severe that I lost 7lbs in the first 20 weeks and had an ambulance sent out to me and for the latter half of my pregnancy I was on crutches.
I’m the first to admit that I was quite lucky in that I slimmed down very quickly. Thanks to breast feeding and an early baby that got readmitted to hospital my tummy pulled in very quickly and the first couple of weeks I hardly got the chance to eat more than the three meals a day the hospital provided. 6 days after having Amelia I was back in my prepregnancy jeans and by six weeks I weighed the same as I did before pregnancy too.
I’m proud of the fact I have maintained the weight loss and am still eating healthily as I did before having Amelia – aside from an odd glass of wine which I think us mammas deserve. I’ve always been a reasonably healthy person and didn’t use my pregnancy as an excuse to over indulge – I strongly believe in eating in moderation. Have the chips or the pizza but make sure you have the salad too.
But if six months down the line you’re still a few pounds off your prebaby weight that is fine too. What’s more important is that you are happy and healthy and crash dieting whilst caring for a newborn is far from healthy. If you’re breast feeding you naturally burn around 500 extra calories so deciding to stick to a 1200 calorie diet would leave you feeling really run down and could hinder your milk supply.
Your body took nine months to grow that tiny human and its hard work. It deserves at least six weeks to heal before obsessing over getting into those size eight skinny jeans.
(and incase you were wondering the picture is of my favourite meal in the last few weeks of my pregnancy – Halloumi salad with seafood sauce and non-alcoholic moijitos)