Postpartum Body | Realities

orbit upside down family photo basecamp Life after baby is pretty wonderful. We are settling in as a family of four and I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life and father than Neil. Edith is loving being a big sister and she is pretty amazing at it. While all that is wonderful adjusting to my new body isn’t going quite as well as I had originally hoped. Here is the reality….

  • None of pre-pregnancy clothes fit. I’m 5+ weeks postpartum and none of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit. It’s honestly a little defeating. I know it’s still early and I know from my pregnancy with Edith that they weight doesn’t just fall off for me.
  • Buying new clothes sucks. I have attempted to buy new clothes that fit my current postpartum body and honestly I am just feeling super defeated. I am trying not get get upset about the size on the tag but it’s really a challenge. I am also feeling frustrated because I honestly don’t know how to dress this postpartum body. Nothing seems to fit right or fall in a flattering way and well it’s no fun, none at all. I ended up buying a pair of cropped pants from Loft and I bought them because I didn’t hate them and they fit. Now wearing them I feel like an old lady. Blah.
  • Being kind to yourself is sometimes easier said than done. I know that I have a beautiful baby boy and I am less than 6 weeks postpartum and not cleared for regular activity but I am not happy with how I look and feel. I know I need to be kind to myself and I really try to remind myself of those great things but some days it’s just not that easy.

When I was still pregnant I was feeling really hopeful and positive about things but right now I’m feeling pretty down about it all. I had vowed to go shopping for clothes that fit well and to not stress about things but when you have 10 pieces of clothing and 9/10 don’t make you feel like you look good it’s really challenging to stay positive. I’m working on it though. Everyday is a new day and I know I need to work on being kinder to myself. I need to listen to my husband when he compliments me or encourages me to do things for myself. I need to realize that 5 weeks is not very much time and that right now I need to focus on healing taking care of myself and my family.

I know this post is kind of a downer but I wanted to share my realities. Life isn’t always rainbows and kitty cats. I’m not always feeling great and sometimes I find myself feeling negative about myself and my body. Now that I have said all this I can tell you I am already working on changing the way I think about things. Improving myself and my attitude. I’ll be posting more on that and my “plan” next week.

Have you ever felt down about your body? How did/do you deal with it? If you have had children how did you react to your postpartum body?  Two years ago I wrote a similar post all about my foreign postpartum body.

Postpartum Weight Loss “Plan”

Here I am at 31w3d pregnant with baby #2

Here I am at 31w3d pregnant with baby #2

I’m not going to lie I am really hoping that I actually lose the baby weight this time around. With Edith I gained around 25-28lbs and within the first 8 weeks I lost 15 of those pounds. Then I got the Paraguard IUD and quickly the weight came back on. I will also admit the Oh She Glows Chocolate Chip Cookies and the stress of moving didn’t help with my weight loss either. When we moved to Oregon I made an effort to get my diet back on track, started running 4 days per week and doing 1-2 days of strength training. Despite all of that I simply wasn’t (and didn’t) lose any of the baby weight.

1 Year Postpartum after having Edith

1 Year Postpartum after having Edith

Finally at 16 months postpartum I decided to have my IUD removed due to negative reactions to it (I’ll write more about that another time) and while I had it removed due to non-weight related reasons I was as little hopeful that I might start to see my weight go down. Well as you all know we are pregnant with #2 and due in 7ish weeks. So I never had a chance to test my theory. Also that means I started my pregnancy at the same weight I ended my last pregnancy and I have gained 20lbs so far and if you want to do the math that means I have between 45-50lbs to get back down to my baby #1 pre-pregnancy weight oh and on top of that I was already about 15lbs over my ideal weight when I got pregnant with Edith. So that is 60-65lbs to get down to my goal weight.

Summer 2011 before getting pregnant with Edith <-- also my goal weight

August before getting pregnant with Edith

Baby #2 Postpartum Weight Loss “Plan”:

  • I am not going back on birth control as we are two and done so birth control is officially all Neil *snip snip*.
  • My first priority is feeding baby #2 so for the 12 months my focus is to keep my milk supply up so I can feed my baby.
  • I plan to get back to running at around 9-12 weeks postpartum depending upon my healing this time around (with Edith it took me a lot longer to heal then I had hoped).
  • I plan to incorporate 2 days of strength training into my workout routine and light cardio once I am cleared to get back to normal activity.
  • I also plan to get back in a yoga routine since I have a 10 punch pass to a studio by our old house (and now by Neil’s new job) that I was lucky enough to get the expiration date extended until sometime in December.
  • Keep my eating in check! Postpartum/nursing hunger is no joke. Seriously when I first had Edith and was nursing non-stop I could have eaten everything in site.  This time around instead of lots of Oh She Glows cookies I’m focusing on keeping it healthy but also making sure not to be too hard on myself when it comes to having a treat here and there.
  • Drink lots of water! Nursing makes you crazy thirsty and staying hydrated helps to flush toxins out of the body and helps to prevent water weight (I know crazy right?).
  • Buy myself postpartum clothes in whatever size I have to buy. I wore maternity clothes until around 8 months postpartum with Edith because I was just waiting to lose the weight and didn’t want to spend the money on new clothes that I hopefully wouldn’t have to wear too long. The thing is that wearing maternity clothes after the first six weeks of being postpartum is just depressing. Wearing clothes that fit well and look nice is an incentive to keep with it! It’s motivating! Feeling confident in what I am wearing helps me feel good and keeps me on track so this time around I’m not going to be wearing maternity pants for months and months postpartum. I actually have been consigning maternity clothes as the seasons change so that they just won’t be in my closet ie. I won’t be tempted to wear them.

So that is my current plan. How did you deal with losing the baby weight?

9 Months Postpartum

I knew that losing the baby weight might be a challenge. I had hopes, not too high, but hopes nonetheless that I would lose the baby weight much more quickly than I have been. To be honest I lost a bit in the first 6 weeks and then I got my IUD which seemed to make me put on a little weight (side effect) and then we entered the craziest two months of our lives with preparing to move, limbo and finally moving but being without any of our things for a month.

9 months postpartum

During the month of December I really slacked on the workouts and indulged in way too many peanut butter balls. In January we finally moved and things slowly started to improve. I started to increase my activity and only ate one cookie per day instead of three peanut butter balls per day.

You’ll probably be shocked (*sarcasm*) to hear that I became a sugar addict. So in February Neil and I decided to challenge ourselves to a cleanse. No processed sugar or caffeine, both of which I had been over indulging on.  The first three days were hell but by the end of the cleanse I had greatly reduced my dependance on both sugar and caffeine and am proud to say that two months later and I do not crave either.  I still enjoy a small piece of chocolate or a dessert once in awhile as well as one cup of coffee per day but it is nothing compared to the massive amounts of sugar and gallons of coffee I was drinking.

Screen shot 2013-04-08 at 8.36.49 PM

In late January/early February I finally got back to consistent running and I have been going strong.  I finally feel like I am back in a good routine and I have a few races coming up. I feel like this has been the tipping point for me and I am finally feeling better, looking better and even losing some weight (3.6 lbs since the beginning of March).

Screen shot 2013-04-08 at 8.37.01 PM

My goal when Edith was born was to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by her first birthday and back to my pre-pre-pregnancy weight (I put on a few pounds before I got pregnant) by next fall.  I am currently not on track to lose the weight by then but am hoping to be back/closer to my pre-pregnancy weight by the end of August.

Screen shot 2013-04-08 at 8.37.16 PM


Postpartum Update: Seven Months

Can you believe it’s been over FIVE MONTHS since my last postpartum update? I know I completely dropped the ball with this and to be honest a big part of why I didn’t update was because there wasn’t too much to talk about and then life got crazy with moving.  Now that we’re settling in I am planning to post monthly updates until Edith is at least 12 months.


How I Am Healing: I now 100% healed so this will be my last update in this department.

Activity: I have been more and more active every month and I am feeling good.  I am back to consistent running and Edith and I go for at least one walk per day, some days a long walk and others a short one but we get out.  To top it off we now live on a third floor walk up so I get a lot of stair stepping in while carrying a baby.

Weight: I haven’t weighed myself in a few months so I have no idea how much I weigh right now. I do know I gained a little bit of weight back in Nov/Dec but I am feeling good and seeing a loss now. I am still way off from my pre-pregnancy weight but I’ll get there (someday).


Breastfeeding: Edith nurses a billion times per day, some for nourishment and some for comfort and I’m okay with it for now. I am hoping that over the next few months she might cut down a bit but I plan to nurse until she is at least two or until she weans herself. Overall it is going well however we do have our ups and downs like having a low milk supply, not being able to pump much, having a frozen stash I couldn’t use and not being able to cut back on calories (for weight loss).

If you haven’t stop over to our family blog, Naturally Family, then head over now and Meet The Family.  What’s been posted lately: our trip to the PDX Children’s Museum, Neil’s first dad group experience Edith’s 6 month Munchkin meals, and Edith’s mastering the art of crawling. You can also check us out on  Facebook and Twitter.

My Foreign Postpartum Body

When you become pregnant, you know that over the course of 40 or so weeks you will be growing a beautiful baby inside of you and therefore your body will be making the necessary changes to do so. This, of course, means growing a baby belly. The first few months are strange, when you can’t really tell the difference between a baby belly and looking like you just finished Thanksgiving dinner.  This can be challenging, especially if you haven’t told the world you are expecting yet.

18 Weeks

But then it happens. You go from looking bloated to having a bump that slowly continues to grow and grow. Although every woman’s shape and bump size is different, it is inevitable that it will grow and this is something that you eventually wrap your head around and many woman grow to really enjoy. It helps that inside that growing belly is a developing baby that you can feel moving inside of you and then the extra weight and growing belly all seem worth it.

39 Weeks 3 Days (the day I went into labor)

Then, just when you have come to love/like/get used to your new pregnant body it happens, you give birth and all of a sudden you aren’t pregnant anymore. For me, this was a startling experience. I went from spending each day enjoying my bump and feeling my baby move around inside of me to suddenly having my baby on the outside. I really wasn’t prepared for how this would make me feel, frankly I didn’t even think about how I would react but I surely didn’t think I would feel like a guest in my own body.

I still had the belly and the strangest part no baby moving around inside. It felt incredibly weird. It is a huge adjustment to make and all of a sudden this body that I felt so connected to during my entire pregnancy felt incredibly foreign.

As I said above, even though when I was pregnant I didn’t know how my pregnant body would look, I knew that my body would be changing and growing just like every other pregnant woman. As for my postpartum body I had no idea what it would look like, how quickly I would recover (I have another post regarding this) and how I would feel about it. Over the past two months it has really been a challenging journey to reconnect and feel comfortable with my new body; a journey that I am still on.

7 Weeks Postpartum

I am slowly beginning to learn to like my postpartum body.  A body that was strong enough to birth my beautiful baby.

Q: Have you ever had to deal with a sudden change in your body?
New moms: How did you adjust to your postpartum body?

Postpartum Update: 8 Weeks

Wow how has it already been nearly a month since my last postpartum update? August was as super busy month for us between traveling to Rhode Island for a week, recovering from traveling to Rhode Island and working on getting my health coaching back up and running (I took a break for maternity leave). That being said I think I will continue to do monthly updates with tibits here and there as they come up.

So lets look at how things are going:

How I Am Healing: I would say I am about 98% there! I ended up having my 6 week appointment at 7 weeks due to our getaway to Rhode Island.  I am still having a little bleeding once in awhile so my midwife had me take a pregnancy test to see if I still had any of the pregnancy hormone left  but I didn’t so she said it is probably just due to breastfeeding.  Apparently someone continue to bleed very small amounts, intermittently while breastfeeding and I’m one of them.  Since my midwife is not concerned I’m not to worried about it either. I am feeling good physically over all and I’m cleared to get back to running.

Activity: I have been keeping up on my walking and this week I started back running! I even did a little bit of yoga as well.  I actually signed up for my first postpartum 5k just for fun.  I have no intentions of PRing, heck I’ll be happy to finish but I am really excited to get out and run it.  Neil has signed up as well and plans to run at my pace with me <– that is love.  I am planning to start postpartum yoga soon and in a few weeks Edie and I will start baby yoga (I’ll discuss this more on Naturally Family).  You can follow my workouts on DailyMile.

Weight: I haven’t weighed myself in a few weeks and I don’t plan on weighing myself until my 3 month update.  I am feeling good and I bought myself some new clothes because I know my pre-baby clothes won’t be fitting for awhile and that’s okay.

Breastfeeding: Things are still going well.  We have our ups and downs almost daily but Edie loves to eat and seems to be satisfied.  When I say ups and downs I am referring to the bouts of crying at the boob that happens at least one session per day due to Edie’s gass-iness. It is heart breaking but we are learning together how to make things better this includes not eating black beans, reducing the amount of gluten I eat, giving Edie infant gas drops, burping in-between sides (often more than once per session), holding her up after a feeding and lastly patting her back during feedings. I know that seems like a lengthy list but I/We don’t have to do that every time mostly we do just do one or two things and it helps.

If you haven’t stop over to our family blog, Naturally Family, then head over now and Meet The Family.  What’s been posted lately: Neil the sexy babywearing dad of Ergobaby, our first awkward family photo and Neil’s recap of the first few days of vacation to Rhode Island.
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