The Real Skinny on a Postpartum Belly

Yesterday a beautiful lady came into my office having delivered her 3rd baby just 12 weeks ago.  She was lamenting that her belly isn’t flattening like her last two pregnancies.  She said a friend had told her she still looked pregnant.  After some tears on her part, and hand-holding on my part we got down to business.  After a complete check, our friend was found to have diastasis recti plus a really weak core.

There are two real issues here.  First, the expectations of this mom that her body was going to return to the exact same size and shape after each pregnancy to her pre-pregnancy shape.  But remember, her body has made many adjustments to accommodate baby and was stretched to the max.  You can get strong again after your baby but it will take time and work and you might just look a little different.  Boobs might be bigger, hips might be wider and your belly might not be a flat pancake.  Plus stretch marks are usual, not unusual. Your stretch marks won’t go away entirely, but will likely fade over time to a light, silvery shiny color. Wear them with pride!

Secondly, the friend that told her she looked pregnant should have kept quiet.  Only she knows what her motivation was to say that, but let’s not body shame each other and be careful with our words.  Let’s lift up each other with encouragement and quit comparing ourselves to others – especially air-brushed models in the magazines or on the internet.  Be a positive role model for each other and our daughters.  Healthy and strong from deep within are more important than that extra couple of inches that may stay around as a proud reminder that you once carried a beautiful child(ren).

After all you are moms – and you rock!

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