You attend a baby dedication and you hear the baby is 3 months old. You go over to congratulate the mother for successfully incubating and squeezing a human being out of her nether regions and you find wow! She looks just like she did a year ago. (Don’t be deceived, it takes a year to cook a baby). You reach out to give her a warm hug (depending on your relationship) and right around her middle, through her carefully selected “Yummy Mummy” outfit of the day, your hands encounter the bony edges of the shapewear that she has used to secure her middle. Aha, that’s how she managed to look snatched so soon after having a baby.
Your colleague resumes work after a short 2-month maternity leave and you are all ooh-ing and aah-ing over her incredible rebound body. But a few months down the line, you notice she seems to have rediscovered the baby weight she lost and then you are asking if she is pregnant again. Yes, pregnant with the pounded yam she had for lunch, she snaps before she stumps off and resolves to set her clothes on fire once she gets home.
I read a Daily Mail article about new mums’ obsession with snapping back after having their baby and I thought it was ironic that the same media outfit that made their business from putting up posts about ‘awesome celebrity post-baby bods’, was now alerting the general public to the incredible amount of pressure that new mums were under to loose the baby fat and bounce back to their pre-baby shape!
Having 2 kids under 5, new mums in my circles often ask me how I got my body back. And my response is always the same. I have never really gotten my body back. And I probably never will. If you see pictures of me from way back, a lot people who knew me then would tell you I could have used a few more wraps of eba in my diet. I had the gift of quick metabolism so it didn’t matter how much I ate, I did not gain weight. Crossing a certain age-threshold, I know I dare not try eating like that in my life again.
The fact that you learn that your bones (ribs, spine, phalanges) literally stretch and expand to accommodate your little one is enough for you to know that things will never be the same again ( I went up one shoe size!). Sure your belly might snap back but will those stretch marks ever really go? The perkiness of your breasts will become a distant memory while you learn how to fold them neatly into your new cups.
I don’t want to be a Negative Jane but that’s just the way it ees! Don’t go and be following celebrities upandan to loose baby weight in record time. Even if it is true, they are paid millions of dollars to look a certain type of way. Are you paid even one hundred thousand naira to look any type a way? I didn’t think so.
So please my dears, no pressure. Concentrate on your baby, eat healthy from the start of your pregnancy and don’t ever eat for two. Don’t jump to satisfy every food craving you have. Then when you do drop your load, don’t go and start squeezing your body into body magic, corsets and things. Either you won’t wear them or you’ll end up hurting yourself. If you rush to loose the weight too soon, you may be depriving yourself of proper healing and denying your child of essential nutrients.
And if you ask me again, I’ll tell you, that my body was the site of two miracles. It will never go come back but I never want to go back to what my body was before. Because it would mean I wouldn’t have my 2 beautiful miracles. Just aim to be the healthiest version of yourself. Remember to choose joy!