My tummy is really embarrassing me ooo. It is still so big even though I gave birth about 3 months ago. When can I sign up to your class abeg? My baby dedication is just around the corner.
I get messages like this quite frequently. As a mom of two boys, helping other moms excites me, especially when it involves getting rid of post-pregnancy tummy. The post-pregnancy tummy is usually more shocking and uncomfortable in the weeks right after delivery. Just the other day, a friend of mine said to me:
“How come nobody tells you that having a baby can change your life in the negative too, and that I won’t feel only joyful emotions all the time?”
It got me thinking: No amount of warning can adequately prepare a pregnant woman for the changes her body will undertake. Some of these things are best experienced.
For instance, in the first few weeks of pregnancy, emotions climb, and emotions often go with eating. After all, they both begin with the letter ‘E’. 😊
Babies, tiny and cute as they are, demand a whole lot of attention. This naturally leads the moms to the point of exhaustion. One way to reduce stress induced emotional eating is to prepare your meals ahead of time. However, time tends to be a luxury for many new mums. The implication is watching your weight and tummy stay big even two months after delivery. I have two things to say to every new mom who fits this profile:
Honey, take a chill pill. You DESERVE it
I have gotten emails from moms who want to sign up for my work-out program three days after delivery. Sometimes these moms delivered through a CS. My advice is this: Give yourself at least two weeks to breathe before attempting any kind of exercise. Eat well – without losing control of course. Sleep, put your feet up, rock (what is left of) your bump, and just celebrate yourself and your body.
Think about it. You just popped out a whole baby, you deserve a vacation. And please, lose that scale! Don’t go checking how much you have lost or gained YET.
Once you have your two-week break, you will need a plan and a form of motivation to get back on track. What do I mean? Have your realistic bounce back plan in place. What do you intend to do to get back your original tummy? Think about a weight-loss class. Make a commitment by paying before you even have the baby. Or at least a mental plan to. Follow a meal plan. Then make sure you have the plan already taped to your kitchen walls. If possible, prepare your meals ahead and store/freeze in batches. Or you can have recipes and items handy for anyone helping you with cooking in that season
I personally created my own meal plan and tried out many recipes in the final weeks of my second pregnancy. This came in handy later and educated my mom on what I would be and not be having.
Per example, I stopped taking the usual‘pap’most new moms in Nigeria take because unlike some lucky ladies, pap didn’t make my breastmilk flow, it just made me fat. Then I signed up in advance to join the gym at 6weeks post-partum.
Don’t feel guilty about your desire to bounce back. If it makes you happy, and your expectations are not unrealistic, by all means: Go for it!
Oh, incase you wondered about the friend I mentioned in the opening paragraph, we are still on the journey. Her tummy transformation in the space of two weeks was truly remarkable. These are the kind of stories that give me joy. Especially as I know that her tummy recovery story can also be yours!