Unrealistic expectations

It saddened me yesterday to read a pregnant mum asking my local beauty salon if their new weight reducing body wraps could be used straight after giving birth and how long after having giving birth can she start using them. Ahh hello, maybe you should be more worried about spending time and bonding with your new bundle of joy? I’m not saying you can’t worry about your looks or body but isn’t being with your baby more important?

Your body DOES change after you have a baby and very rarely does it go back to how it was prepregnancy especially after having a cesarean.
A midwife once told me ‘it takes 10 months to grow a baby and just as long for your body to return to normal’.  Wise advice… and having had three boys, I can say it is absolutely true.  I guess, younger soon to be Mums see celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Beyonce, Jessica Alba, Miranda Kerr etc and think that it is normal for them to go back to how they used to be… ah nope, it doesn’t quite work that way!
I think if you look at celebrities who have been sensible in getting back to pre baby weight you can’t go past Pink. Pink gave her body a chance to recover for a few months and enjoy her daughter, Willow.
Pink lost the weight gradually by going for walks with Willow and her husband, Carey.  Pink enlisted the help of a personal trainer before she started her recent touring schedule, to get herself into shape for her arduous routines she does as part of her shows. Not so much for how she looks but to prepare her body for the shows (she puts in 110% to her shows and they are really physically demanding) and so she doesn’t injure herself.
The pictures on the left are Pink while she was pregnant and then nearly a year after having Willow. Below is a picture of Pink post pregnancy, going for a walk with Willow and Carey.

Celebrities can, and reportedly have had, liposuction and a tummy tuck while having a cesarean.
More and more magazines have covers like this week’s Who magazine “How she did it: Hot body after baby”.  Beyonce was rumoured to have lived on lettuce and lemon detox to lose her baby weight. Not exactly healthy, is it?

New mums need to remember that the celebrities have nannies, house cleaners/maids, chefs/cooks, personal trainers etc. Of course they can dedicate a few hours a day to exercising when you have a nanny looking after the baby and someone cleaning your house for you. Plus the added benefits of a chef cooking for you and personal trainer whipping your butt back into shape. We ‘mere mortals’ don’t have that luxury.
I do worry about the newbie Mums self esteem when she doesn’t get the body she had after she has the baby… maybe this is contributing to the higher level of Post Natal Depression?
The reality is, it WILL take a while for your body to go back to how it was. So keep this in mind and look after your own self but being a good Mum at the same time. Take it slowly getting back into exercising. Walking, pilates, yoga, Wii fit, post pregnancy fitness dvds etc are all good ways to get exercising.
Here are my tips for looking after YOU when you get home after having the baby:
Take naps when the baby naps. I know you will want to clean the house etc while bub is sleeping but a healthy, non tired Mum is more important than the house being spotless.
Enlist help. OK, yes I am ‘the kettle calling the pot black’ here because I never accepted help from anyone but if it is offered TAKE IT. It gives you time to do something for yourself.
Get out of the house. Being housebound drives one somewhat nutty, so get out when you can, especially taking bubba for a walk in the pram. Fresh air, outdoors, exercising = sane mumma!
Go see family or friends, go shopping, go to a cafe… whatever makes YOU feel good. Plus it is an ego boost with everyone telling you how gorgeous your baby is 😉
Schedule in ME time. Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, friends are all capable of looking after bub! I know it is hard for Mums to ‘hand over the reins’ of looking after the baby to someone else but Mums NEED time out. Even if it is just so you can go have a cuppa and read a magazine or get your hair cut in peace. Just do it!
Try and eat healthily. It is probably easier to snack on things during the day than to sit down to a meal but try to snack on healthy food like yoghurt, fruit, nuts, vegies, cheese, dark chocolate etc. It may also be beneficial to take multivitamins especially iron, calcium and vitamin D. A lot of women post pregnancy are lacking in these vitamins.
If you aren’t feeling like yourself. Please go and see a Doctor. If you aren’t feeling your usual self, please see a doctor. There is a big difference from being tired and exhausted. And a huge difference to having the hormonal ‘baby blues’ to actually having post natal depression.
Spend 5 minutes on you in the morning. It is amazing how something simple as doing your hair (I just used to put mine up in a pony tail when the boys were little) can make you feel good! Maybe put some tinted moisutiser or BB cream on (SPF 15/30 is essential ladies!), a slick of mascara and a bit of lipgloss and you are good to go. Just making that small effort for yourself will make you feel 100 times better about yourself. Remember; if you feel you look like crud, then you will feel like crud. But if you are happy being au natural, go for it. Let your natural beauty shine through.

What tips can you give new Mums? Do you think pressure from the media and society to be the ‘perfect’ Mum who can ‘do it all’ is unattainable and unreasonable? Is it ridiculous to expect Mums to return to how they looked pre-baby shortly after birth? We would love to hear your thoughts!

3 thoughts on “Unrealistic expectations

  1. Great tips Kellie!
    Can I also throw in a few pelvic floor contractions??? Strengthening your pelvic floor is not only vital , but it helps activate your transverse abdominal muscle (the muscle responsible for returning your lower abdominal back into shape and providing much needed support for your lower back).
    If your PT or fitness instructor is making you do exercise that is causing

  2. Seriously right on! I use to feel like I had to keep up with other mums when I had my first, & was in my 20's. Now I'm planning my fourth & I think the more children you have as you go along you also get older & wiser & realize what truly is important. That is your health & mentality + their health & well being. Mums don't need to be told – life & aging

  3. Learn to largely ignore and laugh at all the magazine articles that tell you how clever celebrity mums are. They have nannies, personal trainers and a raft of additional support. They aren't in your real world so take their examples as perhaps a small inspiration not worth taking overly seriously.

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