10 Things I'd Tell My Best Friend About... Mom Bod
Urban Dictionary's definition of Mom Bod would make you want to scream. Saggy this and saggy that, it's not exactly the picture we want to paint of our post-baby bodies. Society's exhausting impressions aside, author and mom Emily Hourican tells us the things she's tell her best friend about post-baby bodies.
1. It’s Not Your Fault
It’s theirs. This is the truth. Carrying and giving birth to babies may be what we were ‘designed’ to do, but that doesn’t mean to say it is easy or effortless. All that stretching out and shrinking back, inside and out, is going to take its toll, and no amount of pregnancy yoga or Pilates can prevent that. And once birth has taken place, you are facing into many months of being exhausted, possibly breast-feeding, probably eating high-sugar foods to try and fake a burst of energy to get you through the day, not getting enough exercise. None of these things is conducive to losing weight or toning up.
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2. You Need to Decide
So, now that we’ve established who’s ‘fault’ this is, it’s time to decide on your response.
3. Will You Embrace or Reject?
This can be anything you like. We all know women who embrace the ‘Mom Bod,’ on the basis that they earned it, and it gave them the most precious things in their lives. This is fine. But so too is the opposite, ‘death to the Mom Bod’ response. And everything in between.
4. There's A Time & Place
That said, there is a time and a place for everything. Swearing a sacred oath that you will be back in your skinny jeans within three months of birth is probably only going to cause heart-ache. Even if you want to change it, be proud of the ‘Mom Bod.’ It did something amazing.
5. Take Informed Advice
If you go the ‘death to the Mom Bod’ route, remember that this is not the same body that did triathlons pre-conception. Before you start, take informed advice on gearing back up to former fitness levels and pace yourself. And remember, if you succeed, some of your friends will hate you.
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6. Don't Neglect Yourself
If you decide to embrace the ‘Mom Bod,’ good for you, but do not neglect stuff like kegels, designed to deal with the sometimes-troublesome inner workings of bodies post-baby. French doctors will have you doing these – lots of these – within 24 hours of giving birth. We may be a little less prescriptive, but that doesn’t mean to say these aren’t vital. And exercise is essential for us all, no matter whether we want to look like Jessica Ennis, or just be able to walk the kids to school without huffing and puffing.
7. Don't Ruin Your Street Cred
Some bits of the ‘Mom Bod’ are best kept to yourself, or your circle of intimates. Letting the wider world in on the secret of your stress-incontinence isn’t going to do much for your street cred. And competitive bad-birth-stories, although great fun for those engaged in them, can be alarming to women who haven’t had children. Especially if they are considering the having.
8. Kids Say The Darnedest Things
Just because they gave you the Bod, doesn’t mean your little darlings will be respectful of it. Plenty of kids find nothing funnier than asking ‘Mummy, why is your tummy so wobbly?’ and, in one memorable case, said to a friend of mine in the middle of a party, ‘Mummy, why does your bottom hang down?’
9. Don't Burst Their Bubble
Don’t tell them ‘you’ll look like this one day too.’ No matter how much they love you, they don’t want to hear that.
10. Time's A Healer
Time will work wonders with the Mom Bod. Forget the awful Heat-Magazine talk of ‘snapping back’ into shape. That’s nonsense. But give it time – nine months at least – and you should see a big difference. However, sometimes the ‘Mom Bod’ needs surgical help – see stress-incontinence, above – in which case, go for it! Lead image via 4thtrimesterbodiesproject.com
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