The post baby body…

Now Bea is 12 months old I finally feel in a position to comment on my body. And honestly, it’s still changing, but I feel I can write this from a position of reasonable experience and with a realistic outlook. Before I start, please don’t anyone take any of this as a reflection or judgement on their body or decisions regarding it. This is purely my own personal experience and not meant to make anyone else scrutinise themselves, mother or not.

When I became pregnant, I was 10 and a half stone. To put that into context I’m about 5ft 7inches. It was the heaviest I have ever been and ironically I feel I got there because I was planning to get pregnant. My state of mind about starting a family was so messed up on reflection that I was constantly refusing to deny myself anything… if I had a pound for all the times I ordered something less than healthy or thought ‘to hell with it, I’ll have another drink…‘ because I thought I wouldn’t be able to eat/drink it during pregnancy, I’d be treating myself to something very fancy. I’d say my ‘happy weight’ i.e. the place where I feel good in my clothes but don’t have to really do much to maintain my weight is around 10 stone or just under, so I was at least half a stone heavier than I should be.

I weighed myself obsessively in pregnancy – not out of any concern for what I gained – I always assumed I’d get it off afterwards, but because I was fascinated by how much my body was changing. I won’t say I wasn’t keeping an eye on things, but I was eating everything in sight and so I made a mental note that if my weight ballooned I’d have to start being a bit more healthy. However, normal and healthy weight gain in pregnancy is 1 and a half to 2 and a half stone and watching my weight creep slowly up I never felt the need to cut back. In the end I gained exactly 2 stone, weighing in at 12 and a half stone the morning of my C-section. And I felt like a Goddess – I honestly can’t stress that enough. I LOVED my pregnant body.

You know how everyone tells stories about how they lost ‘a stone in the 24 hours after delivery,‘? Well, I had high hopes. I had a 6 and a half pound bundle, and had shed a placenta, a load of amniotic fluid and a bit of blood… I couldn’t wait to get on those scales with morbid fascination! Imagine my surprise when I had lost a measly 6 pounds! My flipping baby was heavier than that!


Of course, I didn’t care. My ‘baby bump’ took at least 3 weeks to subside and I accepted that it can take a bit longer post c-section. And in fact for many weeks or months afterwards my tummy was round and quite solid. It slowly started to settle but it was at a snails pace. I was (and still am,) breastfeeding but to say that breastfeeding makes you lose weight is the biggest myth in town… I’m sure it does, but if you’re eating for England, nothing can help you! – I took my milk production very seriously and after an astonishing conversation with a midwife early on who clearly thought I was trying to get my figure back at 10 days in when Bea was weighed and hadn’t gained anything, I was told to eat 3 square meals a day with pudding and snacks and to take food to bed too for the night feeds! And I did. Granted I didn’t gain any weight, but I think the breastfeeding mother typically loses weight because of being pinned under a constantly feeding baby and neglecting her own needs – I’m grateful to say that wasn’t me, I was well looked after by Pete – far too well! 😉

As the months went on my weight plateaued then would drop a fraction, then plateau again. Sometimes it bothered me, but on the whole I really didn’t care. I wasn’t desperately concerned with staring in the mirror before I had Bea, and afterward, well, I spent all my time just staring at her instead. When it did bother me I set myself targets, saying ‘I’ll start exercising at 6 months,‘ which became 9 months and ‘next month’. In truth, looking back, I just didn’t want to at all. My head wasn’t in a space that prioritised me or my needs and wants and rather than resenting or regretting that, I just didn’t even think about it. I’m not going to lie though, it was tough walking round in a bikini on holiday before she was even 4 months old.

Reading this back, I just realised I’ve talked almost exclusively about my weight, rather than my shape. That’s partly because its only recently as my weight has gone down a little bit more again that I’ve started to dislike what I see more. I’m still breastfeeding, so my boobs aren’t what they were, but they aren’t totally deflated yet either. 😉 Honestly, I don’t really care about them. It did take a whole new perspective when I finally went bra shopping as the shapes and styles I’d normally reach for weren’t working for me at all, but I can’t complain.

I think the part of me that has changed the most is my stomach. It’s the area I have always gained weight in but this is different, I really feel that no matter what I do now, the skin isn’t going to recover its elasticity and go smooth again. A lot of people complain about C-section scars causing a ‘pouch’ of skin, but I don’t think it’s anything to do with that, the skin just stretched so much it can’t recover. I hope I find I’m wrong but I guess it’s just reality that skin that was so stretched won’t be the same afterwards. That said, everybody is different! One positive is that I did get stretch marks when I was pregnant… quite a lot of them and early on – I remember being quite devastated when one appeared at 35 weeks and I still thought I had 7 weeks to go! They were all under my bump but I’m pleased to report that like the ones I got in my teens they are all invisible now unless you scrutinise my skin. So that’s a plus! What bugs me is when you can see that skin and roll of fat through my clothes. Not pretty and really motivating me now to work on getting my shape back.

As I write, with Bea approaching 13 months I’m 5lbs heavier than I was at conception, having done absolutely nothing to shift any weight. I’ve finally had a change of mindset and feel ready to make a concerted effort to get back into shape and work on my waistline, but I’ll save that for another post.

Right now I’d love to hear your thoughts on your body post baby – what has changed and how do you feel about it?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS
What I thought about post-baby bodies before I had a baby…

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37 thoughts on “The post baby body…

  1. Wow Rebecca. Great post.
    Firstly, you look amazing but as we all know we are our own harshest critics.
    So after having 2 babies ( 4.5 & almost 3yo) I am as happy as I will ever be with my body, I’d say I love it more than I ever have BUT it changed more than I could have ever imagined. It’s the hardest thing to get your head round the fact that clothing styles you have relied on for years just don’t work AT ALL anymore and having 2 children doesn’t not a happy shopping trip make (that and the decline in available £ to splurge

  2. Great post, I think you look pretty fabulous. It’s interesting that you touched on shape too – it’s been six weeks since my little boy was born and I’ve lost the pregnancy weight (I only gained a stone as I was overweight to begin with), but I’m struggling to fit back into my clothes as my hips are now wider (and my tummy is definitely squishy). It’s reassuring to know the stretch marks are hard to see now though, I’ve got a tiger stripes belly at the moment!

  3. Sorry, I typed a much fuller and more detailed reply than a creepy one line: you look fab…! Not sure where it went.
    In short: now I’m coming up to a year I can’t believe how complex the issues around my body are: bits I’m proud of (boobs and tummy); bits I don’t like (c section scar, soft wrinkly skin); bits I can’t work out how to dress any more (thighs, bum); bits I’d love to tone but I can’t see when (thighs, bum!)… It’s so much more complicated than I thought it would be. I’m also struggling with losing weight because I hope to be pregnant again in the next 6 months or so. Do I really want to struggle to lose weight only to put it all back on again?
    Such a complicated topic. Thanks for covering it.
    Oh – and you do look fab!

  4. Thanks ladies.

    Reading your comments reminded me of something important I didn’t say… Not only am I proud of my body but looking back at pre-pregnancy pictures where I deemed myself to be ‘heavy’ looking, I now see a body I aspire towards and think I didn’t know how lucky I was!

    Although I’ve been critical of myself in this post (there wouldn’t have been much to write and nor would it have been honest if I’d said I love my body now and am completely happy with it!) this new perspective and ability to look back has definitely made me relax more about my current ‘new’ body and realise that I probably look better than I think I do or feel if those old photos are anything to go by. Hope that makes sense?!

  5. Terrific post Rebecca. I think you look great but what matters (obviously) is how we feel about our bodies.
    Iris is nearly 14 months now and I am just getting back into regular exercise and starting to feel better about my body again. The weight loss for me wasn’t a problem post-birth as for me breastfeeding did work to take it off, as did spending a lot of time on my feet during the day.

    However, I still didn’t feel like me in my body and wasn’t particularly confident in dressing it, particularly as I started to put weight on as soon as I went back to work and was sitting down all day instead of marching round London with a baby strapped to my chest! Getting on top of this increase was all tied in to going back to work – from 8-10 months I was just trying to survive working and getting enough time with Iris but once that started to click into place, I had more time to consider myself and my own needs as an independent person and that re-awakened my interest in exercising. Nothing I can do about my once nice boobs though.

    We will probably start trying to have a second baby early next year and I want to be strong, fit and happy with myself before I get pregnant again as I know it will be harder the second time around to get back to somewhere I feel comfortable physically.

    • I feel exactly the same… I don’t want to start of my next pregnancy journey already unhappy with my body, or have twice the work to do receiving things after another baby, so I’m determined to get back on track!

      You’re absolutely right too about just needing everything else to slot into place before you can even think about exercise.

  6. You really do look fantastic in all the pictures Rebecca!

    I’ve always battled with my weight, and with unhealthy thinking around it. Having a baby has kicked that right in the arse. I worry less about my figure now than I have done in my whole adult life and, somehow, I weigh less now than when I got pregnant. This is probably because I’m not stressing about everything I eat (too busy working/toddlering) but I’m pretty sure the pregnancy kicked my wonky hormones into touch as well. I’ve definitely changed shape though, and there are more wobbles overall, but I’m putting that down to a more relaxed gym schedule!

  7. Rebecca you are a beautiful and bold mama, you looked wonderful in your holiday snaps! You dress fantastically but the raw material is pretty awesome too.

    Silvia is nearly 5 months now and I am nearly happy with my body. Unlike you, I hated pregnancy. It was such an unpleasant surprise to me that I didn’t feel all fertility goddess- just anxious and uncomfortable. I swam candid yoga until the week before she was born which kept me sane- I have learnt I need exercise or I sink quickly.

    I went for the first run when she was 12 weeks and it was pure agony but back up to 7k and on track to do the half marathon I was training for when I fell pregnant. It’s time out from mummyness which feels so good! It’s tightened up the wobbles a treat and vanquished the awful cellulite I grew, ugh!

    Think the bf weight loss kicks in later- I was in so much pain with blocked ducts and undiagnosed mastitis that food was the only bribe keeping me going- flapjacks are great for supply

  8. Great post Rebecca. I’m currently in Majorca on holiday with my 7mo so I get what you’re saying about the bikini! I don’t think I could’ve done a sun holiday any earlier as my boobs wouldn’t have fitted into any of my bikinis. I’m breastfeeding too and have found that’s been the biggest change to my body. I was busty to begin with but once my milk came in my boobs were HUGE and have only settled in the last few weeks. One is much bigger than the other though and that’s the thing that makes me most self conscious. I’ve been lucky enough to have lost all my pregnancy weight (and a bit more) without any exercise, but my stomach is nowhere near as toned as it used to be. Overall I think I’ve been quite lucky with my post baby body, but I think it helps to remember that everyone has personal hang ups no matter how you look. I always wonder if you could change everything you didn’t like about your appearance, would you be happy or just move on to a new hang up? 🙂 I think you look great Rebecca. Most importantly though, I’m sure all us mums would agree that your body issues are so much less important when you’re holding your beautiful baby in your arms! x

  9. This is a topic I’m finding really interesting at present. My little boy is 7 weeks old and I’m currently about a stone above my pre pregnancy weight. I’ve been pretty impressed and shocked by the size of my breastfeeding boobs, I was a C cup before pregnancy and am currently a FF! I didn’t anticipate that getting back in my jeans would feel a lot more achievable than wearing any of the tops in my wardrobe. Currently I can’t imagine that my stomach will ever be as it was before but that doesn’t seem important. I can see though that my clothing choices might need to be really quite different and that’s going to take some getting used to.

    Great post Rebecca and as several people have said you look amazing.

    • Re the boobs v stomach thing… I can identify with that! I actually think it’s as my boobs have started to go down a bit as we are feeding less that my stomach used so seem in proportion and now I don’t like it more… if that makes sense. Shifting goal posts!

  10. Great post Rebecca. I had James 7 weeks ago and I’m afraid I’m one of those annoying people who lost a stone in the 5 days I was in hospital (I had a difficult delivery but not a section, so I guess I didn’t have the post surgery bloat or pouch to worry about). I gained 2 stone and I was ALL bump and felt awful and uncomfortable for the most part of my pregnancy. I really hated being pregnant, I felt sick most of the time, had bad heartburn, swelling of the ankles like you wouldn’t believe (I had to take my shoes off at work most days in the last 4 weeks and couldn’t get them on again to go home, and I’m talking flip flops and sandals here!), and had bad pelvic and hip pain so that i couldn’t sleep more than an hour at a time. So I was delighted when the weight just dropped off and I’m now back to my pre-pregnancy weight at 7 weeks pp. However, I have lots of loose skin on my stomach, which like you, I don’t know if that will ever go away as it was just soooo stretched! I haven’t started exercising yet really, though I do walk for at least an hour a day (with baby in a stretchy sling sometimes, thanks for the recommendation). I used to go to gym classes a couple of times a week but was about half a stone heavier than I wanted when I got pregnant. I find now that I am eating FAR too much sugary food, and don’t seem to be gaining weight, possibly because of breast feeding, but I know this isn’t good for me. I keep telling myself that I’ll cut down but it’s so hard when I keep meeting people for coffee, and friends bring me cakes and sweets. I am planning on attempting exercise classes again in the next few weeks once I have had my post natal check, and hopefully I’ll start feeling fit again.

    You look fabulous, and it’s refreshing to read others’ comments too on how they feel. We’re all too hard on ourselves! xx

  11. Having met you, Rebecca, pre-pregnancy and then having seen you only briefly while pregnant and then again a couple of months ago, I’d have said you were back to your pre-pregnancy weight when I saw you in April and you were looking fab!! (not that this comparison is something I’ve given a great deal of in-depth thought to, obvs!!) I’ve not had a baby so am not sure exactly how I’d feel around the nuances of a post-pregnancy tummy but I definitely think that we as women are much harder on ourselves than on anyone else. Also, maybe it’s a stones to kilos thing that I just don’t get, but when people talk about gaining or losing half a stone or even a stone, I’m like, *inner voice* ‘erm, that’s not very much.’ I distinctly remember being told in health ed that as a woman your weight could fluctuate as much as 5 kilos over the course of a month and a menstrual cycle, and a stone is 6 kilos. I’m currently on medication for my epilepsy which has a definite side-effect of weight gain and the added side-effect of lethargy meaning I can’t exercise as effectively as I could in the past and although I try not to, I’ve caught myself recently doing a hyper-critical once over in the mirror which I’d NEVER do to a friend and don’t think I’d see a friend’s body in that way, despite a few extra kilos. Also I think in general but in baby-weight worries in particular, we’re all given this message by the media (a la Kate Middleton etc) that it’s easy and in fact the done thing to snap back quickly, when if we’d gone through anything else big physical (a broken leg, an operation etc) and gained weight after 9 months of physical changes, we wouldn’t expect to lose it as fast? Finally, (you can see this is something I’ve been thinking about a bit recently) a woman I know lost a great deal of weight (like, we’re talking 11 or 12 stone) in the last couple of years, and went from being really quite obese to kind of ‘regular’ sized through a combination of surgery, diet and exercise. She was in her 50s when she began. It was a long and involved process and it certainly didn’t happen overnight. It was great to see how much her life changed as the weight came off though, and very reassuring that it can be done…

  12. What a fantastically honest post Rebecca, and thank you for sharing photos of yourself too. It took me a year to drop my 2 1/2 stone baby weight – breastfeeding didn’t help me at all as I spent the entire time ravenous and as I was concerned my little boy wasn’t putting on weight quickly enough the health visitor told me too just to eat and not worry about it. I was also about half a stone heavier than I wanted to be when I fell pregnant (immediatley post-Christmas!) and was determined to be lighter when we started trying for another. As it happened, I fell pregnant on holiday and returned (inevitably) a few pounds heavier, so that didn’t happen… And I have to admit it’s quite depressing having spent the best of 2 years trying to lose / maintain weight to see it creeping on again, even if it does mean I’ll have another bundle of joy at the end of it. But I’ve decided just to go with it, and focus on being healthy and happy – there’ll be time to try again once pregnancy is behind me 😉

  13. Thank you for all the lovely comments readers – this really wasn’t a ‘fishing for compliments’ post but it’s interesting to read – as Gemma said, we would never scrutinise or judge a friends body the way we do our own I don’t think. This post just wouldn’t have seemed right or as honest without pictures of my changing body.

  14. Fabulous post and you really do look amazing.
    For me, the thing that most surprised me about my post partum body was the lack of change. I thought I would never look the same again but in reality other than my (tiny) bump my body didn’t change at all and I was back in most of my normal clothes three weeks after giving birth. I think I was probably one of the lucky ones. It’s made me wish I didn’t spend so much time worrying about how I looked whilst pregnant and just enjoyed the experience more. X

    • Oh my post also disappeared apart from the first line.
      Essentially I gained 3 stone, and lost most of it by breast feeding, but then failed to tail off my eating as the breast feeding reduced and the weight started going up again. I am left with a least a stone to loose, and want to do it before I get pregnant again as I don’t want to keep adjusting my happy weight upwards! When I was 21 I want ed to be 10 1/2 stone, at 30 11 stone, now 11 1/2 would be okay!

  15. Returning to read the comments, which are great as usual.

    Just a thought, and not sure it fits with the blog, but I would have found a “this is normal” post natal health post very helpful. The part of my body that has changed the most is the bit where the episiotomy was! Healed well but not the same. Sure similar for others too- and unlike the extra pounds this adds nothing to my look and can’t be fixed with diet and exercise.

  16. This post couldn’t have come at a more timely moment for me. I read it during a coffee break on a shopping trip yesterday to find an outfit for a friend’s wedding. Embarrassingly I had just burst into tears in Reiss’ changing room, having tried yet another dress that didn’t work with my new shape.

    I had twins via section 11 weeks ago and am struggling to work out how to dress my new body. I gained about 3.5 stone when pregnant, mainly bump and have luckily lost most of it. What I didnt anticipate was this wobbly mess of a stomach I currently have. My once taut flat stomach has been replaced for a stretch marked jelly belly, which now hangs over the top of my jeans. I don’t know whether it is because of the section or because of having such a big bump (or a combination of the two!) but my stomach is now a funny ‘m’ shape, as I look down it goes in in the middle, perhaps because the muscles are parted. I can’t imagine that I am ever going to get my muscle tone back and am resigned to wearing oversized tops/dresses to hide it. My ‘go to’ style pre pregnancy was fitted pencil dresses/skirts but now they just draw attention to my middle, making me about look 5 months pregnant. ‘A line’ dresses don’t work as I’m too tall and they just don’t look right. I am at a style impasse and my body confidence is at an all time low. On top of that I am breastfeeding so have massive boobs and anything low cut looks borderline indecent! I knew that I wouldn’t snap back into shape straight after having my boys but assumed it would be possible to get back to normal eventually.

    I think it’s going to take a while to get to know and accept my new body. Pictures of Abby Clancy in the press, who had her baby the same week as me, in a bikini and with a flat lovely stomach really don’t help!!

    • I went to a wedding when my son was a couple of months old and I borrowed a pair of my mums magic knickers! I ended up investing in a pair afterwards and they made me feel much more confident for nights out, they kind of hold the wobbly tummy in place so you can’t feel it jiggling in that distracting way. I hate the word ‘ruching’ but something with ruching over the tummy area is also a good cover up. Just remember it’s still very very early days and this won’t be forever. Holding a baby (or two) in front of your body on photos also hides a tummy!!! I go for the hip hold now with my toddler and lose inches every time!!!

      • Good tips Kathryn! I have invested in some spanx and intend to use the boys as a tummy distraction technique, good idea! Xx

    • Feel your pain here!
      How about a loose shift style? Might not work for feeding though unless you’re prepared to go to the loo and get undressed which isn’t that practical (or fun) with 2 small ones.

      I have a beautiful jersey dress that’s maternity style but intended for ‘bump and beyond’ – even non maternity. You are welcome to borrow it if you’d like (size 10 but I was def not a 10 at term!) seen here: http://www.florencefinds.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Seraphine-maternity-maxi-dress.jpg and here: http://www.florencefinds.com/capturing-the-bump/

      I’ll email you… x

      • Thanks so much Rebecca. Just emailed you! Sorry for the delay, am on holiday at the moment. I tend to have to bf alone anyway so a shift dress might be a winner…feeding two babies at once isn’t something that the world is quite ready for 🙂

        Thanks again xxx

    • Join Can I Breastfeed In This? on Facebook for breastfeeding friendly highstreet clothes. I’m 16 months pp now and wish I’d known about this earlier but I’m stockpiling ideas for my second due in Jan.

  17. Great post. I am 17 months on from my first baby and my body is still changing! On stretched skin and wobbly tummies – mine is still returning to normal very, very slowly although I can feel it will always be soft where it was once firm! It took about 6 months for my rib cage measurement to go down as did the measurement across my hips (high up – not across the bum and nothing to do with weight). A physio told me that the cavity literally expands and then goes down very slowly. I was a bit shocked by the pictures of Abbey Clancy a PP mentioned (how is that possible?!), but I also did think well, I didn’t look anything like her before I had a baby, so why my body should behave in any way similar afterwards I don’t know!

    Although I have always been quite slim (but with a big bum!) I was never a committed exerciser before I got pregnant and like you Rebecca I was at my heaviest when I conceived. I took milk production very seriously too and found I just kept getting heavier as the months went by. But I honestly wasn’t bothered – I just wanted to think about my baby and be with her. I knew I would wake up one day and want to get back to being ‘me’, and that struck around 10 months in. I actually chose the 5-2 diet (having finished breast feeding at that point I might add – not one for anyone feeding!) and I loved it. I had never been on a diet before in my life and am quite disparaging of them to be honest but it really, really worked for me. It also appealed to my need to get back in control after months and months of just going with the flow. It really coincided with stopping breast feeding (I didn’t want to but milk supply was very poor) and feeling like a separate being again! I only wanted to lose a few kilos but it was obvious it just wasn’t going to happen without a new approach. The weight came off steadily and without too much trauma. I ate a lot of lentils and eggs on my fast days! I think the thing that really worked was that once I started to lose a bit of weight my approach to food tightened up a bit and I stopped gorging so much as I had been doing for the couple of years before. It was a great kick starter and I was very pleased when I got pregnant again that I had lost the weight. Sadly I had to have a termination for medical reasons 4 months in and I am now trying to get to grips with a very different type of post baby body, but hope to be back in good form if I conceive again. Good luck everyone – hope you reach a place you’re comfortable with.

  18. A great post and not what I was expecting to read. My own baby weight story is thus:
    Like you, I had put on a bit of weight when I fell pregnant. It was January and that Christmas I had gone mad on the booze and the brie and had put on a good stone, getting to my biggest ever (then) weight of 11 stone! At 5’6″ this was heavy for me. I fell pregnant and was rarely sick but did feel sick, and only carbs (pizza, Greggs tuna crunch baguettes with salt and vinegar crisps) made it better. As the pregnancy continued I tried to be healthy eating plenty of fruit and veg (nothing out of the ordinary for me) but supplemented it with too much other stuff. Then at about 20 weeks I developed SPD and that meant any hopes of doing exercise or even walking very far went out the window. So that didn’t help. I gave birth at 40+3 and I don’t know how big I was, because I never weighed myself, but I would guess at least 13 stone. My son was 10lb 9.5oz (I don’t attribute this to my weight gain, as he is almost 3 and still 99th percintile for height and weight) and I believe I did lose a fair bit in the early weeks. However I had had a pph and was anaemic and felt awful and really just wanted to focus on being well enough to look after my baby.
    But my stomach was this wobbly jelly like mass that I just ignored, and then hid in high-waisted jeans, for almost 2 years! I kept getting down to 10st 7lb for a while but would regain it again. Then I went to Slimming World and lost 6lb in a WEEK!!!! I couldn’t believe it. It took about 10 weeks to hit my target of 10st and I am now a fairly steady 9st 11lbs. Stomach skin has stretched and I don’t think anything other than an operation would fix it but it’s not a big deal and I am confident in a bikini regardless. Boobs have always been big and I breastfed for 18 months and they are back to normal – lost volume when I stopped but now the same as before pregnancy.
    I think some people will naturally go back into shape very quickly. Some people will work really hard to do so either out of vanity or because they need to for their sanity. Some people won’t care at all. Some will care and find it all really hard and it will take ages but they will get there! I never expected it to take so long to get back to normal – 9 months on, 9 months off, I was okay with, but it took me more than 2 years to find the willpower.
    Be kind to yourself. We’ve all done something amazing – grown a person, nurtured them, something no one else in the world could have done. The last thing a new mum (or mum of a toddler) needs is to be on some mad diet. 🙂

  19. This is all so interesting, it just goes to show how different everyone’s experiences are. It’s not something that women are often open and honest about, so it’s great to read everyone’s comments as well as your own story Rebecca.

    I’m about 4 weeks away from having my second baby, so a post-natal body is looming in my imminent future. I’m pretty interested in what will happen this time around.

    Like a few others I got pregnant last time around at my heaviest ever – I’m 5ft9 and was 12st2lb (I conceived in February, having got married in the previously September started eating again on honeymoon and carried it on throughout the winter). I put on roughly 2 1/2 stones during pregnancy.

    I lost about a stone almost instantaneously. I remember looking in the mirror everyday after giving birth and being amazed how it was changing on a daily basis. It all then stalled, probably due to the amount of sugar I was consuming to get me through the exhaustion of no sleep and breastfeeding making me ravenous.

    Then suddenly after 7 months all the weight dropped off me, seemingly overnight. Without changing anything I was doing, although that did involve a lot of walking to get T to nap! I guess my body thought it probably didn’t need to rely on the fat reserves anymore and was willing to get rid of them?!

    Funnily enough a lot of this came off my bum and thighs, making them smaller than they have ever been in my life. Even now at 8 months pregnant they are still smaller than they were before I got pregnant first time! What hasn’t bounced back to its original size is my ribcage, it expanded from 32 to 38 and I don’t think I’m ever going to be back to my narrowest.

    Once I went back to work the inactivity of sitting at my desk meant that my weight slowly crept back up, so I was probably only 5lb lighter when I conceived this time around. So far I’ve put on 2 stone and no doubt there will be more in these last few weeks. We shall see, but knowing I just had to be a bit patient until my body decided it was time to get back to normal, or new and improved in places(!) I’m not really worried about it. I do however reserve the right to comment again in a few months and complain it’s not the same this time around!!

  20. Great post Rebecca and really interesting to read everyone’s comments. I was a size 8 before I was pregnant and was absolutely huge by the time of delivery! I really struggled with my pregnancy and was very unwell and in and out of hospital so exercise sadly wasn’t my top priority. Whilst I didn’t eat unhealthily I certainly ate what I wanted throughout those 9 months.
    I had a C-section and I was very unprepared for how huge I still was post delivery, it felt like I barely lost any weight at all, I was so swollen and bloated and whilst I didn’t expect to snap back into shape, I also didn’t expect to still be so big. Being asked by a shop asst when my baby was due 3 months post delivery was a particularly low moment, I don’t think the hormones helped!
    Gradually though as time passed I started to see some weight shift and by 9 months post delivery, I felt I sort of recognised myself in the mirror! I guess in my case it is true what they say, 9 months to put on and 9 months to come off!
    I went to Australia for 2 months with my husband’s work and I don’t know if it was the outdoor lifestyle or living near a beach in warm weather but I found I was walking more and outdoors more and I ended up coming back lighter than I was before I got pregnant!
    I’m now 2 months into being back at work and the weight has started to creep up again, clearly sitting at a desk 3 days a week is having an effect.
    The part of my body I’m not sure will ever look the same is my stomach, I think the skin just stretched so much during my pregnancy that I would need to do some serious exercise to get it vaguely toned again and right now, I haven’t got the time or the energy to tackle it! But like other readers have said, I’d like to get strong and fit again before I try to get pregnant again because I know I’m likely to be in for another tough pregnancy and would like my body to be stronger. x

  21. After two c-sections I’d just assumed I was stuck with my post-baby body and made up my mind not to feel bothered about it. I then began the Kayla Itsines programme (30 mins a day and a bit of walking) and am astonished by the results – I’m in the best shape of my life, including my gym-bunny era in my twenties. Recommend it 100% x

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