We live in a society that is obsessed with body image. From an early age, women are judged based on how curvy they are and how physically fit they are (or aren't). After having a baby, one of the first things that women worry about is getting back to their pre-pregnancy bodies. With so much on our plates as new moms navigating through one of the most difficult time periods in our lives, the last thing we should have to worry or be judged about is whether or not we look good in a bikini.
For me, this issue is an especially sensitive one because like many women, I didn't have the best thoughts about my body before I was pregnant. I tended to obsess over the number I saw on the scale or the size of the clothing I was wearing. I frequently compared myself to other women, very rarely appreciated the good aspects of my body and instead, focused on the things that I wasn't happy with. So, as you can imagine, the feelings of unhappiness I had about my body were only magnified after I gave birth to my daughter. It's something that I still struggle with and it probably will be something I struggle with for a very long time as I work on deprogramming my brain but in the meantime, zoning in on these thoughts has helped me to love my postpartum body more and more each day.
Give yourself time - If you didn't gain all of your pregnancy weight in a month, it's probably best to expect that it won't all come off in a month. Giving your body time to adjust back to normal will help ensure that you're not setting yourself up for failure with unrealistic goals or getting frustrated when you have setbacks.
Cut your body some slack - It is possible that your body may never go back to what it was before. Even if you get back down to your pre-pregnancy weight, you may find that you have stretch marks in places you didn't have before or a pooch that won't go away no matter how much you work on it. Cut your body some slack and embrace these changes as a part of the life changing experience of carrying a baby that your body accomplished.
Appreciate what your body did - Remember that your body literally grew and nourished a human for 40 weeks and those changes are a forever reminder of how amazing your body is, no matter what its shape. Not only that, but your life is completely different now in every single aspect and its irrational to try and hold yourself to the same standards that you did before having kids.
Focus on being healthy - Too often, we get caught up on getting back to a certain weight or being able to fit clothing that we wore before. Rather focus on feeling good and being healthy. If you set your energy on getting enough sleep, drinking enough water so that you're no dehydrated, exercising and eating healthy, everything else will fall into place. It may not fall into place when you want it to, but it will eventually.
Wear things that make you feel good - It's common to adopt the mom wardrobe after delivering your child and for your wardrobe staples to become leggings and T-shirts. Depending on the mom, this change may become permanent. Often, the obsession with getting back to your pre-baby weight is connected to feeling attractive.You don't have to break the bank, but buy and wear some things that make you feel good about yourself. Make sure that they comfortably fit your current body and not the body that you're striving for.