“You’ll bounce right back,” they said. And “Just breastfeed, and you’ll lose the baby weight overnight.” Or my favorite, “I was in my old jeans as soon as I got home from the hospital.”
I heard these types of statements over and over during my pregnancy.
So, of course it came as a total surprise to me when I couldn’t even get my pre-pregnancy jeans up past my thighs a week after I got home from the hospital. Or when at two months postpartum I was still wearing some maternity clothes.
I wondered If I had gained too much weight during pregnancy or if I was eating too much.
Why was my postpartum journey so different?
Here’s the thing I learned: My postpartum journey wasn’t so different.
My postpartum body was like everyone else’s postpartum body, they just weren’t talking about it.
It’s not normal to be in your old jeans two days after giving birth or even two months, but I didn’t know this– because no one talks about it.
So for women wondering what everyone’s not saying about their postpartum body, here it is: raw and unfiltered.
First off, don’t even think about packing “normal” clothes for your ride home from the hospital. You know why? Because they won’t fit. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
When you get home from the hospital you’ll be wearing granny panties with large pads for at least 10 days.
You might even be out in public a few weeks after delivery and get stopped by a stranger who asks when your baby is due.
You’ll get frustrated when you finally get the courage to leave your baby for two hours so you and your spouse can have a well deserved date night, only to cancel the sitter because you have nothing to wear, because nothing fits.
You’ll cry when you see a picture of yourself at a family gathering and you still look a little pregnant despite the fact that your baby is two months old.
You’ll get annoyed when you return to work and a coworker asks you why you’re still wearing a maternity shirt.
You’ll get even more annoyed when six months postpartum another coworker asks you if you’re already pregnant again, even though you aren’t.
You’ll feel angry when people question how much weight you’ve lost.
But then one day, you’ll zip up those pre-pregnancy jeans again.
Or maybe you won’t. But that’s okay. Everyone’s body reacts differently to pregnancy and everyone “bounces back” on their unique timeline.
For any new mamas reading this or even those in their last few months of pregnancy, please give yourself grace. Don’t listen to friends or family who tell you they had no problem quickly losing all the weight.
There’s more than enough to stress about when you’re a new mom. But please, don’t waste any time stressing about when the world thinks you should “bounce back.”