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The Life-Sucking Pressure To Lose the "Baby Weight"

by Gillian Yuan BN IBCLC MBEC

How are you feeling about your body today Mama? If you answer, not great, you are not alone! At least 64% of women said their body image had gotten worse since they became mothers, I suspect that number is even higher. This is not okay! I'm on a mission to change that. This blog post is all about the pressures on moms to lose the baby weight and what you can do to feel better as a Mom, without focusing on weight, and see your postpartum body or “mom-bod” in a new light!


It is not your fault that you feel the pressure to “snap back” after having a baby. This concept has been sold to moms for decades from diet culture, media, and patriarchy. Patriarchy, meaning the social construct that has existed for over a century around what an ideal female body "should" look like and what a “Good Mom” "should" behave and look like.


Why is a woman's body admired during pregnancy, but loathed post-pregnancy?


To think that moms’ bodies need to go right back to how they were, pre-pregnancy is completely unrealistic and physiologically impossible, at least for the first few months, or longer. Some women hold on to that extra fat because their bodies need it to make breastmilk for nourishing their babies, which is normal and expected!


Throughout our lifespan, it is completely normal for our bodies to change shape and size in different seasons of life. If you think of a teenage girl who has gone through puberty, society doesn't tell her that she needs to shrink her body back to before puberty. So, why is it expected of Moms post-pregnancy (another hormonal evolution) and even perimenopause or menopause?


So, what can you do instead of looking to the next post-pregnancy diet and exercise program to feel better in your body?

  • Develop your self-compassion- Notice when you are having negative thoughts about yourself or your body, and switch the thought to something a little more positive, plausible, and possible. This can be easier said than done, so I recommend support as I offer below.

  • Eat enough food- Motherhood requires a lot of energy. Just as you learned how to notice your baby’s feeding cues, you can tune into your hunger cues. You may notice your stomach feels empty or is grumbling, or you may feel lightheaded or become hangry. Eat food that both nourishes you and tastes good to you, without judgment.

  • Seek support- If the life of transitioning into motherhood, the body changes that you have experienced, or both, have been challenging for you and have not been how you thought it was going to be, please reach out for support. This may be from your partner, a friend or family member, or a professional, like me.

  • I am here to support you, Mama! Start by downloading my free PDF

3 Ways to Get Off the Diet Roller Coaster For Good, Momma! Click HERE

  • If you’d like to hear more about this topic and my own experience, I did a podcast about it, which you can listen to HERE or on your favorite podcast app.


I hope this was helpful for you today, Momma! I welcome your questions and comments, so please feel free to leave them below!


With love,


Gillian

Body Acceptance Mom Coach



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