I couldn't help but glance over while standing in the checkout aisle. There it was, front and center on the cover of the latest celebrity magazine, Kim Kardashian and her beautiful post-baby body.
Of course she had some help getting her pre-baby body back so quickly. Anyone that works out three hours a day with a personal trainer and eats meals prepared by a personal chef should look pretty fabulous with or without airbrushing.
Unless you are a movie star with a blank checkbook, I'm here to tell you looking like Kim K. just weeks after having a baby simply isn't realistic, nor is it advisable.
There isn't a woman out there who doesn't want to be back in her skinny jeans after experiencing childbirth, but it takes some time for your body to recover.
Mom and baby need rest, bonding time
I never recommend strenuous exercise for my new moms until six weeks post-delivery. Those first six weeks should be focused on you and your baby and enjoying that bonding time. Sleep and hydration are essential during this period.
Let me clarify that I do say strenuous exercise, so that's not to say a new mom can't go for a walk and or do some very light cardio. However, those first few weeks should be spent with your baby and letting your body recover, not worrying about those skinny jeans in the closet.
Your body will change naturally
As part of the natural process, you will lose some weight immediately from delivering your baby, the placenta and the other fluids associated with pregnancy. Ridding your body of those fluids can take 10 days to two weeks – be patient!
Also, don't be disappointed if you gain a little weight initially. That's just your body adjusting to the fluids provided during labor as well as inflammation.
Pushing yourself too hard is dangerous
Vigorous exercise too early after delivery can cause bleeding, a longer recovery time, decreased milk supply and possibly internal damage. In my opinion, getting back in those skinny jeans just isn't worth it.
The other restriction I enforce is no heavy lifting. A new mom must allow her pelvic floor muscles to recover. If you do any heavy lifting too soon, it can be very painful.
After you've reached that six-week mark, then go for it! Those women who lose their baby weight within the first year following delivery are more likely to keep it off over a longer period of time.
Your skin needs to heal, too
Be patient with your skin as well. It can take a year for things to “adjust." For some, that adjustment never completely happens. One more thing, there are no magic creams or lotions that are going to help with stretch marks – so save your money!
Pregnancy affects every part of you
Although very natural, labor and delivery is a very traumatic experience for your body. It is one event that impacts every aspect of your body and it takes some time to recover. Those magic bounce backs just aren't realistic. Celebrate the fact that you've created a beautiful little human being. Trust me, those skinny jeans will be worth the wait.