Motherhood

Why “getting your body back” is a myth – and what you can focus on instead

3 min read

June 17th, 2021

Getting your pre-baby body back is a goal many mums have after having a baby (myself included, before I became a MumSafe Trainer).

In today’s society we often feel pressured to “bounce back” or return to our pre-pregnancy weight, shape, size and functioning. All too often we see unrealistic “before” and “after” posts on social media and women are praised when they fit back into their pre-pregnancy jeans.

The words “you don’t even look like you’ve had a baby” is given as a compliment, which leads me to ask, “What’s wrong with looking like you’ve had a baby when you’ve had a baby?” Seems silly when we question it like that, doesn’t it?

I have a truth bomb to share with you… We’re actually not meant to get our pre-baby body back.

Firstly, our body never went away in the first place. And secondly, trying to get our postnatal body to look like our pre-pregnancy body is NOT what Mother Nature intended.

Your body is meant to look different because it IS different. Creating, growing, birthing and nurturing tiny humans is simply mind-blowing when you think about it!

Your internal organs had to rearrange themselves to make room for your growing little one, your uterus had to stretch to 500 times its pre-pregnancy size and the joints in your pelvis had to become flexible and supple enough for your baby’s head to fit through (even if you had a c-section, your pelvis would’ve still done this). INCREDIBLE.

Our postnatal body is therefore obviously very different to our pre-pregnancy body and if there’s one thing I hope that you take away from this article it’s that different does not equal worse. Let’s be realistic, we don’t have to love the way our body looks every single day, but I do believe that we need to take the time to respect and appreciate our bodies for what they have done and what they’re capable of doing.

It’s easier said than done, I know, so here’s my advice on what to ditch and what to focus on:

1. Don’t believe all that you see on social media

Before and after pictures often use angles, lighting and body positions to make the “after” photo look different. Ask yourself this, “What positive impact does this person/social media account/service/product have on my life?” If it makes you feel like shit, then unfollow the account. You have the power to turn away from it and choose what you see.

2. Understand your birth story…

…even if it was years ago, because once we’re postnatal, we’re forever postnatal. It’s the first step in getting to grips with your postnatal body. When you understand what affects your baby’s birth has had on your body, you can better understand your recovery.

3. Be clear on your goals and then ask yourself “why”

Why is this goal important to you? Keep asking yourself “why” until you can really get to the bottom of your goal. You may find that you change your goal completely once you get to your true “why”.

4. Get the right team of people to help you build a strong, healthy, well-functioning postnatal body

Women’s health physiotherapists and accredited mums fitness professionals are a great place to start. (I want to make it clear: a strong, healthy and well functioning body comes in all shapes, sizes and weights).

5. Never underestimate self care

Investing time, energy or money into self-care reinforces to yourself and your family that you are worthy and that you are enough.

All of our trainers are accredited, experienced and partnered with Women’s Health Physios so you know you are in very safe hands. Click here to find a MumSafe trainer in your area.

Why “getting your body back” is a myth – and what you can focus on instead

Getting your pre-baby body back is a goal many mums have after having a baby (myself included, before I became a MumSafe Trainer).

In today’s society we often feel pressured to “bounce back” or return to our pre-pregnancy weight, shape, size and functioning. All too often we see unrealistic “before” and “after” posts on social media and women are praised when they fit back into their pre-pregnancy jeans.

The words “you don’t even look like you’ve had a baby” is given as a compliment, which leads me to ask, “What’s wrong with looking like you’ve had a baby when you’ve had a baby?” Seems silly when we question it like that, doesn’t it?

I have a truth bomb to share with you… We’re actually not meant to get our pre-baby body back.

Firstly, our body never went away in the first place. And secondly, trying to get our postnatal body to look like our pre-pregnancy body is NOT what Mother Nature intended.

Your body is meant to look different because it IS different. Creating, growing, birthing and nurturing tiny humans is simply mind-blowing when you think about it!

Your internal organs had to rearrange themselves to make room for your growing little one, your uterus had to stretch to 500 times its pre-pregnancy size and the joints in your pelvis had to become flexible and supple enough for your baby’s head to fit through (even if you had a c-section, your pelvis would’ve still done this). INCREDIBLE.

Our postnatal body is therefore obviously very different to our pre-pregnancy body and if there’s one thing I hope that you take away from this article it’s that different does not equal worse. Let’s be realistic, we don’t have to love the way our body looks every single day, but I do believe that we need to take the time to respect and appreciate our bodies for what they have done and what they’re capable of doing.

It’s easier said than done, I know, so here’s my advice on what to ditch and what to focus on:

1. Don’t believe all that you see on social media

Before and after pictures often use angles, lighting and body positions to make the “after” photo look different. Ask yourself this, “What positive impact does this person/social media account/service/product have on my life?” If it makes you feel like shit, then unfollow the account. You have the power to turn away from it and choose what you see.

2. Understand your birth story…

…even if it was years ago, because once we’re postnatal, we’re forever postnatal. It’s the first step in getting to grips with your postnatal body. When you understand what affects your baby’s birth has had on your body, you can better understand your recovery.

3. Be clear on your goals and then ask yourself “why”

Why is this goal important to you? Keep asking yourself “why” until you can really get to the bottom of your goal. You may find that you change your goal completely once you get to your true “why”.

4. Get the right team of people to help you build a strong, healthy, well-functioning postnatal body

Women’s health physiotherapists and accredited mums fitness professionals are a great place to start. (I want to make it clear: a strong, healthy and well functioning body comes in all shapes, sizes and weights).

5. Never underestimate self care

Investing time, energy or money into self-care reinforces to yourself and your family that you are worthy and that you are enough.

All of our trainers are accredited, experienced and partnered with Women’s Health Physios so you know you are in very safe hands. Click here to find a MumSafe trainer in your area.

Article by

Strong Mums

Louise runs Strong Mums in Gosford, NSW. She has a background in clinical and research psychology and became a mums’ fitness professional after having her first baby.