By Meghan B.
New moms face extra challenges as women in our society. Not only do you have a child to look after, you are expected to live up to our unrealistic body image ideals. Pregnant moms are often worried about how they will return to their pre-pregnancy weight after the baby comes, but I’m here to tell you it isn’t worth the mental strain.
I gained a healthy 20lbs during pregnancy and I tried not to worry about it. After I had my daughter, I decided that being fit and healthy was more important than being thin, and again, I didn’t worry about my size. However, around every corner someone has been trying to sell me weight loss tricks for new moms. They must not know that new moms have so much more to worry about than returning to pre-baby size.
I’m especially tired of seeing articles about the benefits of breastfeeding that list weight-loss as a top reason to nurse your baby. We need to get rid of our cultural expectation that being ultra thin is a woman’s top priority. It is harmful, dangerous, and unnecessary.
In an effort to combat this expectation, I have developed a list of things I care about more than shedding baby weight:
#1: My Baby’s Health
The number one reason to breastfeed is actually because it nourishes my baby. Breastfeeding provides the right amount of fat, hydration, vitamins, and important immunities for my kid.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding requires an intense amount of calories. Sometimes I wake up in the morning after my baby had a midnight nursing marathon and I’m hungry as hell. Get out of my way hangry. Straight up bitchy until I eat.
#3: Not Peeing My Pants
I tried to do a yoga DVD when my daughter was three weeks old and I peed myself. Luckily, I was at home in my living room and had a change of pants in the next room. Letting your body recover from birth is no joke, and if you rush it, it can take you longer to get back to feeling normal. Don’t expect to be getting on a treadmill or joining a roller derby team post birth before your pelvic muscles have a little more control.
#4: Adult Refreshments
As a lover of fine wines and craft beers, I was really looking forward to being able to once again partake in a beverage or two. Having a hoppy, calorie-rich IPA after nine months of sparkling, cucumber water was well-deserved. And, as a side note, the beer DID increase my milk supply.
#5: New Clothes
Yep, I have my pre-pregnancy pants folded up in closet, but outgrowing them has given me an excellent excuse to update my wardrobe. To hell with maternity pants, mama needs a new wardrobe.
#6: Not Giving Any F***s
Seriously, I don’t have any to give anymore. Being a parent has made me tough and I honestly don’t care what people think of my body. My priorities have changed and I don’t have time to stress over losing weight.