Will my body ever be the same? Answers to the questions every woman asks post-pregnancy.

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Will my body ever be the same?

How many of you have pondered that question?

We watch our bodies change shape during our pregnancy or pregnancies and we can lose sight of who we are and what we look like as a woman – not “just” as a mother, but a woman. We give birth to the most wonderful and precious little people and feel positively blessed…. but still we are left wondering… will my body ever be the same again?

The truth of the matter is…. probably not. I don’t mean this in a disappointing and negative way by any means. I’m simply saying that things may feel a little different and weight may be distributed differently…. the great news is that you can still look and feel amazing.

Time for new shoes?

Sometimes your feet may seem like they’ve “grown” during pregnancy. Well, your feet don’t grow as such, the ligaments in your feet and ankle area may relax due to the relaxin in your body. (Relaxin is the hormone that your body produces during pregnancy that prepares your body for the birthing process.) This then makes your feet bones “spread” and flatten to become wider and a little longer which means you might find yourself needing to go up half a size or perhaps a full size in shoes. Research carried out suggests that your feet will not return to their normal size and that your feet may increase in size with each pregnancy… the great news is that this gives you a legitimate reason to buy new shoes! Gotta love that!

The truth about light bladder leakage…

Have you experienced light bladder leakage since having your bub and been told it’s normal? Well, it doesn’t have to be, and you don’t have to be wearing pads because you’re scared of having an accident if you cough or sneeze. You hear people talk about exercising your pelvic floor and it may sound like you’re hearing a broken record, but the fact is, with the right exercises, you can improve your pelvic floor muscles and with it, your bladder control. Goodbye incontinence… and don’t come back!! Imagine, laughing, sneezing, running and even jumping on the trampoline with no fear of wetting yourself! Do those pelvic floor exercises that you’ve been prescribed and you’ll be jumping for joy… with no wet patches!

Tummy troubles – stretch marks and abdominal separation

Ok… So now for the biggie… Will my tummy ever be the same? Honestly, it really is different for every person. Some mums will get stretch marks during their pregnancy and unfortunately this sometimes comes down to genetics and your skin’s ability to be able to stretch and bounce back from that. Creams can sometimes help, and most certainly diet and hydrating your body by drinking water will assist with the overall appearance of your skin.

Over time stretch marks do fade and while it may not be exactly what you want to hear, “Your body is not ruined. You’re a tiger who has earned her stripes”. Give thanks and gratitude for your body in being able to give you the opportunity of growing your beautiful baby. These stretch marks are a marker of a truly amazing event in your life. I love the below saying (author unknown) which sums up things so beautifully…[dt_gap height=”10″ /]

“A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me.

It isn’t very pretty anymore. Some may even think it’s ugly. That’s OK. It was your home. It’s where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who you would be. It held you until my arms could, and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it.”

We may not be able to do a lot with stretch marks, but we can do a lot to help our tummy muscles recover from stretching to accommodate our growing baby. Similarly to the pelvic floor muscles, if we do specific exercises that are prescribed, our muscles will come back and we can chisel our waistline in order to get our womanly curves back! Even an abdominal separation can be corrected with specific exercises (together with avoiding exercises that will make it worse such as sit-ups!)…. Take it from somebody that knows first-hand!

Loving your new body, albeit a little different

How do I know all this… trust me, I’m speaking from experience. Just like you, I’ve looked in the mirror and seen a “different” body and I’ve felt different about myself. Sure, there were times when I wanted to look differently too. What I do know is that I would not change things for the world. I love my body; I love what my body has been able to do – nurture my babies, provide a place for them to grow and to keep them safe; and I love how my body looks now and I love how I feel – fit, strong and healthy (which enables me to run around after my energetic boys!)

With a little bit of effort and “me time” you can become a stronger, healthier and happier you, but above and beyond everything, love yourself for who you are emotionally, spiritually and physically. This love is where everything begins…