After Rihanna had her baby, many people were shocked to see her showing off her baby weight and not getting rid of it before even going public like most other celebrities. I was most impressed, and I am sure many new mothers could identify with her. She normalized baby fat, showing that it takes way too much to meet people’s expectations for us at the end of the day. It is always better to be ourselves and not try to measure up to others.
Being a woman is complicated at times; there is so much that is expected of us that we feel almost intimated if we do not meet the expectation of others. However, one of the most significant pressures a woman has to deal with is getting back that perfect body after a baby. And yes, each of us has an idea of perfection. Is it not enough that we spent almost a year growing and nurturing a whole human being inside us? We sacrifice ourselves, which comes with many changes, such as getting sick and gaining weight.
Consequently, we must alter things we used to do before, such as how we eat, exercise, sleep, and even think, to create the best internal environment for our babies. Yet, there is this pressure to snap back as soon as possible after post-birth. Listen up, weight gain is a natural part of pregnancy!
I wonder if anyone stops to think about how stressful post-natal recovery is for many of us. The last thing that should be on our minds during this time is getting back our bodies. Of course, it would be great if that happened quickly, but how dare anyone make a new mother feel like she is doing something wrong by not snapping back? Does it make a woman less of a woman if she takes a long time to lose her baby weight?
While some women return almost immediately to their pre-baby weight after childbirth, others will have to wait longer or work harder to do this. Several factors influence how speedily this will happen, such as age, number of babies, type of delivery, etc. From personal experience, all pregnancies are different. So a woman may snap back with her first but not her second, third, or so on. I gained very little weight with my first child and was in my early twenties. It also did not take long for me to lose weight. However, with my second, I was several years older and gained a significant amount of weight which took me longer to lose than my first. Now that I have recently given birth to my third, I know that there is a possibility that I may not lose the weight gained during pregnancy very fast.
Consequently, I will have to work harder to get it down promptly. I remember feeling very anxious because I didn’t particularly appreciate it when people commented on how fat I got.
So instead of being inconsiderate and adding undue pressure on us mothers about our baby weight, why not take the time to commend us on the excellent job we have been doing in taking care of our baby and family? Why not compliment us on how well we look and have been coping, mainly since post-partum depression affects many of us? And for God’s sake, do not comment on our weight; we have to deal with it every day when we look in our closet and cannot find anything that fits or in the mirror when we look at our engorged breasts filled with milk to nurture our babies or our fat protruding tummies that stick out under our shirts. We need no other reminders, and if you do not know how not to say something nice and uplifting, do not speak at all.
So what if we do not snap back? Being a mother means much more than having a perfect body soon after childbirth. Allow nature to take its course and gives us a break.