Today I have one of my new blog friends, Maria, sharing a guest post! Maria pretty awesome — she’s a personal trainer, a military wife, and mom to a wonderful baby. I highly encourage you to check out her blog!
Hello there lovely HH readers! I’m Maria and I blog over at a life to Bragg about, and like Katie, I’m also a new mom to a gorgeous baby boy. I love to work out and share healthy recipes and tips so I’m excited to have the opportunity to do the same with Katie’s wonderful blog. Since I especially love talking about all things baby, today I’m hoping to debunk some of the silly “myths” I was told before having my baby. Motherhood is a wonderful ride and if I have the opportunity to share its joys with others, you bet I will!
The first myth is one that I heard over and over again while pregnant. At times, I wanted to rip a person’s head off after hearing “you’ll never get your body back” and then scream at them “you don’t know me!” because I heard that phrase so much.
Here’s why I almost went hulk smash on those people: It’s simply not true. Thing may be a tad bit squishy, wider and not as taut but with hard work, determination, and dedication, it is totally possible to get your body back. Granted, it may take some time, but telling someone they can’t or never will do something is only more motivation to prove you wrong. Our bodies just went through nine months of incubating a precious little human being, it will most likely take 9 months (or even longer) to get that weight off.
Unless you’re one of the Victoria’s Secret Angels or a genetic freak like them, of course.
The next myth I was also told was that “you’ll be back to your pre- pregnancy size in no time”. This one didn’t bother me too much because the optimist in me liked to believe that I was being complimented. But I still feel that I need to dispel this “myth” because in my experience, it didn’t happen that way.
I was told this because I worked very hard (within reason) during my pregnancy and I planned to breastfeed. While pregnant, I swam once a week, did yoga and CrossFit several times a week, and I ran up until the day I delivered. But as hard as I worked, there was no guarantee that my body would “shrink” back to it’s size the second I popped out my little dude. In fact, here I am 5 months later and I’m still not back to my pre-pregnancy size or weight. Granted, I don’t necessarily look like I’m holding on to pregnancy weight but I know my body, and it’s there. Which brings me to the actual point I’m trying to make, just because a woman works out during her pregnancy does not mean she’ll “be back to her pre-pregnancy size in no time”. It’s hard, people.
And just because a woman is nursing, it doesn’t mean she’ll lose the weight quickly either. For the majority of women, it can be difficult to lose those pesky last 10lbs while nursing simply because the body needs extra maternal stores to make that nutritious gold for baby. And even if you’ve made it a point to eat the perfect amount of clean, wholesome foods at exactly every 3 hours to keep your metabolism kicking, nursing makes you so hungry you want to gnaw your baby’s arm. To put it simply, nursing makes it really hard to adhere to the calories in vs. calories out principle.
And this brings me to the next myth.
“You’re breastfeeding so you’re allowed to eat more and shouldn’t work out too much because it will affect your supply”.
Just because your body requires an extra 500-800 calories per day to make milk for your baby is not an excuse to eat 3 Snickers bars in one sitting. It’s okay to splurge every now and then but generally, your extra calories should come from nutritious whole foods as they’re passed along to your baby via your milk. You want what’s best for your baby, right?
And though there are always exceptions, you can still exercise vigorously and have no adverse effect on your milk supply. As long as you’re eating enough calories to support the extra calories needed for nursing, and you’re drowning yourself in water, nursing shouldn’t be too much of a problem for most women.
Speaking of exercise, another gem I was often told was that “you can workout later”.
On the rare occasion my baby does not want to be held, cuddled or played with, I will gladly seize that opportunity to squeeze in a workout. Working out with a baby is never a guarantee as anything can happen to preclude you from working out. So if you’re blessed with that small window of opportunity, there is no time like the present to do so. Dishes be done later, and writing a blog post can wait. If baby is napping, WORK OUT. This may not apply to everyone but I especially had a difficult time with finding time to work out as I had a baby that rarely slept and my husband was away for the first 4 months of his life. But I made it work by squeezing in 15 minutes here and there, or doing squats in the kitchen while my baby was in the baby carrier. All of this just goes to show that time with a baby is precious, so work out when you can and make that workout count, because you never know when the next one will be.
I understand that I may have made motherhood seem like a difficult journey, but it is. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it’s a piece of cake but as I mentioned earlier, it really is an amazing ride and one that I’m truly happy to be on.
I’m not at my pre pregnancy weight, it took me awhile to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans, I’m breastfeeding and trying not to eat everything in sight, and I don’t get to workout when I want and for how long I want but all of that doesn’t matter as much to me now. Once your breath is taken away when you hold your baby in your arms for the first time, everything is completely worth it.
Thank you so much for debunking some of these myths that I’m sure MANY women have heard, Maria!