Body After Baby: birth – week 3

Hi Beauties!

While I’m technically still out on “maternity leave” (when you’re self-employed, maternity leave is a relative term), I’m popping in to share an update on my postpartum journey with you.

I’ve thought long and hard about how I want to share my this journey here on the blog and I really appreciated your feedback on Instagram and Facebook last week. Thank you!

Ultimately I want to share a real, authentic, un-edited account of what it looks like to lose the baby weight and get back to a place of feeling confident, fit and strong in my body again.

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{day 1, week 1, week 2}

Before we begin, a couple of disclaimers:

  1. My desire  is to share what it really looks like to get back into shape after having a baby. And more than that, to share the emotional ups and downs as well. We’re all tired of the images of celebrities bouncing back “DAYS” after giving birth and seeing women slave away at the gym before giving their bodies time to heal. The last thing I want to do is provide cause for comparison because that goes against everything I promote. We are all different. We have different bodies and we are all at different places on our fitness journeys. If you find yourself prone to comparing in a way that makes you feel bad I encourage you to skip these posts all together. Know yourself and respect yourself.
  2. Keep in mind that I am a fitness professional. This is my job. Teaching Pilates is my job, living a healthy lifestyle is my job and sharing my story is my job. This is not just a hobby. So if you are tempted to compare keep the reality of my situation and the reality of your situation in mind. If you are on the road back from having a baby or just setting out to lose weight, we may be starting from different places so please avoid the temptation to compare apples to oranges. I have been a fitness professional for awhile now and that has an impact on where I started and how my journey will go.
  3. Remember, we’re all in this together! We’re a part of The Balanced Life community to cheer each other on and to strive for grace and positivity in the world of health/fitness. I can learn from you, you can learn from me and we can all support one another no matter what our fitness level, weight or life circumstance may be. Amen? Amen.

Okay, thank you for sticking with me through that. It’s important to me that you know my heart in sharing this journey and that you take a moment to check your heart as well. 🙂

Let’s dive in…

BODY AFTER BABY : birth – 3 weeks

41 Weeks Pregnant

Although I haven’t had a chance to share Baby K’s birth story yet most of you know through social media that he arrived 12 days past his due date. 12 days! Those were long days to say the least. I snapped these photos at 41 weeks + 5 days.

body after baby 41weeksfront

body after baby 41weeksside

At the time these photos were taken I was mentally SO READY to be done with the pregnancy but physically I was feeling pretty good. I was walking each day, had very little swelling and very few aches and pains. For that, I am grateful.

Day 1

Baby K was born at 2:15 in the morning and I snapped this photo later that day. I think a lot of first time moms are surprised by the fact that you still look (at least) 4 months pregnant after giving birth. I know I was surprised the first time around! I remember staring at my body in disbelief after having my first baby.

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bodyafterbabyday1front

This time I knew what to expect and it was much easier to embrace the soft, squishy post-pregnancy belly. I was in better shape before and during my pregnancy this time around it showed in my body even the day after giving birth. I definitely “let myself go” more during my first pregnancy and don’t regret it for a second. 🙂 I was more intentional about my workouts and food choices with this pregnancy, but don’t worry, I still gained a solid 39 lbs.

Week 2

These photos were taken 2 weeks after giving birth.

body after baby 2weeksfront

body after baby 2weeksside

I was actually pleasantly surprised by these photos. I’m not sure if that’s because my body endured pregnancy a little better this time around or if it’s because after 5 years of being intentional and focused on improving my body image and loving my body for all it can do I can finally look at a photo without frustration, shame and negativity. It’s probably a combination of the two. To which I say, AMEN! 🙂

I will say that embracing my postpartum body after my first pregnancy was really, really hard.

I couldn’t believe how oddly shaped it was and how much bigger I was in all areas. It was really hard for me because I was constantly seeing photos of people who seemed like they bounced back within days and were fitting into pre-pregnancy jeans within a few weeks!

After giving birth to my first child it took me about a year to lose all of the weight (and then some). A year with half-marathon training, nonstop breastfeeding and ultimately an elimination diet due to my daughter’s food intolerances. So it’s safe to say I didn’t bounce right back into my skinny jeans, but I got there eventually. (you can read about how I lost the baby weight the first time by clicking here)

postpartum weight loss

Here are a few more snapshots of how things are going at 3 weeks postpartum:

Stats:

Total weight gain during pregnancy: 39 lbs

Weight loss 3 days after giving birth: 13.5 lbs (25 lbs left to lose)

Weight loss 2 weeks after giving birth: additional 6 lbs (19 lbs left to lose)

Weight loss 3 weeks after giving birth: additional 1.5 lbs (17.5 lbs left to lose)

I measure my progress in 4 different ways: the scale, photos, measurements and most importantly, how my clothes fit.

I coach all of my clients in my online programs to do the same. We tend to get so caught up with the number on the scale and it only shows one small part of the whole picture. I’ve found that especially on the postpartum journey, there are many times the scale won’t budge but the measurements drop. In fact, this past week I lost the lowest number on the scale but had the biggest drop in inches. If you are on a weight loss journey I encourage you to look beyond the scale as well.

Diet: 

My son has been diagnosed with the same dairy/soy protein intolerance that my daughter had. So as of this week I am off of all dairy and soy products. Other than that I am not limiting my food intake or even saying “no” to anything other than those my son can’t process. I’m enjoying desserts, eating frequently throughout the day and just making sure I keep my milk up in these first few weeks.

I’m drinking lots of water and trying to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and protein. But I am not in “weight loss mode” just yet. I think it’s important to give my body time to adjust to the new demands of breastfeeding and really, what’s the rush? I have plenty of time to focus on losing the weight. I’m checking my weight and measurements so that I know my body is moving in the right direction and when I feel like I’ve stalled out I’ll focus more on intentionally losing weight.

Right now I’m allowing my energy to go toward adjusting to life with 2 little ones and keeping us all fed, rested and happy. 🙂

Exercise:

Even though I feel MUCH better physically at this point than I did after the birth of my daughter (stitches vs. no stitches), I am still taking the full 6 weeks as recommended by most doctors before actively resuming my workouts.

I believe it’s very important to give your body time to rest and heal before trying to change it again. Sometimes feeling good can be dangerous because it’s tempting to jump back into workouts before your body is really ready.

I’m currently going for short walks, chasing my toddler around the house and around the neighborhood, doing light stretching on my foam roller and that’s about it. It’s nice to have an excuse to take time off from more intense workouts. I’m not one to rush this part of the process. I’ll get back at it in a few weeks.

I’m excited to dive into a great month of workouts with our online membership group. The women in The Sisterhood have been such an inspiration and encouragement to me! (new workout and Recipe Bundle going out on October 1st! Join us!)

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Emotions:

The first week I experienced the expected hormonal swings. I was happy and grumpy and weepy and ecstatic all at the same time.

The second week I leveled out a bit but still ended up bursting into tears on my birthday because I was so exhausted and my toddler wouldn’t nap.

This week I’m feeling a little better and feeling like I’m adjusting to this big change. It helps that I’m not really working – that would be too much to handle right now. I’m excited to get back at it soon but this time and space is good for the emotional well-being.

I’ll be sharing more updates in the weeks and months to come as I dive back into my workout routine and attempt to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes (eventually). I’m currently living in workout clothes (without actually working out, ha!) and maxi dresses.

I’d love to hear from you…was this post helpful? Anything else you’d like me to share?

Oh and be sure to come find me on Instagram. That’s where I share the daily and weekly updates along with healthy tips to find balance when life gets busy. 🙂

xo,

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PS – you may also enjoy How I Lost The Baby Weight (from my first pregnancy) and Tips For Exercising With A Baby.

PPS – if you’re on a journey of your own and would like to have support, recipes, workouts and encouragement check out The Balanced Life Sisterhood. I’d love to get to know you!

 

13 Comments
  1. sky 2 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing. I want to especially thank you for your disclaimers. Even though I follow you and take your classes via the internet, I feel that even if I attended in person, I wouldn’t be judged by you for where I’m at on my physical journey. It is a journey that I’ve neglected for years, and it is so nice to have such a positive role model available as I try to get back into it. Congratulations on your newest addition, thanks for sharing everything with us, and also thank you for providing such a positive, safe place for your readers.

  2. Madison 2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing! I really do love to see other people’s journey to body after baby and can relate so much now. I remember thinking about a month after having Ainsley that I was never going to get back into those jeans but my body knew what it was doing and it re-adjusted in time, with mindful eating, a little exercise and time. Now, 7 months later, I can safely say I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been and love my body more than before baby.

  3. Danielle 2 years ago

    Congratulations and thank you for sharing. I too am a fitness instructor and 38 weeks pregnant with baby #2. I appreciate your candidness in sharing your journey! Best wishes.

  4. Emily 2 years ago

    Congratulations!!! It seems like you are doing a great job of giving yourself grace over guilt in all areas. Slow and steady is the way to go!

  5. Hannah 2 years ago

    I just love reading & following along with your positive posts! Being 3 months post partum I can relate closely to your most recent journey. I noticed a comment you made (somewhere on your site/Instagram) about post partum depression versus anxiety & it really struck a cord! I myself have never dealt with anxiety until about 1 month after my daughter was born. People use to envy how “relaxed” and “easy going” I was. Now I notice anxiety & irritability creeping in with lack of sleep & proper diet, and a baby breastfeeding non stop! Any tips, tricks, or changes you made in your life would be appreciated 🙂

  6. Hanneke 2 years ago

    You are amazing! LOVE this and love your advice on not playing the compare game 🙂 You are so great at keeping things honest & real for all of us! Know that you are deeply loved & appreciated for that xo

  7. Emily s 2 years ago

    thank you for sharing your journey with us! You’re amazing girl and we appreciate your honesty so much !!!

  8. Christan 2 years ago

    I love you, Robin! 🙂

  9. Jennifer L. 2 years ago

    Awesome post, Robin! I love your insights and honesty and am really happy for you and your growing family. Thank you for breaking it down in a real way, I love how you talk about living in your body in the state that it’s in and being happy with it, that’s a lot to be proud of, can’t wait to hear more about your journey. All the best xo

  10. Cath 2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing Robin. My baby is already 20 months old but I still feel like I’m on my post pregnancy journey and I think that in some ways I will always be recovering!! My recovery is the whole reason I found Pilates and I’m so glad I found it! The photo of you at 41 +5 is amazing, your back is so straight!!

  11. Tamie 2 years ago

    honesty is best to yourself and then to others. your doing the right thing…enjoy your babies first then worry about the rest later

  12. Gail Lollis 2 years ago

    Hi Robin,

    Now that I’ve joined the Sisterhood I’ve been looking through old posts. Thank you for this one. I REALLY struggled with body image through my pregnancy (I didn’t even feel beautiful while pregnant) so I was SUPER eager to get my body back afterward. I had a terrible pregnancy and was immobile after 20 weeks due to severe sciatica, bursitis and general pelvic pain (he was very engaged very early on). I also had a sweet tooth like no other. I put on 65 lbs. I am now 8 months post partum and down 45 lbs. I only lost 22 “easily”. The other 23 lbs have been hard earned! I started walking 3 weeks postpartum (c-section) and working out 9 weeks post partum. It isn’t easy and I used to blame myself for gaining so much weight. But I had tough circumstances. And I’m learning to be kinder to myself. I did want to ask – it sounds like you had a VBAC and that you had an easier recovery this time… is that true? Did your doc support your VBAC? I’d love to know a little more about that if you’re willing to share 🙂

    Thanks! lots of love -Gail

    • Robin Long 2 years ago

      Hi Gail! I’m so glad this post was helpful and encouraging for you. Congrats on the incredible progress you’ve made!! 🙂 I actually had a vaginal delivery both times. My first was just harder on my body – tearing and stitches. The second time didn’t require stitches which made recovery SO much easier! But I have read a lot of stories about women having successful VBAC. Of course every situation is unique. But I would definitely continue researching it if it’s something you’re hoping for! xoxo

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