I have nothing against Kylie Jenner, like almost everyone else on the planet I like to keep up with the Kardashians. However I do have very strong feels about people, women, perpetuating the myth that it’s easy to get back to your pre-baby body without investing money, time and having an army of helpers, including some medical, at your disposal.
I hate it when celebrities feel the need to show off their post-baby figure in a matter of weeks after giving birth to show us mortals how awesome they are and for us to applaud them. You don’t have to be the sharpest knife in the kitchen to know that they employ every tool in their arsenal to get back to their desired body, for example most people on the planet having babies are advised to not work out for the first 6 weeks and let your body heal from the trauma it’s suffered. Science, and common sense, tell us that it took 9 months to gain the weight so it should take that much time to lose it. Obviously if your job and lifestyle are dictated by how you look you might think that the most important thing post birth is to get back into your bikini, 4 weeks after giving birth, and showoff your body on snapchat (other social media is available!) in case anyone was stupid enough to assume you were too busy looking after your newborn to worry or care about weight.
As someone who struggled with weight and body-image post my first baby I wasn’t surprised that so many celebrities rushed back to get into their skinny jeans and show off their flat tummies. I felt like another person after giving birth, and in all honesty if I had a magic wand that could transform me back to my previous figure I would have waved it like a maniac. I didn’t of course and like most women I didn’t have the luxury to go off to the gym or exercise as much as I would have liked as I had to look after my baby, I was sleep deprived and I was coming to terms with being a mother! 6/7 months after my daughter was born and with minimal effort I did drop most of the weight (I would have probably lost it all by 9 months had I not fallen pregnant again!) So your bodies got this. Just like it managed to grow a human inside you, it will shed the weight. Its not a race, its not a competition. As women we are pitted against each other for almost everything, how we look, how we dress, how we walk / talk / eat. None of it is ok, but to show off your postpartum body, as if you haven’t prioritised it over everything else, for the world to appreciate and comment on, and for other women in a similar situation to look at you and think thats even remotly achievable, when we all know it isn’t with out a little help, is just plain shitbag behaviour. Most women suffer from some form of baby blues, many from postnatel depression and in todays world we also have to contend with people making comments and comparisons about our bodies. After having a baby thats just not ok.
This is not about Kylie Jenner, she’s only 20 and it’s possible she did drop the weight naturally, this is about so many women on our screens desperate to get in on the postpartum weight loss challenge, to prove that they are somehow better than the rest of us because they can shed a few pounds and go back to wearing outrageous outfits. Why not also be upfront about all the help you received to get back into shape, tell us candidly about the procedure you had post birth to help with the weight loss, the people who look after your babies, the difficulties you faced with your changing body. I don’t think most women, especially those of us who have had children, would hate on someone for their honesty. We’d relate to it. We know how shit it can feel carrying those extra pounds and not feeling comfortable in our skin. Its absoloutly a Women’s right to chose how she wants to look and what she wants to do to her body. If you want to have a nip and tuck post birth, good for you. If you can afford an army of nannies, again, thats great. I totally respect how hard many women work to be able to achieve those goals and I don’t begrudge any of them. I dont like women posing in skimpy bikinis 4 weeks after giving birth perpetuating the myth that womens bodies can just shrink back to their prebaby size in the blink of an eye. I know there’re women out there who do drop the weight, I’ve met them, but even they very rarely drop it in the first 4 weeks and they are the exception not the rule.
I’m now a litte over 4 months postpartum and still carrying a few extra pounds. I definitely have loose skin on my belly, which will take time and effort to work off. I wake up in the mornings intending to do 20 minutes of exercise but that’s not always possible as my babies are not always obliging. Sometimes they are little angels and let me workout peacefully, at other times Idris just wants me to hold him and cries and cries until I stop what I’m doing! I do manage to get in my 35 minutes of exercise everyday, but its usually adhoc and later in the evening when my husband returns from work so he can look after the babies. Aasiya loves to join me when I’m doing yoga which is really nice if not distracting.
I do firmly believe it’s important to lose the pregnancy weight, there’s lots of evidence to indicate that getting back to your “normal” weight is what’s best for your long term health and ideally that should be achievable within 6 months to a year after giving birth. Unfortunately the longer you wait to lose it, the harder it can be. That’s not to say you must start shedding it after your 6 weeks appointment (most health professionals agree you should wait at least 6 weeks and see your Dr before beginning any regular exercise, longer if you’d had a cesarian or any complications) you have to do what suits your lifestyle. How you lose the weight will depend on a number of factors including what your health was like before and during pregnancy, if you worked out while pregnant, your labour ect. I would recommend going for walks as soon as your able to as the fresh air will be good for your body and mind. Walking is also one on my favourite ways to stay healthy. Find an exercise you enjoy and start by doing it once or twice a week and then slowly build up to doing it more regularly. Looking after a small baby or 2 (or more!) is pretty labour intensive so you’re already working out running around after them all day. Be gentle and kind with yourself, know that your children will love you whatever weight you are and that its not a competition. Hopefully you won’t feel the need to shed the weight unrealistically fast and post a picture to your social media to prove to anyone how well you’re doing. If you do, be considerate to those of us who struggle. We mothers know how hard motherhood is, so just do you and know that there’s a whole army of women out there, just like you, struggling and working hard to be the best that we can be, and thats enough.