Nobody tells you to expect a Jelly Belly!
Even if you have never loved your body, you cannot help but admire your amazing bump in that third trimester! You will find yourself looking at it in awe and amazement, as will your partner and friends. A lovely big bump looks amazing under a tight top or a dress and you may find yourself wearing clothes you never dreamt of wearing before! But what happens after your baby is born?
It can be a bit of a shock to many women to find that their tummy becomes a bit of a sad and empty Jelly Belly. It can look a bit like a half-deflated ballon, a bit wrinkly and saggy but still with a bit of squidge. And it looks sad because, where yesterday it was beautifully big, ripe, taut and full of life and (literally) and then it is empty and does not seem to hold the excitement or promise that it did before.
If you were expecting to squeeze straight back into your pre-pregnancy skinny jeans the day after giving birth, then you are going to be disappointed, because unless you have been blessed with a very rare set of genes (think Victoria’s Secret Model) you’re going to have to forget about your favourite skinnies for a while longer. Leggings are your friend, as are tracksuit bottoms, lounge pants or anything soft, stretchy and comfortable. In real life, you will not be leaving the hospital looking like Kate Middleton in a designer dress with full hair and make up.
But please do not beat yourself up about this. It is so normal. Give yourself a break and give your body the love and congratulations that it deserves. You just grew a human being in there and things do not just “snap back” as soon as that process finishes. Sure you will see celebrities leaping around looking incredible a week or so after giving birth, but do not compare yourself to someone in the public eye, who’s career depends upon their image. They have different motives and different priorities to you, not to mention armies of personal trainers, chefs and nannies who are poised to aid in this speedy postnatal recovery.
They say it takes 9 months to make a baby and 9 months to recover, and whoever “they” are, we think they are about right. Take it slowly whilst you recover from pregnancy and childbirth. Do not rush to start calorie counting or exercising too soon. Neither of these things are good for you whilst you are trying heal and to establish breastfeeding.
You and your body are wonderful. Relax and try and enjoy the Fourth Trimester without worrying about your tummy!
For more brilliant advice for the postnatal period, and a lot more things that Nobody Tells you, check out our Online Antenatal Classes.