Why Being Honest about Postpartum Weight-loss is Important
After receiving a countless amount of emails and DM's on Instagram by women asking me how I lost my baby weight, I have decided to share my story. I wanted to take a moment to be honest about how I got back to my natural size and how long it really took. So, I posted this image of me at about 36 weeks pregnant and then me just a few days ago at 17 months postpartum with this caption on my Instagram.
- Recently I have received so many messages from women who write to me and ask how they can lose their baby weight? Most of the time they are only a few months postpartum!🙀 I want to be completely honest here, it took me 17 months to return to my natural size. Not 3 months or 6 months.... 17 months! And I feel really proud of myself because I had made a decision to focus on True and how I could best care for her as her mother. This experience was all new to me and I had no clue what I was doing. It was overwhelming at times and there were hormonal mood swings like crazy. My plate was already full and I didn’t need to add the stress of poor body image to that plate. So, I chose not to. After experiencing pregnancy and the universal intelligence that is hardwired in the female body, I quickly understood that regardless of what my mind wanted, my body was going to create a human. Isn’t that weird? I wasn’t doing anything to create a baby, my body knew exactly what to do and I was just along for the ride. Being pregnant taught me that my body knows what is best and all I can do is feed it well and stay active, then it will decide what happens next. I let go of the need to control it and sure enough, my body healed and recovered in its own time. I feel strong and healthy and I encourage other women who are carrying extra pounds from pregnancy to be kind to yourself. You have been through so much and you deserve time to rest, recover, and focus on your new child without shame around your beautiful body. The only way to this planet is through a woman. Never diminish that power to pounds and inches. You are a goddess. 👏🏽💯 #healthyisthenewskinny #katiehwillcox#postpartumbody #postpartumhealth#postpartumweightloss #postpartum
Reading the 200 comments on my post was really powerful and an important reminder that body image issues don't just magically go away as you age, they just change forms. Pregnancy is an extremely difficult and complex experience for your mind, body, and spirit. It is a beautiful and wonderful experience but one that can take its toll on your body image. The best thing we can do is focus on being kind to ourselves and trusting of our bodies. Our bodies know what to do and we should allow our bodies time to heal and recover from something as traumatic as growing and birthing a human. The best way we can battle the "Fit-Pregnancy" social media trends is to be honest about our pregnancy and postpartum experience.
For people to tell women that they should love their postpartum bodies is not fair. We don't have to love our postpartum bodies, but we don't have to hate them either. It was really helpful to understand that my postpartum body wasn't permanent, it was in metamorphosis. The pregnancy experience for a woman doesn't end at the birth of your child, it continues long after. The transition back to your natural state takes time and there is always the possibility that your body will have a whole new natural healthy place it wants to maintain. Where did the concept that our bodies need to be exactly the same postpartum come from? No other aspect of our lives will ever be the same adding a child to it, so why do we have the expectation that our bodies should be? When I feel anxious about my postpartum body I think about these question and I am able to let those negative thoughts go as quickly as they appeared. When I look at my beautiful baby girl any feelings of shame I had about my body fade and what I am left with is gratitude. When I look at her I feel nothing but honored, to be her mother. Gratitude is the most healing energy and that is exactly what my body needs as it returns to its happy place. I am sending you love on your journey and even though I do not know you, I am happy to be raising the world with you, bonded by the sisterhood of the female spirit.
Thank you to Shape.com for sharing this story and helping women to be empowered at every stage their bodies go through. Click the photo read the Shape article.