My youngest daughter, who is also my first biological daughter after years of infertility problems, turned 3 on February 20th and I still have yet to return to my pre-pregnancy body. I added 15 pounds to my clinically-defined-as-obese frame during the gestation, and another 15 during a very stressful maternity leave (a newborn with colic and a needy 2-year-old toddler, anyone?)
There’s also my baby pouch–the saggy potion of my stomach in which Jo-Jo grew; my droopy breasts; faded yet visible C-section scar; and the dark under eye circles that only becoming a parent can cause. In other words, ladies and gentlemen, there’s no such thing as a return to the pre-baby or pre-pregnancy body. It’s a myth Hollywood and the PR industry colluded with celebrities to conjure. The fashion and gossip mags made it into a competition between female celebrities and regular moms like us.
Normally, I could give a damn about the oldest Kardashian sister, Kourtney, but the mini-scandal revolving around her baby weight last month caught my attention. In short, OK magazine doctored a photo of Kourtney with her then-seven week old son. In the doctored photography, OK magazine editors allegedly removed the excess belly weight she was still carrying. To make it worse, they ran it with a story where Kourtney reportedly bragged about already having lost the baby weight (we adjusted the headline above to show the truth). Kourtney, outraged by the blatant falsehood, countered on Twitter and via a statement that she was too busy bonding with her newborn to even think about losing weight. Don’t fall for the lies, she basically said.
Although doctors and the medical community give new moms the okay to start resuming sexual intercourse six to eight weeks after giving birth, they suggest waiting at least 18 months before getting pregnant again. They also recommend waiting three to five months to resume exercising because joints and ligaments are lose, and abdominal muscles are still healing. With that many restrictions after giving birth, why would anyone think that a new mother should get back in the gym, diet and lose weight immediately after delivering a baby? Shame on you OK mag.
Feeling the need to clear up things further, Kourtney granted an exclusive interview with Life & Style magazine. The headline to the February 15th story read “I Haven’t Lost the Baby Weight–and I’m Not In Any Rush,” and the intro says that Kourtney doesn’t want to worry about “unrealistic weight-loss goals.” Well, hallelujah! I dove right into the article hoping that Kourtney will rip into Hollywood and magazines’ obsession with being unnaturally thin even after carrying a baby for 9-months. Life & Style quoted doctors whose opinions supported Kourtney’s “defiantly relaxed approach to weight loss.” Nutritionist Joseph Mutz of New York City said that trying to lose weight less than three months after giving birth “can slow or prevent the healing process from childbirth.” But it is here the story takes a 180-degree toward the negative.
Suddenly, Kourtney talks about ways to kick-start her slim down before her son is even 3-months-old. She starts hawking a product called a Belly Bandit which she poses in. Allegedly it shrinks the belly and reduces stretch marks. Ah, now we’re back to focusing on getting back to that annoying pre-pregnancy body obsession. Even worse, Kourtney goes on how she can’t wait to start taking the diet supplement QuickTrim and revving up her workout. How disappointing. She goes from being a champion of accepting one’s post-pregnancy body on one page to jumping on the bandwagon to rush to skinniness on the next.
Her mom, in an appalling sidebar, goes on to reveal how she worked out like a fiend to lose the 55-lbs she gained when pregnant with Kourtney in three months. Instead of sage and supportive words of wisdom about taking it slow, Mama Kris praises her daughter’s plan to use the Belly Bandit and QuickTrim. “She’ll be sexy Kourtney again in five minutes,” she finally says.
So much for destroying a myth.
A wht shout-out to Rakisha for baring all and sharing this real life image from late in her pregnancy. Ladies, see that miraculous baby making machine your body morphs into over nine months? It’s not coming off in three. And why should you try and force it? Rest, lounge and pamper your body for as long as possible, you’ve just signed up for 18 years of hard labor! Besides, who’s looking at you? All eyes will be upon that adorable, teeny baby your body just produced.
Rakisha is a mom, wife, librarian and shoe lover. Want to see more of her writings? Check out brooklynshoebabe, her thought provoking wht hosted blog.