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Yeah…Immaeatthat

Dec 18

Postpartum body thoughts.

Back in July I talked about how wanting to get my pre pregnancy body back would be like me trying to get my 8th grade body back.  And I still feel the same.  I knew my body would be different after I had a baby and I felt peaceful about letting my body size journey as it needed to.  Just like our bodies know how to gain the perfect amount of weight in pregnancy, they know how to find the weight they’re meant to be at after the baby is out. 

So knowing all that, I was surprised when last Saturday I was trying to find an outfit to wear to a nicer lunch outing we were going on and as I was taking on and off outfits I started feeling really negative and sad that nothing fit.

On the drive to the lunch I was telling Andrew about my frustration and how I feel confused because I thought I was so at peace with whatever body size I end up at and also confused because I felt like I hadn’t had any intrusive negative thoughts about my body since having Jojo…but if I feel at peace with my body looking so different now than why was I upset that nothing fit?  That’s when Andrew (being the genius he’s become as he’s come along on this intuitive eating/positive body image journey with me) said, “feeling at peace with your body size isn’t the same as having no clothes that fit.”

That’s when I realized I don’t care my body is bigger, it just really sucks to have no clothes that fit! I just need to go buy some freaking bigger pants.

I know the importance of having clothes that fit.  But in the midst of all the changes in the past 2 months I kinda forgot.  And at the end of pregnancy I still had clothes that fit me, so I felt confused why I didn’t have any clothes to wear now.  But after thinking about it I realize that the majority of the maternity clothes I bought were made to accentuate the baby bump and had extra fabric in the belly area to accommodate a growing baby.  Without a baby in my belly it just looked like there’s a dorsal fin coming out of my belly area (or a ventral fin for those of you who have had to take an anatomy class lol).  So most of my maternity clothes don’t work anymore and that left me with one pair of maternity jeans and a handful of shirts that fit my current body.  And while I loved my maternity jeans in pregnancy, I’m so over how my pants with the maternity panel never seemed to stay up and I was always having to hike them back up.

So.  I texted my friend Liz and asked her to come shopping with me.  I pumped some milk and had it ready to go in the fridge in case Joanna got hungry.  And then I left Joanna alone with Andrew for the first time and went shopping to buy some clothes that fit my current body.

As I was in the dressing room trying on outfits I told my friend that I didn’t really feel like myself.  I had told Andrew as we were driving home from the hospital with Joanna that, “i’ll probably have an identity crisis in about a month.”  To which he said, “okay, we’ll talk about it then.”   Right now my body doesn’t feel like mine and I think that’s probably kinda normal to feel after having a baby.  Going from 9 months pregnant to 1 month postpartum is such a drastic change to watch happen to your body. 

I’m curious to see what my 6 month postpartum mom bod is made to look like.  Maybe it’ll be bigger than my body was before.  Maybe it’ll be smaller than my body was before.  The only thing I know for certain is that there’s a lot of uncertainty as to what size my body will end up at.  AND I know my body will change again because at some point we hope to have another child.  My goal is to focus on living a fulfilling life and I know I can do that at a number of different body sizes.  I think it’s crazy we can get so attached to our bodies staying the same size/trying to make them smaller when our bodies are meant to change.

Since buying the new clothes I feel a million times better. For a second there I forget how important it is to have clothes in your closet that fit.  Have you seen this Buzzfeed video about the power of having clothes that fit?  LOVE IT.

I ended up getting one pair of pants (they’re green and I love them.  definitely going through a green phase and it’s my fav color to dress Jojo in too), 3 shirts (one being a velvet tank I’m in love with + 2 flowy ones) and one dress (that I may end up taking back because I realize now that it’s impossible to nurse in).

Nursing friendly is KEY for me right now since I’m trying to get more comfortable nursing in public places so I don’t have to just sit at home all the time.

I’ve written a lot of content on body image and if you’re struggling with disliking your body and/or constantly trying to change your body size, I hope you’ll read through those posts.  For me, my mantra now and always is…I’m not choosing a body size for myself, but I am choosing how I want to take care of myself.  

For me taking care of myself will never mean trying to get to a particular body size.  Two ways I’m taking care of myself now are 1) buying myself some pants that fit and 2) working on rehabbing my pelvic floor after birth with pelvic floor strengthening exercises.

45 comments on “Postpartum body thoughts.”

  1. Cute outfit!! Love your style.

    I always appreciate Andrew’s comments – sometimes it can be so helpful to voice your thoughts to someone else and hearing them reframe it or contribute their opinion can be so helpful. (Why I love therapy as well).

    Hope you, Andrew, Joanna, and Maggie are doing well!

  2. 1) you and baby Joanna look oh so happy – congratulations x a billion!
    2) thank you as always – I am in love with what you said “my goal is to live a fulfilling life and I can do that in a number of different body sizes”. I have been living such a more fulfilling life since challenging my ED, but I still find myself mourning my smaller body. Thank you for this reminder that a smaller body wasn’t the way for me personally to live my best life & helping me find the gratitude for a healthy body over everything else

  3. Love the quote ‘feeling at peace with your body isn’t the same as not having any clothes that fit’. I went through this on the weekend actually. I finally bought new pants that fit my current body better and feel a lot better. I had been getting frustrated like you with clothes not fitting and while I am working along the intuitive eating path I’ve started to instill in my mind that our bodies are meant to change and told myself then why not the wardrobe. Thanks so much for the timely post. ❤️

  4. I was basically in maternity clothes until 6months pp. nothing fit until then. What’s funny is that I got in my regular clothes, but once I stopped nursing I started to gain weight. My pre-pregnancy jeans that once fit now didn’t fit! I got fed up and frustrated with being uncomfortable with tight jeans and eating healthy, exercising and nothing changing. I finally just gave in and made the decision to buy new jeans. Now I’m happy again! This motherhood thing is a true journey in all aspects of life – marriage, body image, mothering, eating, exercising. I’m still slowly adapting and accepting it all 20 months pp.

  5. I’m a bit perplexed by the weight watchers ads on your site….?

    • yeah it sucks. I try to control what ads show up on the site through my ad company, but unfortunately I don’t have total control over it. Sorry about that, Rachel! I’m clearly not a fan of Weight Watchers and wish I could exclude their ads from my site.

  6. Thank you SO much for this post (and all the others, too)!!! Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family!

  7. Even though I haven’t had a child, I kind of wondered if this would be one of the toughest seasons. Being in between, identifying as a new mom, figuring things out as you go, & not having many clothes that help you to feel good + positive. I think just buying a few new pieces would make all the difference. You look sooo pretty, Kylie! That outfit looks incredible on you, & I too love green. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Thanks for this post! I’ve been trying to buy as few maternity clothes as possible, just because I don’t want to be wasteful, but it’s worth it to just go get more and feel more comfortable with more options now. Pinning this so in April or May when I feel like you feel now I can revisit it and remember all the changes that are supposed to happen!!

  9. When I bought clothes that fit my body and stopped trying to fit into old stuff, it really helped me on my path of no longer hating my body. And I didn’t have a kid. My body had just changed. What a relief.

  10. You look stunning, no matter what size you happen to be. Being gentle with yourself is not always easy but it is important to remember to try. Just like you felt frustrated with not having clothes that fit, it is okay to be frustrated with yourself. However, having people to lean on and a way to vent your feelings to work through them is the most important thing.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings about your changing body. It is amazing to think about the prospect of aiming to take care of your body for the sake of making yourself feel good, rather than to achieve a “look” or “size.” I’ve felt a lot of dissonance with how my body looks, and I relate to these emotions, and want to choose to buy new pants instead of trying to fit in to old ones. 
    Thank you so much. Your baby is beautiful, so happy for you :)

  12. This is so helpful. I was very interested in hearing your thoughts on this body image challenge. I felt the same way about having maternity clothes and being confused why they did not work postpartum. I was conflicted on buying new clothes because I was expecting so much more change but when I bought a few things I felt so much better. Thinking back I realize it’s a little silly to not buy new clothes because I m expecting more postpartum changes- it’s going to happen in phases, not day by day. Thank you! ❤️

  13. I am two weeks postpartum and having a lot of these same thoughts! There’s so much change going on already, adjusting to life with a newborn AND raging hormones (which is crazy and exhausting and wonderful and a whole mix of emotions). To expect our bodies to “bounce back” and look a certain way is just silly to me when there are so many more important things happening! But it’s honestly so hard not to be a little disappointed looking in the mirror and seeing so many stretch marks and extra skin where there used to be muscles. I keep reminding myself that it’s going to take time for my body to fully recover—it went through A LOT getting this baby here! It’s so important to be gentle with ourselves. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Kylie!!!! I live this post so much.
    You are gorgeous, an awesome mom, and basically a rockstar.
    What you’re feeling is so very normal!!! Pregnancy and 15 months of nursing made me feel beautiful and proud of my body, but yes! Not having the right clothes to fit my new body SUCKED. I think your attitude and outlook are so very positive and healthy. This message you’re sharing is so important. ❤️

  15. Kylie, just want you to know I think you are so pretty and the coolest and most courageous person.

  16. SPOT ON! I’m buying new clothes now because I had the same feeling recently. Not hating my body or even disliking it- but putting on clothes that squeeze my hips and belly waaay too much right now just made me feel really self conscious. I love going to the thrift store now and buying flowy tops that don’t squeeze nor swallow me and make me feel pretty. Another plus is most flowy tops are easy to pull down for breastfeeding which is a must.

    • Savanna! I love the idea of the thrift store. My default thought is always to get cheap H&M stuff that will not last very long anyways. (but I am also green and it makes me feel bad to waste). Why did I not think about the trift store. PLUS there is a really nice one about 5 minutes from my work…. I should go there in my lunch break! Thank you for the wonderful idea!

  17. That mantra!!! “I’m not choosing a body size for myself, but I am choosing how I want to take care of myself.”

    SO perfectly worded. I love it! Sharing this with my audience tomorrow.

    Sending you all the love and warmest wishes from one new momma to another!

  18. Glad you went shopping sans baby! Well done!

    I sent you a message on Instagram and an e-mail about pumping and such… wanted to make sure you got it! I know you’ve been busy (and tired!). 

  19. Yes, yes, yes. Thank you for this post! I have not had a child, but what you said about clothes that fit really resonates with me. It sucks to go into a closet filled with clothes you love and “aspire” to fit into, but can’t actually wear since they’re too small. I’ve purposely done this to myself trying to motivate myself with smaller clothes. Spoiler alert: that hasn’t ever worked, and just led me further down a path of self loathing and frustrating cyclical dieting patterns.

    So thanks for a little something I could relate to tonight!

  20. As you mentioned in a previous post the term “dad bod” has a positive connotation while “mom bod” is negative (or neutral). It’s time to reclaim “mom bod” as something wonderful! To me, what comes to mind are the super strong arms moms develop (without ever lifting weights in a gym) from doing everything from dishes, to laundry, to saving the world, one-handed with a little one tucked under the other arm. Thanks for sharing your struggles (and solutions)! Your honestly and openness are always so inspiring!

  21. Congratulations again. And, Joanna is adorable. Absolutely adorable :)

  22. Excellent post! I love reading these, about how you’re feeling at different stages and body sizes, and wondering how I’ll feel someday when I’m preggo. It’s really nice to get your honest feelings about this stuff, even the negative feelings, just so the rest of us don’t feel like freaks, yknow? Always appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in your writing, and I always appreciate sweet photos of you and baby Jo!

  23. You are such an inspiration, Kylie! I don’t have children yet, but you are inspiring me to really work on accepting my body now before I do.

  24. This was a great post — I’m nowhere near children but your thoughts and grace with handling changes are so relatable, I love to read and find it so helpful for me on my journey. Congratulations I’m enjoukng reading about this new season in your life!

  25. Such a lovely post full of wonderful reminders. As my husband and I are trying to get pregnant, I’m sure I will come back to these posts in the next year and beyond. I wanted to ask for recommendations (or even a post itself!) on how you encouraged Andrew to investigate HAES. I’m really trying to dive into this stuff as I work on a full recovery and my husband is nothing but supportive, however there is definitely some ingrained diet mentality thoughts that he is not even really aware of. I would love some guidance on this!

  26. Wonderful post Kylie. You look radiant!

  27. Thank you for sharing. I am currently almost 4 weeks postpartum and have been having similar thoughts about not fitting in any of my old clothes. It is definitely a struggle to embrace my body in its current state and found your post very encouraging and a good reminder to enjoy life with my new baby.

  28. Love your honesty as always! So so important to be comfortable with uncertainty with all of this. LOVE your perspective here: “My goal is to focus on living a fulfilling life and I know I can do that at a number of different body sizes.” Yessss!

  29. Thank you for sharing your perspective on this topic! I am currently 13 months postpartum with my second baby and struggling with body image. One of my big struggles is comparing how my body was after my first baby with how my body is after this baby. After my first baby, I lost weight very easily and that didn’t happen this time. I have to constantly remind myself that I am in a very different (healthier) place with food and exercise now than I was before. I also still have pants that I wore when I was going through active recovery from anorexia before any pregnancies. Of course those pants are too tight! I need to stop wishing they fit and get rid of them. I have made a promise to myself to go shopping soon and replace most of my clothes. I need a fresh outlook and can’t be comparing how something fits my body now with how it fit me years ago.

  30. I love this post so much!! Thank you for being honest and sharing your positivity. I have a one year old so totally get what you are going through. Enjoy this precious time with little Jojo!

  31. I have really been thinking about this post since I read it and really wish you were around when I had my daughter 9 years ago. I gained a ton of weight when I was pregnant with her, probably because I had spent all my life until that point dieting, running, counting calories etc. Anything to hang onto my “healthy weight.” When pregnant, I felt so free! To eat without guilt!! Before pregnancy, I always bought decent clothes for myself. Nothing crazy but J Crew was my favorite store. After having her, I ended up hanging onto about 10-15lbs. Just couldn’t get rid of it. I never bought nice clothes after that. I just felt like I should just buy cheapo Old Navy because I wasn’t going to spend money dressing this flabby body when I knew if I just worked harder, I could get back to that old size. I never did get back and am only now, at 40, starting to accept myself. I made it so much harder on myself back then by not just doing what you did–buy bigger pants! So damn obvious but at the time, I just needed to punish myself. Your blog is so refreshing and so what I need. Sad to say that I am still working on this at 40 but I have 2 daughters and want to have a healthy attitude towards food/body for them, so they aren’t still struggling at 40! Thank you for all you do.

  32. Absolutely
    !! I have learned SO MUCH about how triggering it is to not have clothes that fit! When I was at the beginning of my journey, buying a new wardrobe was key in helping me. I would feel fine and then wakeup one morning and put on a shirt or something that was too tight, and suddenly I would feel horrible about myself. I never realized before just how upsetting and triggering it can be to have the wrong sized clothing. Buying clothes that fit whatever body you’re presently in and such a rewarding experience all in itself. But I think we have to acknowledge and accept that designer’s/clothing brands are not one bit coordinated with sizes. We have to acknowledge and accept that sizing in a style of clothing is nothing more than a measure that brand uses for their clothes. And this can be different from one style/brand than the other. Otherwise, even shopping for new clothes can become stressful if you feel you “should” fit into a specific size and then find that for whatever reason, that particular size doesn’t fit you. Loved this!

  33. Wow, I love this so much! Such a beautiful family :)

  34. I appreciate your honesty so much! I have never been pregnant, but reading your posts about the “real stuff” that happens when your body changes and you give birth makes me feel “more prepared” (if that makes sense) for the time when I will try to get pregnant.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  35. The first month after Grayson was born was definitely the hardest. There were lots of tears and lots of lonely days. I’m not exactly sure how you’re fairing in the emotional department but just know that it will end and it will get better. Month 9 is so far my favorite. I can’t wait to see how Grayson will develop as he reaches month 10 and beyond. Motherhood is a battle but it’s so worth it when our babies come to us just wanting to be held. I’m sure you know all this and I’m sure you know you aren’t alone in feeling whatever you are feeling, but I just wanted to say you’re not alone

  36. One thing I found extremely helpful was having a couple of nursing tops/dresses. They are designed to let you breastfeed easily, so easily you can do it in public and most people would never know. I didn’t make this discovery until baby #3 but gosh did it save me then. I remember sitting poolside at the YMCA nursing the baby while my older kids were in swimming lessons. I was completely covered (I did keep a blanket around the baby for added discretion) and felt very comfortable and completely covered. And I had the cutest dress that allowed me to nurse in church (in the Mother’s Room but still). I nursed in restaurants, the mall etc and never felt self conscious about it. I don’t remember the website I used —-this was 18 years ago—but nursing clothes shouldn’t be that hard to find. The sense of freedom that comes with being able to be out and about regardless of feeding schedule is significant.

    I’ll leave you with this image: my thoughtful husband going into Victoria’s Secret after baby #2 arrived and asking if they had anything appropriate for breast feeding. I don’t think they get that question very often. Thankfully someone actually helped him and he came home with the most beautiful soft flannel pajama set that buttoned up the front, allowing me to nurse easily during the night. Hurrah for clothes that fit and make you feel like yourself again :)

  37. Hi Kylie!

    I’m about a week into this recovery process from restricted eating and scared absolutely shitless by the amount of food that’s found it’s way into my mouth as a result of simply listening to my body. I don’t have a meal plan to follow, my only instructions were to listen to my body and honor my hunger and cravings, giving myself full permission to eat. Needless to say, I just had a date with my peanut butter jar and pretzels on top of the donut (challenge of the day) and daily cookies I’ve been enjoying, because, well…cookies.

    My stomach is begging me to stop but my mind is telling me to keep going.

    Will this bottomless pit feeling end? Is my mind just playing tricks using recovery as an excuse to eat and eat and eat?

    Sad and uncomfortably full,
    Ashley

  38. I’ve never been pregnant and don’t plan to be, but even as a non parent going through the multi- year experience of dismantling disordered thoughts and behaviors around food, buying new clothes this year has been the single best thing for my body image. What Andrew said to you is so true, feeling good about your body is completely separate from having clothes that fit. I recognized that the barrier to allowing my body to truly settle into its natural size was a logistical one, I was becoming uncomfortable in some of my current wardrobe. I felt pressure to remain within the size range of my current clothing. But what I recognized is that buying new clothes doesn’t mean you’re “giving up”, as diet culture tells us, it means acknowledging the reality of my body size and accommodating it appropriately. Nothing has made intuitive eating easier throughout the holidays than having a suitcase full of clothing I’m comfortable in, and a dress hanging in my closet for New Years that I know will fit me no matter how I eat this week!

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  41. Thank you for this! Definitely needed to hear that. I’m a dietitian as well and just had a baby almost 3 months ago. It seems there is so much pressure just from society in general that a woman just “bounces back” after having a baby. I’ve been pushing myself so hard to lose those last 10 pounds but then I remember all what my body has gone through and the amazing job it did bringing my son into this world!

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