Body After Baby

No one ever tells you.
Well they try to–kinda.
But you don’t really know until you experience it for yourself.
I’m talking about the metamorphosis of the body you once knew so well.
The one you had grown so accustomed to for the last handful of decades.

No one ever tells you that everything changes after you deliver your 8 pound butterball.
That you and the body you once knew so well will have to get completely reacquainted.

You expected things would…how shall I say it…hang differently.
But you had no idea that they would also lose all substance and shape.

You had no idea that sneezing would require changing your clothes.
that certain foods would forever taste different,
that you hair would grow back with…texture,
that you teeth would suddenly be sensitive to cold food,
that you teenage acne would return,
that your fingernails would be as strong as a grizzly bears one day and brittle and breaking the next,
that those pregnancy freckles would become a permanent fixture,
and that your biceps would be stronger than most professional athletes.
You just had no idea–how could you?

For more on how I feel about my post-baby body, read this.

What changed about your body?

photo courtesy of Ben’s old iPhone, which for the longest time, served as our only camera.

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

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Ashley Stock

Comments

  1. It is one of the hardest things to come to terms with, however, it could be the very one thing i am the most proud of. My body (no matter how socially acceptable or not) birthed two baby boys, and i am forever grateful that i was able to do so naturally. and I thank my body all the time for allowing me to have the two most amazing children ever! :) this is a truly great post. All of us mamas need to be reminded how much we sacrificed, not only for our babies, but for our own life fullfilment! :)

  2. Oh man…I am due any day now, I seriously have no idea how the heck my hair can change! I’m breaking out like crazy now, totally know the nail thing and with my already curly hair I’m kinda hoping that maybe it goes straight!

    I’ve been bad about reading blogs with this whole trying to keep sane while pregnant ordeal. I can’t handle the weight I’ve gained (50lbs) and I hope more than anything I can find joy with this new body…post pregnancy too!

  3. Girl… preach it! They try to tell you but you just don’t realize! I am currently bfing 5ohBaby still and I still havent lost the baby weight but the girls.. well, the girls are out of control! The other thing they dont tell you, but they try to, is just how much your life changes. How much you will love the little one. Your connection to them that is like none other. They don’t tell you, but they try. And I think I’m not alone in saying I’d trade my body 1000 times over for that connection :-)

  4. Ahh, the body changes. No one ever could prepare me for those! Precious picture of you and Lil W.

  5. Ahh, the things that change! Our first child ended up being our first children- Identical twin girls, and I think that they are amazing. However, the physical changes that I am still hoping reverse with help on my part include the tummy obviously – Fortunately/unfortunately I was all belly, and lots of it. I have skin like I did in high school, and my boobs, they are sad lol. I love my babies and they mean the world to me, but I will admit I am NOT one of those people that can look at my body and say- “its ok your body did something amazing.” It did, but it doesn’t mean I have to love it. Maybe one day I will get there, but until then we have a love/hate relationship.

  6. Veronica Carpenter says:

    Oh how did it change my body? How DIDN’T it?! Lol…. I have a warzone of stretch marks, my battle scars. I have lost all understanding of the terms “perky” and “firm”! I was nodding to all your changes! My hair was poker straight and now has some wave (that’s a plus!). And after 3 kids in 4 years I still have a few pounds to lose, but it’s all worth it a hundred times over…..and Zumba is a miracle worker!

  7. Such an adorable little one!
    Btw, as a mom of a one-year-old, things do go back to normal.

    http://www.geekettegazette.com
    http://www.thegirlieblog.com

  8. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wish I had a whole new body. No giant pouch of skin and fat hanging over a 3-time C-section scar in less than 2.5 years…boobs like sad, misshapen tube-steaks, and ten hundred moles littering my once perfect skin. But I love my girls anyway, so I swing my fat/boobs/moles around like they are awesome, because they really are.

  9. I was missing these insightful, real posts you used to do a lot more of. Thank you for this.

  10. Well I won’t be wearing a bikini anymore that’s for sure. But I do have to say I am proud of my body. I am proud that it birthed one amazing baby boy and is currently housing *although maybe not much longer:)* another precious baby. The media makes it hard to accept that a little extra skin and some stretch marks can be beautiful. That the image of a mother isn’t defined by how fast she got her abs back. It took awhile for me to be oaky with it. But I am now because I know that it protected my beautiful babies.
    Thanks for this Ashley….lovely pictures – how fast they grow!!

  11. thank you. Never were truer words spoken. My first little boy is almost 10 months old. I am still breastfeeding and so I just had my third period after well over a year of not having one. My acne is horrible. Not to mention I have always had a fast metabolism, never had to work for having a thin body (which some of you may say the change serves me right, but it comes as a much bigger shock for someone who has never known the worry) and while I was pregnant I watched what I ate, not much sugar, ots of fruit (for the cravings) and lots of veggies too. I wasn’t worried. I didn’t gain much for the pregnancy, 30 lbs, so combined with breastfeeding I would lose it all quick with no problems. And I did for the most part. Lost all but 5 lbs within 3 months. It was awesome! Then by month 6 I had gained almost all of my pregnancy weight back, within 10 lbs. I’d never been so heavy in my life. I weighed the same thing pre-pregnancy as I did when I was 14. Never varied over 5 lbs more or less… (i ate the same thing every day and ate on a diabetics diet, even tho I’m not diebetic). I’ve been working out (sit ups, walking every day, and squats) that and a diet change (watchiing my caloric intake) I’ve lost 5-10 lbs (depending on the time of day I weigh). It’s such a huge change… And I was fitting into jeans I’d waited almost a year to fit back into that I can’t wear anymore… So I understand ma’am. Thank you for this. I needed to hear this today. And I appreciate you, you are one of the bloggers I look forward to reading every day.

  12. My ‘body after baby’ is strong and healthy. And filled with 2 new saline bags that help me feel a lot better about myself :)

  13. Wow!!! This was right on point as usual!!! I have been struggling so much since I had my son a year ago. I still have not come to terms with my “new body” but it is so refreshing to hear other woman have the same struggles.

  14. !Well I am seconding Jamie! After we decided we had helped populate the world with three incredible children I did something I never thought I would, I could handle the stretch marks the way that when I got to High School weight again I wasn’t High School size pants but going from a C to a nearly A I could not so me and the Doc we got together and had an implant party! So now I am happy I feel like a woman all the way around now. I love curves who cares if you hips have spread a few they needed to bring those beauties in but don’t take away my BOOBS!

  15. This post made me giggle a little, because they really DON’T tell you and these things definitely all happened to me. I take comfort in knowing that I am not the only one. :)

  16. It’s so nice to have a laugh about what happens to us, isn’t it!? For me… the things that were once *perky*, are no more! And since my second pregnancy, I now have this pesky little area of extra skin near my belly button from all that extra stretching required at the end. Oh, and the box of hair color that used to make my blah dirty blonde hair a shade of lovely sunshiney blonde??…. now just turns my hair orange. What’s up with that??!!! Thanks for the fun post, Ashley! ~Bri~

  17. Love these pictures. I really miss my old butt, belly, and hips :( It is what it is. I am Mommy to three and let’s face it I would give up anything to be where I am today. So on the body topic I guess if I wanted to do the work I could. For now though I’m happy being a little bit squishy of a mama, ha ha. xoxo

  18. Thank you for posting about the hair texture! I was trying to explain that to someone the other day and they looked at me like I had two heads!

  19. Elke Martinez says:

    My babies are now 16 (started young), 12, and 5 and my body is soooo not back. It kills me everyday. People give me compliments all the time but they dont see me neked! YIKES! Thanks for putting a positive outlook on the change.:) Wish I would have had that out look all these years later. Still working on that:)

  20. Yeah, it’s funny isn’t it? So peculiar how you can lose all the weight, be the same pounds you were before the baby, but things shift. You might weigh the same, but your hips have gotten wider, your stomach can’t lose the flab…weird.

  21. this is something i have been thinking about a lot… so i wrote my own post thanks to your inspiration!
    http://www.truemomrn.com/what-really-matters

  22. Well, my feet grew a half a size. And I got stretch marks. But the weirdest thing is my hair! I had stick straight hair the first 27 years of my life. Then, with my first pregnancy, it started growing out wavy and coarse. With each pregnancy, my hair got even curlier. After having 3 children my hair is now VERY curly! I joke that if I had another baby, I would end up with an afro! ;0D

  23. I have told my friend’s that my boobs now look elf shoes. Oh the joy!

  24. So very true!!

  25. I now have an ever lasting battle wound scar and my chest is smaller which I love! I think I might be the only one that could be happy about that! lol

    Such a precious photo of you and Baby W! Love the momma glow!

  26. Let’s just say I now want a boob lift, something I never even thought about pre children! Adorable picture!! =D

  27. Yep. I never thought I would wish back my pre-baby, “small” (but perky) boobs. Right now I am nursing baby #2 and I can only imagine what they’ll be like afterwards! :(

  28. All I can say is… the girls! THE GIRLS! I had NO IDEA how much they would change. They are now 2-3 cup sizes smaller than they used to be and the only time I get that size back is the end of my pregnancies/early breastfeeding time. It certainly is a little incentive to have more! Ha!

  29. Ugh… my body after having my son… isn’t pathetic to say that its been one of the hardest things or me to deal with? I used to be so thin. No, I’m not fat now, but its different… and its hard. I’ve never felt so horrible about my body, myself… its no fun at all. Worth it? Yes. But still oh so hard!

  30. Hi Miss Momma!

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    jess @ Stilettos & a fishing pole
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  31. I get the worst pregnancy acne. It’s SO annoying. It’s my FACE. Make-up won’t cover it and it lasts my entire pregnancy. Ugh!!!! :)

  32. I was never super skinny before the baby, I just carried the weight very well. I am back within 5lbs of my pre pregnancy weight, but now it is all just blah and nothing fits the same, I have a new relationship with sweats, I still wear pregnancy jeans and the feeling of “sexy” is long gone.

  33. I am currently pregnant (due in Jan.) and noticed my first stretch mark yesterday. At first I got a little angry at my body, then that slowly faded to annoyance, and now I think I am starting to accept the fact that my body will never be the same. BUT — I’m getting one heck of a cute little butterball baby in exchange. Sounds like a fair trade to me. : )

  34. I don’t miss my pre-prego girls so much as I miss my breastfeeding girls. Now THOSE were pretty awesomely perky. Well… until halfway through feeding time. Then it was like one was giving a standing ovation while the other was bowing off stage.

    For those who don’t feel sexy, my hubby told me something awesome the other day. And just to confirm it, I asked a couple of guys and they said it’s completely true for them too. He said “What’s funny is, you still look the same to me. And you feel the same. You will always look the same for me as when we first met.”
    (And no. I do not look the same. Just trust me on this.)

  35. Everything changed but a little bit for the better – I stopped caring SO MUCH about me and how I looked, I didn’t compromise, I just remembered what the truly important things in life were – and I had a brand new baby who I wanted to look at all day long, and I didn’t care so much about my roots or my saggy areas and in time, I started to take her on walks and loose more baby weight and try a little harder. Having a baby actually helped me gain perspective and resist that extra slice of chocolate cream pie – or pizza, and start leading a life, a life by example.

  36. Michelle Lubbers says:

    My husband tells me all the time he likes my “mommy” body. I still have 15lbs to loose from baby #2 who is already 14 months old. I don’t know if I’ll even get there before baby #3! Either way, I wouldn’t trade skinny for my babies, they made me who I am and that is truly a gift. Love your blog, Ashley. Thank you for being so honest.

  37. yes, hate the pre-teen acne! I never even had bad skin til after the baby! And the once volumptious (from having an amazing supply of breast milk) now deflated boobs :( And umm no one ever tells you about hemmorrhoids during and after child birth!? sorry TMI! And let’s just say that I went to see my ob/gyn months later bc things didn’t seem the same down there, but apparently, that comes with the post-birth changes! Why don’t people tell you these things?!

  38. I think I need more than a little comment box to comment on this one. I wrote a post on my post pregnancy body action plan…but not so much on what has changed, so here goes:
    -stretch marks {on belly, boobs, hips}
    -floppy boobs {I’m anticipating these once I stop breastfeeding}
    -extra skin around my belly button
    -some moles I definitely did not have before!

  39. hahaha, aint that the truth! Sounds like a post I created over a year ago…from an article in Parents mag that I found HILAR: http://mejiamamma.blogspot.com/2010/04/7-stages.html – though this is referring to the ‘back side’…there’s plenty to say about our front side as well after birthing a ‘butterball’ – HA!

  40. i weighed 120 when we got married and weigh FAR FROM that now. you probably don’t even know what 120 on the scale looks like. ha!
    things that have permanently changed after nursing my 2 babies (one for 8 months, the other for 13 months) is my breasts. also there is extra skin around my tum!!

  41. Just stopping by from Gussy sews. And I must say I love all your honest motherhood posts. It’s good to know what I am getting myself into when it happens for me!

  42. I have a 4 month old, and just painted a sign (and wrote a post about it here : http://mekhart.blogspot.com/2011/10/you-are-beautiful.html) about this very thing. I find myself caring entirely too much that my clothes don’t yet fit, that things hang weird, that fluids come from more parts than really should, and that no matter what I do, it seems I’m not getting back to my old body. But I shouldn’t care … my baby girl is worth it -she’s amazing, motherhood is amazing (and challenging, but oh so rewarding!!!), but it’s something I’m coming to terms with. What I like to focus on is how I’ve changed … how I’m much more patient, compassionate, and more loving than I ever thought I could possibly be. And hormonal … but that one is generally just saved for the hubs!! Great post :-).

  43. That is so funny because it is SOOOO true! I had my first little girl when I was 21 and boy was I ever shocked!!!! When I was in the hospital giving birth to Grace, the nurse said she had never seen such bad stretch marks. Oh how she was so sensitive!!! HA!
    After three kiddos, my body is SO not the same. I am never one of those people that just looks fabulous after their baby is born.
    Oh well, I am SO thanksful for my little ones and I am trying to be thankful for my new body. I am also trying to embrase the new style of shirts that hide your tummy much better!!! T

  44. Um….my once upon a time pride and joy “twins” are now deflated tube socks, and the front fat and the back fat (!!!) are not cool!
    Although, I do have cutest two and a half year old around.
    Some memories will just hang around, well, forever I am afraid. Can’t wait to get pregnant again… oh my! :) What will happen then??!!

  45. Gussy sent me here! I love love love this. :)

  46. I spent my youth feeling so insecure about my body, I didn’t quite realise how lucky I was!
    What changed about my body? Mainly ‘the hulk’ muscle man arms. And the shapeless stomach. But it’s funny because I’m more comfortable with the way I look now than I ever did, I guess I’ve realised there are more important things in life to worry about :-)

    http://beingmama.com/

    http://ohsoprettylife.blogspot.com/

  47. Stopped by from Gussy Sews!

  48. Love this. My cousin just had a baby, so it’s a good reminder. Lord, Avery’s not quite 7-months, but the body’s coming back. But she’s my second. There’s a perma-pouch at my waistline that hasn’t left, my feet are bigger and my toenails are thicker. Why are there no GOOD side effects – like my boobs got big AND stayed perky?

  49. I needed this. I never comment on your blog- I am a long time reader- and I just wanted to vent about the post-baby bod. I loved being pregnant. After body is just so different. I have come to grips with the fact that even though my scale says “this is the weight you were before you got pregnant” it in no way describes my body now. I can feel my middle jiggle and I hate it. I have also realized that this ‘season’ of my life is for my baby (and future babies!!!). There will be time later on where I can focus on an exercise regimen and a not so kid friendly diet. So what if I am old? This is the time I dedicate my body to my babies and I love it. I try to do what I can for myself and thats ok. Women that bounce right back- I openly hate you! But its the jealous kinda hate. :)

  50. I love this!!! I just had my daughter 3 months ago…& being young everyone would say “oh you’ll be back to your pre-baby weight & shape quick”. If only that were true. I don’t think they realize that a 9lb baby does ALOT more to your baby than it looks. The almost 6 pack flat abs and tiny hips are now saggy filled with stretch marks and hips that need a wide load sign. As much as my body has changed, I’d do 100 more times for my baby girl. :) I’m glad you mentioned about hair texture also, because I thought it was just me!

  51. You look great AND your body is a life-giving work of art! That in itself should make you feel awesome, powerful and confident!

  52. Hahaha, it’s funny that a lot of those random things rang true for me, but I had never really thought about them before! I was left with a ton a stretch marks, which took a long time for me to accept, plus a ginormous scar (that healed terribly initially) from a c-section that has recently shrunk, YAY!… and about 20 extra pounds, you know, the usual. Somehow it doesn’t at all look to us readers like your body could have changed at all, you look amazing!

  53. Your post is sooo True! You really don’t understand how your body changes until you actually go through it. Hearing about it is soo different than actually experiencing it.

  54. Oh yes.. def changes! I thought it had changed alot after my first..but my second was when the changes kicked up a notch. So worth it though.. and I’m not done yet :)

  55. SO grateful for this post! My baby is eight weeks and I still look like I’m 5 months pregnant! I used to be a size 4…now I am FAR from that. Even if I never get it back, I’m trying to find ways to be happy with my new body. I went out and bought clothes that FIT me, and they can be extremely flattering! In terms of the twins…well, after breastfeeding for two months they are already tube-like. My hair is falling out, my nails are brittle, but I have the SWEETEST baby girl. I just have to remind myself of that!

  56. My baby is 4 and a half months old! I’m loving being a mom! I’ve lost almost all of my baby weight (I’m within 5 lbs now), but my pre-pregnancy clothes still don’t fit and my maternity clothes don’t fit. I had a C-section, but my hips are still wider than they used to be! I’ve bought a pair of jeans to wear now, but I have some really cute clothes I’m dying to wear again! All of that luscious, thick pregnancy hair is now falling out… but it hasn’t changed texture! I’m really hot all the time though! I can’t wear long sleeves! But, my baby is definitely worth every change and annoyance I have gone through!!!

  57. I absolutley love being a mother! The changes were a bit unexpected….by sister, mom, aunts, grandma all didnt get 1 stretch make on their lovely bodies…I however, went a week over due and got some around my tummy. Once the elation of giving birth and having a baby calmed down to the norm, I hated my body. I didnt want my husband to look at me! Its been 5 months now, and they have faded well…boy am I happy! Ive gotten into running, which is something I do for myself..its definitley helped me cope with trying to do everything around the house, baby, taking care of hubb, work. May all of us mothers take “me time”, its so important! I LOVE your blog, and have been a follower for about a month. Your little boy is so handsome! Thanks for posting such a real subject all us mothers than relate to!

  58. My long and lanky figure delivered a 9lb 13oz baby {my midwife was shocked at his size} 7 months ago. I am back down to pre pregnancy size, but I still haven’t emotionally or physically fully recovered. I’m the first out of all of my friends to have a child, and I am so glad that you posted this. I’m just waiting for the day I can go on a run again and it feel the same! Thanks again Ashley for this blog post, I needed to read it and the all the comments!

  59. It’s awesome to pay a quick visit this site and reading the views of all colleagues on the topic of this post, while I am also zealous of getting experience.

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