Postpartum: What they won’t tell you

They’ll tell you:

  • That “you’ll bounce back”;
  • That you’ll lose the “baby weight in no time”;
  • That the “baby weight will just fall off”;
  • That “by 9 months you should be back to pre-pregnancy weight”.

I’m here to tell you what they won’t:

  • They won’t tell you that your stomach will be mushy;
  • That you’ll still look pregnant for weeks maybe even months afterward;
  • That you’ll have enough extra skin that when you bend over it’ll sag down;
  • That you’ll get stretch marks on more than just your tummy.
  • That you’ll have cellulite because your body needs to store fat to feed your baby;
  • That you’ll have muscle atrophy and rebuilding your strength will feel like you’re starting over;
  • That you’ll pee a little when you sneeze or run;
  • That your once perky boobs will swell and hurt, then sag and leak.

Maybe your body responds like they say it will, but maybe like me and the majority of other women, it doesn’t. Maybe no matter how much you workout and eat right, your body doesn’t “go back”. Or God forbid, maybe you’d rather spend time with your baby or get an extra hour of sleep versus workout.

I’m so tired of the expectations people have put on my body.

This body is not what it used to be and quite frankly will never truly “go back to what it was” because this body created and carried life. This body used every ounce of strength to push and bring a baby into the world. This body nourished life in and outside of the womb. This body gets less time to recover and rest than it ever has because it prioritizes the life that can’t take care of itself, before it’s own.

  • My body has extra skin that no amount of crunches, cardio, or eating right will get rid of;
  • My body has cellulite that no amount of hydration, healthy food, or dry brushing will smooth out;
  • My body still doesn’t have all of its strength back;
  • My body still pees a little when I sneeze or run.

And I’m so thankful for all of it because in the end, my body gave me Owen.

No matter if you did lose all the baby weight and got your tummy, butt, and boobs back, if you’re doing the best you can with working out and eating right because you want to, or if you’re perfectly happy with the body you have now — it’s your body. So wear the swimsuit and get in the pool with your family, eat cake at parties, and for the love of all that is Holy do not feel guilty for skipping a workout to love on that baby. 

It all boils down to this – No one should be able to tell you what your body should look like or be able to do because every woman had a different experience and each of our bodies responds differently. You created and carried life. You should be so proud of your body and what you did, regardless of what stage you’re in, where your body is at, or where you’re going. 

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  • Sarah
    July 15, 2019

    I can’t remember how I stumbled on your blog, but I’ve appreciated some of your IG posts about your “new mama body” and now this article was AMAZING!!! It’s what I’ve always believed, but then I’m an “old fashioned stay at home wife and mom”, so what do I know in the realm of fitness and such, right? So it is WONDERFUL to see you, a pro at health and fitness and all of that, to be not only willing but HAPPY to promote embracing the new normal of your postpartum body! And it was a JOY to read your encouragement to mamas to maybe even skip the workout and LOVE ON THAT NEW BABY!!!! After all, that’s how it should be, and society has done a number on wrecking that. I appreciate very much what you’re saying here! <3

    I gave birth to our first blessing last June, after a four-day ordeal that was in the end worth every.single.bit.of.trial and I am super thankful to say I was able to do it all naturally!!!! She is now the happiest one-year old ever……and I am due the end of the month with our SECOND!!! And yes, everything does shift and change and stretch and leak and hurt and slop around, but to be blessed with (almost!) two beautiful babies, brand new lives, it is sooooooooooooooo worth it!!!!!! I remember when I was under some pressure during my first pregnancy to "not gain much weight" I kept saying, "I only have one chance to grow this precious baby right, and I'm going to do it". 🙂 🙂 😉

    I'm all for staying healthy and eating right and staying hydrated and being "everyday fit", but hey, life is waaaaaaaaay more about PEOPLE than it is about a certain number on the scale or a certain size. (Which is such an oxymoron….no doubt you've noticed this too….I have in my closet everything from a 6-16 and it all fits just right! It all depends on the brand, style, and cut of the garment. Size is NOTHING, mama's.)

    Anyway, sorry for the long comment, I was just so happy to read this, and to know it came from someone like yourself. I respect you a lot for taking this view. I have no time for those who don't!

    Enjoy your cute little man!!!! He's adorable!!! AND THEY GROW SO FAST. Forget about the workout and go share a dab of ice cream with him. 😉 That was something soooo fun to give our little girl a taste of for the first time! She liked the sweet but was so astounded by the cold, but in the end she liked that too, haha!

    • mallorymingennis
      July 15, 2019

      Oh Sarah. Your comment literally made me tear up (and I dont think it’s from the hormones haha). I don’t know how you stumbled upon my blog or instagram either, but I’m so thankful that you did. It is SO refreshing and reassuring that I’m not the only one who feels this way – about my body and my baby! You said it best – “…everything does shift and change and stretch and leak and hurt and slop around, but to be blessed with (almost!) two beautiful babies, brand new lives, it is sooooooooooooooo worth it!!” It is so so worth it, and I know we would both do it all over again if we had to.

      Health is not about appearance or numbers and I think that’s what the industry focuses wayyyy too much on. And I feel like I can say this because the pressure they put on moms to “bounce back” is real and causes us to miss out on the simple joys in life (like ice cream!) because we feel guilty doing it!

      Never apologize for leaving a long comment; this absolutely made my day to know that I’m using this platform to help make a positive influence on women. <3

  • Amanda Heisterberg
    July 13, 2019

    I wish I could of read something like this 12 years ago! I can remember still looking pregnant 4 years after I gave birth 😱🤪 it was a depressing walk for me and now that I’m 35 and my baby is 13 my body still hasn’t bounced back… lol! 😏 ….Im still learning how to just roll with it and love my body how it is. I just love your writing! Keep your head up and keep Inspiring others 😘

    • mallorymingennis
      Amanda Heisterberg
      July 13, 2019

      I think the still looking pregnant after giving birth was the hardest for me to wrap my head around too! I SO was not expecting that!! Good news is that there are A LOT of mamas out there so we get it. I think women as a whole need to show each other and ourselves more grace with this <3

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