Mind and Body After Baby: 3 months postpartum

I totally meant to do a 1 month postpartum update but then completely dropped the ball on that. Time really does go so quickly right now.

Body Update

I’ve lost about 36 pounds of the 43 pounds I gained while pregnant, but I’ve pretty much stalled out there and the last 7 pounds aren’t coming off so easily. I’ve started tracking my food in MyFitnessPal to see if paying closer attention to what I eat will help, but then I went and made cookies last week and have been enjoying a few each day so that’s not helping lol. Also, when I got pregnant I was about 15 pounds above my “happy” weight. I may never get back to that happy weight, and that’s completely OK, but I would definitely like to lose an additional 10 – 15 pounds from where I am right now.

Even though I overall feel pretty darn good in my body I still don’t love what I look like in photos, I just feel like my face looks so round. Again, maybe that will be my new post baby reality. But I’m definitely getting happier and happier with what I see when I look in the mirror. I was carrying a BIG baby and my stomach got really stretched out so there is definitely quite a bit of excess skin on my stomach still and even 3 months later I still have a little pooch, but it’s shrinking – especially as I’ve started working out again.

Here are some comparison photos.

My last belly picture taken at 41 weeks (taken 4 days before Olivia was finally born)

5 days postpartum:

~ 1 month postpartum (wow did that shirt ever photograph weird!):

3 months postpartum:

On a different note, I’ve been seeing a physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor health regularly to try and get my pelvic floor back to normal and also to assess my diastasis recti. I did have a bit of ab separation above my belly button but that was it and I’ve been doing some physiotherapy exercises to help rectify that and also help with some of the pelvis pain I was feeling regularly after labour and delivery. It has been a huge help and I really recommend every pregnant person see one after delivery, regardless of whether you have a c-section or deliver vaginally! I’ve also just started listening to the To Birth and Beyond podcast which is all about prenatal and postpartum health and one of the hosts is a physiotherapist.

I started typing this post up awhile ago (story of my life these days) and then this past Tuesday night I went to a spin class at the gym. It was my first spin class in a long time and I worked super hard and really pushed myself and was a sweaty mess at the end. It felt really, really good and was a reminder to me how – for me – exercise is ALL about my mental health. I am not jumping back into working out to get my “pre baby body” back (what even is that? How can anyone expect to have the same body as before after what our bodies go through during pregnancy and delivery). but rather I am jumping back into exercise because it’s one of the things that makes me feel like me. And feeling like at least a partial version of yourself some of the time is so important in the postpartum journey.

Mind Update 

I would like to think my mind space is pretty good and pretty much back to normal now, however I also thought that during the first month postpartum and now looking back on that I was soooo fuzzy and out of it and barely remember what was going on during that time, sooo…. maybe at 6 months postpartum I will also look back on this time and think about how fuzzy it is! I definitely do not feel nearly as hormonal or emotional as I did in the first 4 weeks, so that is nice.

On average I get about 6 – 6.5 hours of sleep per night, which certainly isn’t terrible for having a baby but is also low compared to the 8 I used to get. Some nights I only get 4 – 5 and some nights I’m lucky enough to get 7. I actually feel like I’ve been functioning fairly well on such little sleep, however that could change as I get further into it. It has only been 3.5 months after all!

I’ve had a bit of postpartum anxiety here and there, which I think is pretty normal. I’ve had some major worries about Olivia’s weight gain as she was a very big baby and has now only gained about 3.5 lbs in the past almost 4 months. She’s still a normal size for her current age, but since she was so large at birth that gave me some serious anxiety. That said, I try really hard to just reassure myself that everything is fine, if she was hungry all the time or underweight I would know. I would say that is one thing that is difficult about exclusively breastfeeding, you just never really know how much your baby is getting and have to trust they are getting enough.

Actually, on the exclusively breastfeeding note, that is one thing that has been difficult. I knew breastfeeding would be hard, but I thought it would get easier after the first 8 weeks. It actually got harder for me around 10-12 weeks. That was when Olivia’s eating habits really shifted from newborn cluster feeding to more snacking and when I got mastitis. I might do a completely separate post on breastfeeding as it still is a struggle some days, but at the same time I’m SO grateful we have been able to do it as it was really important to me when pregnant and it’s allowed for some really special bonding moments that I love. But it’s also super hard, and the hard part can’t be discounted.

I feel like this post was a bit rambly, but that’s where I’m at 3 months postpartum. Here are some of the ‘milestones’ I hit – and plan to be hitting – in my postpartum body journey.

  • Began working out again at 6 weeks postpartum
  • Began running again at 12 weeks postpartum – though my ‘running’ is very very much still a run/walk. I’m yet to run more than about 5 minutes consecutively.
  • Returned to yoga at 7 weeks postpartum
  • Will be returning to teaching fitness classes at 5 months postpartum
  • Will be participating in Yoga Teacher Training at 9 months postpartum – yup, I’m doing my YTT this year! Just put my deposit down! More on this later 🙂

I am still modifying a lot in everything I do. I just really listen to my body. I am also doing some core exercises as recommended by my physiotherapist as my core strength is really lacking.

Congratulations if you made it to the end of this very long and rambly post 🙂

If you have kids, what did your mind & body look like postpartum?

Any tips or thoughts for me?

4 Responses

  1. I’m glad you wrote this post! I will have to do one at 3 months as well – but that seems like an eternity away! I think you look great and it’s amazing that you’ve lost as much weight as you have. I will be curious to see what I weigh at my doctor appt next Friday (have to get my incision checked). Right now I am hyper focused on Paul’s weight since he has been a little bit slow to get back to his birth weight… So I feel you on all the anxiety about whether the baby is eating enough. What’s been helpful for me is focusing on the number of poopy and peed diapers. We are obviously in a different stage compared to you but when I see that he’s hitting his minimums, I feel better about things.

    I have no tips for you as I’ll be leaning on you for all the tips (as I have over the last week!!!!). I think you are doing great. Olivia is a happy, beautiful, healthy baby. I know it’s tough not to worry but she seems to be super content so I would focus on that. She just might be like me – a 10 lb baby that became very ‘average’ when it came to weight!

  2. Susan says:

    Thank you so much for writing this! I am 38+6 currently and have maintained activity throughout my pregnancy. I also watched the weight gain carefully according to my doctor’s recommendation and hope it will help me be more able to lose the weight after baby comes. I love that you said you are still active now because it’s what you did before and it helps you feel like yourself. This is an insight I haven’t really had- that continuing to be active will be important for my mental health and for feeling like me. I also saw a pelvic floor physio during my pregnancy and will afterwards, which I hope will help things. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  3. Stephany says:

    I think you have such a healthy approach and mindset to your body after baby. Especially, like you said, what the heck even IS a pre-baby body? It’s just a body. 🙂

    I like the honesty in this post, saying “no, I don’t love the way I look in photos right now” because I think it’s important to acknowledge that, but also not dwell on it. Right now, you’re doing the best you can and that’s all that matters!

  4. San says:

    Love your attitude… and look what you’ve accomplished already.

Leave a Reply