The other day, while taking a shower- a quick shower- somewhere around soaping my tummy, I stopped and wondered ”what the hell happened here?!”.
Now I know I had a baby. I know my belly went from being the size of a LARGE watermelon to the size of- well… a smaller watermelon but jeez!
My friend Daniella, who really gives me great advice and is always there to give an encouraging word, always reminds me ”It took you 9 months to get this new body, don’t stress to get your body back to the way it was in 2 months”.
She’s absolutely right.
Everyone knows that during pregnancy, your body changes. There are the obvious physical changes that everyone is more or less aware of. Then there are the internal ones that maybe not everyone talks about.
Let’s start with the belly!
BLACK BELLY- During my pregnancy, I obsessively rubbed cocoa butter on my stomach every day- in the morning and at night. I would have my mother send me blocks of cocoa butter with anyone I knew who was coming from Trinidad because I couldn’t find it in Madrid. I was 8 and a half months pregnant with not a stretch mark in sight.
Now, I have pretty dark skin- deep mocha, I like to say. So I was quite shocked when I happened to look at my belly a few days after having my son and notice that it was black. I’m not talking about the ‘linea nigra’; I mean my entire belly was black.
Apparently, this is hyperpigmentation which has different causes and can show up on any part of your body. During and after pregnancy, it’s mainly due to hormone (mainly progesterone) levels.
If this new tummy colour wasn’t enough, it was also now covered in stretch marks. Lord knows l wasn’t pleased
Now, 5 months later, my stomach has more or less returned to its normal colour but unfortunately, I haven’t found a ”cure” for stretch marks. They’re somewhat less visible and no longer itchy but they’re there. I make sure to put lotion on my stomach after I shower. Just that and hoping for the best but I’m not holding my breath.
SOFT JIGGLY FLABBY BELLY- I have never really been a skinny chick with a flat stomach (past the age of about 18 or 19) and I’ve never really cared to be. The one thing I’ve always been was thick skinned and firm- literally. Nothing jiggled unnecessarily. Well, until giving birth!
It’s recommended that you wait at least 6 weeks to begin/resume exercising if you’ve had a vaginal birth. The time is longer after a caesarean birth- for obvious reasons. I waited my 6 weeks and got the all clear to do light exercises. So I started off going to yoga for Mummy & Baby. I also tried exercising at home. Let’s just say, I started this almost 3 months ago and I’m only today on day 3. Every time I tried t exercise, my baby would suddenly be extra fussy or need to be fed or changed. I took comfort in the fact that breastfeeding burns calories.
Now that my son is a little older and can entertain himself for a little bit, it’s become a little easier to exercise. I highly recommend this program I’m currently doing- 8fit. It can be done at home and on your own time . The program offers short, effective workouts, tailored to your specific goals. There are also meal plans and delicious recipes.
It will probably be hard to start whatever you decide to do- unless you are a fitness enthusiast. Whatever it is, start small. It can be as simple as taking your baby for a walk and walking 5 minutes longer. Every little bit counts. And while it may take a while to get that flat (or whatever you had before) stomach back, I can assure you that you will feel much better by just doing something for yourself.
WHAT THE GAS? The last thing I’m going to mentnion quickly has to do what goes on inside the body. I’m not going to get all biological or too graphic. But basically, after all that moving and stretching your organs experience during pregnancy, they need time to settle back into place. With this settling come (or goes) lots of gas.
My only advice is to take it in stride and in good humour. SO you fart 3 or 4 times in a row without trying- and maybe you have company? Oh well! Shit happens- not literally-at least not to me- but you just grew and gave birth to a little person. You can be excused- pun intended!
Did anything out of the ordinary or totally unexpected happen to your tummy after having your baby? I’d love to read about it. Leave me a comment!