We’ve all heard, said, or thought the phrase “get your body back after baby.” It comes directly from diet culture and perpetuates unrealistic standards of women. We’re expected to get our body back after growing, carrying, birthing, and feeding another human being. To that I say, no thanks.
It’s normal for our bodies to change after having children. Like, are you kidding me? Did you see the incredible things it did? Sadly, we’ve been conditioned to focus on what our bodies look like. Be thinner. Be prettier. No pain, no gain. We know these too well.
Here’s something to think about: What if you radically reframed your expectations and relationship with your postpartum body?
What if your journey through motherhood didn’t include the burden to change or shrink your body?
What if you focused on how you feel instead of how you look?
What if you asked what actions make you feel grounded in your different and sometimes unrecognizable body?
I’m not suggesting you immediately love the way you look postpartum. I support body neutrality, a newer concept, where we are neutral towards our body and respect it without negative criticism. Obviously, this is easier said than done because many of us spend years hating our bodies and are disconnected from them.
As a registered dietitian and mom, I advocate we get back to the basics. The most fundamental human functions for survival: food, hydration, movement, sleep, and connection. You might notice, none of these are ground breaking. You might be thinking, “I know I should be doing these things, but it’s hard to do them regularly.” That’s fair.
Let’s take a different approach and get curious. Why do you want to do these things? Maybe your answer is to improve your physical health, mental health, self-confidence, or be more present for your kids. All our reasons can look different, but it’s important that you explore yours.
Then, you can ask things like: What habits actually make me feel good? Maybe going for a short walk or drinking three large water bottles daily. Maybe you notice your digestive system is more regular when you eat foods with fiber at lunch.
Alternatively, what doesn’t make me feel good? Maybe it’s having an evening glass of wine because it gives you a headache or disrupts your sleep. Maybe it’s overconsuming caffeine which overstimulates you and decreases your patience with your kids.
The opportunities to explore how to care for your body in this way are numerous. We marvel at the innate curiosity in our children as they discover the world around them. What if you rejected diet culture and instead tapped into that curiosity in yourself to find what makes you feel good?
If you’re ready to ditch the “getting your body back” mindset and explore what genuinely makes you feel confident and healthy, I’m here for you! It would be an honor to be a part of your journey through motherhood.
Please visit my website to learn more about my nutrition counseling packages. You can also follow me on Instagram @morganhooverrd for additional nutrition content.
This blog is for educational and informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of health conditions, or a client/provider relationship. Always consult with your healthcare provider.