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Thursday

Real Talk: Two Months Post-Baby Update

Thank you, Kate Middleton, for showing us that it's incredibly abnormal -- even for a seemingly-perfect duchess -- to leave the hospital looking like you never had a baby.

I still looked pregnant ... about six months pregnant!

Here are some notes from my postpartum experience in the past two months.

 
The First Few Weeks Home
I'd read a lot of advice before giving birth about what the first week or so would be like, and my doula was also a huge help here. She gave me some recommendations about what to bring home from the hospital and what to have on hand. My favorite purchase per her advice was the Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm (online at Walgreens or Drugstore.com). Along with the Dermoplast, Epifoam, and Tucks pads (all brought home from the hospital), this balm really brought relief and repair.


We also asked for a sitz bath before we left the hospital, and Ian used to get it prepared for me at night after the baby went to sleep.

I had a prescription for Lortab but I quit taking it due to the fact that it was hard on my stomach. I did take some regular pain meds that the rounding OB prescribed me (ibuprofin) and kept a time log next to the pill container to ensure that I was taking them regularly.

Ready for the glamorous part? I got a lot of relief by sitting on an ice pack wrapped in a dishtowel.

Yep, I don't miss those days one bit.

Weight Loss and Toning Up
I've mentioned here that I'm back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I've also mentioned that my body just isn't the same. My weight is "redistributed" if you will. It brings to mind an image that has always struck a chord with me ... the picture of women who all weigh 154 pounds. I love this photograph because it shows that weight is TRULY just a number on the scale.

All of these women weigh 154 pounds. Just something to keep in mind as every woman carries her weight differently. Stop comparing yourself. Don't focus on a number! Stop trying to look like someone else. Proudly be who YOU are.

With that said, I recently got the all-clear from my MD at my 6-week appointment to resume exercise. I've been taking a few fitness classes each week in order to tone up my tummy. Your stomach muscles experience some pretty incredible changes during those nine months that take lots of time to bring back to normal.

It's not important at all for me to have washboard abs (because it's not like I had them before ... ever). But  I would like to tone up my stomach a little more so that I can feel confident in my pre-pregnancy clothes. And frankly, I love my clothes and don't want to have to go out and purchase an entirely new wardrobe!


I did get comfortable enough to wear a two-piece during our recent beach trip, but my stomach still has a way to go before my pre-pregnancy jeans fit well again. This photo does do the belly justice as I was reclining back. My linea negra on my belly is also still present -- and I love it. Although I know it will fade with time, I actually hope it stays.

Moral of this story: don't think you'll be packing away your maternity clothes shortly after birth. I was still wearing maternity shorts six weeks post-delivery.

Nursing Notes
Nursing is what I attribute weight loss to. I have not made major changes in my diet, although I'm a bit less likely to pull a U-turn into Cook Out for a banana split milkshake these days. Man, those were delicious while they lasted. The weight loss I have experienced is likely from the calorie burn from nursing. I've read that it can burn upwards of 500 calories each day.

A great find for me was Lily Padz (online at Drugstore.com). These were awesome not only for pool days but also for nights when I wanted to wear a comfy, loose nightshirt to bed. Otherwise, you will want to wear something tighter that can accomodate your nursing pads, like a tank with a built-in bra. Two months out and I still can't go without the nursing pads at night -- Lansinoh are my favorites and here on Drugstore.com you can get the best price I've found.

Skin and Hair
I swear my wrinkles significantly decreased when I was pregnant. Well, they are coming back. :) I plan to ask the pediatrician on Friday what sort of over the counter anti-aging products I can use while nursing. Around 7-8 weeks postpartum is when I've started really experiencing hair loss! You'd be amazed how much comes out when I am drying my hair. It's scary.

Wardrobe Needs
The built-in bra tanks I mentioned above? Go ahead and stock up on lots of those ... they are great for sleeping and for daily wear under tees and cardigans when you are breastfeeding. You can get the nursing versions if you'd like, but I personally don't really like for those plastic snap-off hooks to show.

I've always liked wearing all black, but I learned that my black tops were also a great way to conceal the lumps and bumps. Anything too thin or clingy hasn't seen the light of day yet.

Here's what I truly swear by: SHAPEWEAR. I wore shapewear daily not just to smooth everything out, but also in the hopes that it would help my body return to my previous size. Sort of to remind those muscles how they used to be, perhaps. Here is the exact pair I swear by and they are $16. I have the latte color and they worked under everything. I wore these for about the first four weeks until I was comfortable enough to go without them.

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So there you have it; my two cents. I'd love to hear from others about their experience. Hopefully this post will be helpful to any of you who plan to have a child at some point. Getting back to a size or shape you are happy with is not an overnight feat; it took a lot of time to put on the weight, and all of those body changes happened for a very important reason. And even if I don't look exactly how I used to, that is OKAY. As long as I feel fit, strong, and healthy, and as long as Camille is happy and healthy herself, we are all good.

28 comments:

  1. The hair loss is the worst! It is terrifying! You look amazing!

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  2. You are doing great!! I'm 6 weeks post partum with my third and each and every recovery has been incredibly different. I actually hated the sitz bath -is that weird - I think I'm the only one, but I loved the witchhazel pads! I've also never had an oversupply for nursing (which definitely sucks when you want to pump a bottle for later) but also means I don't have to worry about what to wear at night. You definitely have so much figured out for your first - I was a mess at six weeks out!

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  3. You look great, and I really appreciate the real talk. My husband and I are going to start trying in a few months and it's refreshing to hear about the reality of life right after birth, so I know what to expect!

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  4. You look amazing! It's nice to hear the real side of things. You hear a lot about how your life changes with a newborn (no sleep, and breast feeding challenges), but I feel like you never hear about the changes your body goes through and that is also very good information to know. We are hoping to start a family in the next year or so, so all of this is very useful information that I'll have to file away for later.

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  5. Coming from someone who plans for children in the near future, these kind of posts are so helpful for knowing the changes that will occur during and after pregnancy. Thanks for sharing! Also, you look great!!

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  6. Wow April you look fantastic! I was sure the bikini photo was going to have a caption saying "this was me two years ago" or something! You look amazing! I feel like i've only just got on top of things now and my baby is TWO!!! xx

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  7. You look amazing!! Nothing is prettier than a body that grew a human baby! Women have so much pressure on them these day, it's so refreshing to hear honest words :)

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  8. It's fascinating and kind of scary what our bodies are capable of! I mean, less wrinkles when pregnant is always a good thing..especially when i will prob be 50 having my kids :) Didn't you use Bio Oil? Did you during your pregnancy?

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  9. you look great! And I am totally taking notes. Weird the things you don't know about until you are pregnant.

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  10. I weigh less than before I ever got pregnant but I don't look any better in a swimsuit. At least that's the way I feel. You look fab!

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  11. This is great! Thanks for writing so honestly. I've already Pinned this post to reference later ;)

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  12. bookmarking for future use!!

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  13. I think you look amazing for just having a baby 2 months ago! My hubby and I are going to start trying in a couple months and I've been saving and bookmarking so many different things that look helpful!

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  14. Great, honest post!

    If it makes you feel any better I wore my nursing pads till about 7months postpartum. I had major leaking issues for what seemed like forever!

    Also, just thought I'd throw this out there for readers who are expecting, if you have a c-sec, expect to be in your maternity clothes even longer once the baby is here. Even though my regular jeans fit at about 4 weeks pp, I couldn't wear them because they irritated my scar. Elastic was my best friend for almost 8 weeks!

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  15. You look fantastic lady! I hear ya on the new body shape thing. Like you, I think I got pretty lucky with returning to my same general pre-pregnancy weight/size fairly quickly, but things are just "different". Subtle things maybe, but I certainly notice it when dressing in pre-preg clothes! 11 weeks out I still have my linea negra too.

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  16. You look awesome!! The hair loss for me was one of the worst parts and even to this day (it's been 2.5 yrs since I have birth) I she's more than I used to.

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  17. You look great!! I remember at two months PP telling my husband that my body looked so weird. That my boobs were wider than the rest of my body, and my hips had grown a lot - everything looked strange. I'm not sure when it happened but by 4 months PP I looked exactly like I did pre-pregnancy. So there's hope - we've all been there! But you look fab, I can't imagine two months from now!

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  18. My experience after pregnancy was SO similar to yours! Dropped the weight super fast, but still felt a little strange in my own body...And oh, gosh, the hair loss. Fortunately that only lasts a few weeks so don't get too stressed - it will stop eventually, and you won't go bald!

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  19. You look amazing girlfriend... :)

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  20. Although I never got back to my pre pregnancy weigh, I do agree that my body also changed.
    But girl, you look perfect. I never stopped wearing two pieces bikinis, but that's because I really don't care. You can rock them! Anna

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  21. Wow, you look fantastic! I'm still working on losing the baby weight and my baby just finished her first year at college . ;)

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  22. You look amazing for just having a baby! Congratulations!!

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  23. I just started following your blog recently and I love it! And you really do look great! :) Breastfeeding is amazing for weight loss! I read that it really starts to work its magic at 3-6 months postpartum! My daughter just turned 12 weeks, really looking forward to that! :)

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  24. Thank you so much for sharing and for your honesty! I am definitely bookmarking for future reference! :)

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  25. great post! I've definitely forgotten a lot of these things from last time! Thanks for the reminder of all these must-haves...and also some of the not-so-glamorous parts of motherhood!

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  26. You're doing FINE. If it makes you feel better, I've still got 25 lbs to go, I gained about 55 lbs with my girl...but she was my 3rd and the girl theories rang true for me. :( I am working my ASS off {literally} right now. I'm a fitness fanatic, so this time has been extra hard on me. But I'm working hard and eating very clean, so hoping to see this weight gone by the end of the year.
    -Morgan
    California To Carolina
    The Gym Bunny

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  27. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight (mostly due to nursing) within about 6-8 weeks also. Um, that was with my first child.
    I'm still working on that goal after my 2nd child. Did I mention he just turned 3?!?!? Ugh.

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