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From red carpets to rattles this is the journey of one working mother attempting to see if you really can have it all....

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Crimes against maternity

I don't despise many people. Apart from the obvious, dictators, tyrants and the like. But there is one group of people I despise to the very core of my being. I am of course talking about women who get their figures back weeks if not days after giving birth.

It might surprise you to hear that I don't include the Victoria Beckhams of this world in this category. No I'm able to come up with plenty of reasons why she looks the way she does when she emerges from Great Portland Street Hospital, her latest designer baby in tow. Apart from the whole no eating thing celebs have teams of nutritionalists, personal trainers and chefs, all working their butts off to ensure said butt is as small as it can be. No I can tell myself that if they were in my position they too would have a baby bump months after the baby is out in the world.

No my real bug bear is with those mere mortals amongst us that go straight from the hospital into their skinny jeans faster than you can say Atkins.

I think you have probably gathered from my tone that I unfortunately don't fall into this category. Now before you call me bitter and jealous I fully admit I am both these things. But I don't think I'm alone when I say that along with changing room mirrors a new mums worst enemy is the fellow newbie that is back to looking her skinny assed best within weeks.

Now if you are reading this and are getting offended, don't be, you are obviously lucky enough to be one of those women who bounce back after birth, rather than just bounce as the case may be for the rest of us.

If you are reading this and are nodding away furiously then just know you are not alone. Maybe you, like me, are still a long way off looking your pre pregnancy best. Maybe you've grown a little too attached to your maternity jeans and can't imagine ever fitting into your favourite pair of Diesels ever again. Or maybe you've just said sod it and swapped those jeans for nice comfy, stretch leggings...every chubby girls friend.

You might be surprised to learn that my personal battle with the bulge didn't really kick in until after the piglet was born. Helpfully I seemed to loose my usual cravings for all things sweet and instead had a constant hankering for crushed ice and mandarins. In fact when I look at the photos taken in the days following the birth I look ok. Sure my tummy was hanging around my pelvis, but apart from that my months of swimming leading up to the birth seemed to pay off.

But then it all went wrong. You see when you have a baby everyone wants to see Him or her. Which of course is lovely but it means that you need food to give them. Now as I was spending most of my time on the couch with a baby attached to my boob the food shopping fell on the shoulders of New Nanna or Devoted Dad. We didn't have a problem when NN was in charge of the trolley. A plethora of fresh fruit, houmos and other healthy snacks would appear. Although the lady isn't a saint there was also an extensive selection of cheeses and crisps on offer too.

DD on the other hand should have taken out shares in cadbury for all the biscuits he purchased. On one particular jaunt to the shops he returned with 3 varieties of biscuits, 2 huge bags of crisps, a chocolate cake, 3 dips and crackers, oh and some cucumber to be fair. So you can see why the weight quickly piled on. Sure I could have ignored the junk, no one was forcing me to eat it, but when your surviving on little to no sleep and are spending any waking hour with a little person attached to your body, willpower goes out the window. I remember a fellow newbies response when I said to her that I was thinking about going on a diet."You've got to have something nice in your life" she said mournfully. Her baby was a particularly bad sleeper.

And while I'm ranting there is something else I need to get off my chest. There is a myth circulating that I know could cause a lot of new mums harm. Despite rumours to the contary I can tell you once and for all...Breast feeding does NOT mean you can eat whatever you like.
Sure it does help your stomach move back into position slightly and certainly doesn't hurt but does it negate all the crisps and chocolate biscuits? Most definitely not!

One helpful midwife told me you burn up to 500 calories a day BF.

"It's like going for a 10km jog every day" she declared gleefully.

Well I lapped that up. Having always dreamed of being one of those women who jogged daily and ate like horses I was excited to finally be joining that club. For a good few weeks I had a little spring in my step as I moved from the couch to the fridge, and back again.

Bring on the pasta! Another biscuit? I don't mind if I do. Shall we have Indian takeaway for dinner? Oh no that's fine get every variety of naan bread, I'm breast feeding remember, I'm losing weight as we speak...

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