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Post-baby bodies may never be the same, and that's OK
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Two children and eight years after my first foray into childbirth, my body is still not exactly what it was pre-baby. And it probably never will be. The truth is, childbirth changes your body in ways you cant even imagine. - photo by Erin Stewart
A pregnant friend of mine recently asked how long she should plan on until she gets her pre-baby body back.

I just laughed and laughed.

I had the same type-A, plan-out-everything question before I had my first child, but it didnt take me long after she was born to realize there is no timetable for restoring the female body to its pre-baby form.

In fact, two children and eight years after my first foray into childbirth, my body is still not exactly what it was pre-baby. And it probably never will be. The truth is, childbirth changes your body in ways that you cant even imagine.

Clothes never fit quite the same, despite the Facebook posts from that obnoxious friend who writes on her wall two-weeks postpartum that she is back in pre-maternity jeans and loving it!

And ... unfriend.

It is also hard not to get sucked into the world of crazy post-baby bodies touted by celebrities. This week alone, I saw two articles about celebrity moms who are just so amazing because they are celebrating their mommy bodies without shame. Uh, well, I wouldnt be ashamed to be a size 2 on the cover of Shape magazine either.

While it is possible to lose baby weight by eating right and exercising, some things just will never bounce back to where they were. Hips are a little wider, the stomach has a little more skin to spare and breasts never fully recover from the horrors they have been through.

So my answer to my friend is this: Give it time, but also give up on the idea of a pre-baby body. The truth is, you have created a human being. That changes you mentally, spiritually and physically. Embrace that change and dont try to hide it. Wear your stretch marks with pride, not shame. Look at your post-baby body as a medal of courage and sacrifice.

By all means, set goals and work hard to get your body healthy and strong so you can take care of your little ones and run around with them all day. But dont worry about some arbitrary and impossible idea of when you should look normal again because your new normal will be so much better than anything you had before.