what happens when you don’t lose the baby weight


December 5, 2012 by Heather

I’ll tell you what happens:  None of your clothes fit.  Well, I take that back.  The clothes that you had to go out and buy because you were tired of only wearing stretchy pants and maternity clothes 6 months post baby – those clothes fit.  But you are mad that you even had to buy them, so you secretly hate them even if it does feel good to button a pair of normal pants.  Not to mention they are twice the size of your pre-pregnancy ones that you recently shoved in a box and hid in the top of your closet with a huff and a string of dirty words about your fat this-and-that.

Something else that happens:  You become increasingly annoyed at all the other new moms on facebook who feel the need to post things about their amazing post-baby bodies.  You try really hard to not be mad and jealous and judgy, but my gosh, it’s only been a week and a half and her old pants fit?  I feel like it’s ok to hate on that kind of boasting, just a little bit.

Another thing that happens:  You see an old photo of yourself and it makes you tear up, and also wonder what kind of miracle it will take to get you back to that.  You simultaneously curse your 20-year-old self for even thinking you needed to lose just a few more pounds.  Come on, former self.

old me


Something else:  You come up with names for your new jiggly areas.  Ladies who have had c-sections, I’m sure you can understand when I say that I like to call the lower portion of my belly “the ledge” or “the dropoff” or “the great divide” because right above my scar there is a very sudden and distinct tuck-under where they stitched up my make-shift tummy vagina.  It is awful, and I cannot stand to wear pants that slide or roll below it.  Kind of like this guy:

beer gut

Another thing that happens:  You might fall prey to a certain destructive behavior I call “Reading About Celebrities Who Lose Their Baby Weight in Five Seconds.”  See also, “Looking At Photo Galleries On People.com Of Hot Famous Moms Who Bounce Back So Fast.”  Along those same lines is, “Finding Jessica Simpson’s Post-Baby Smoothie Cleanse Online And Wondering If You Could Maybe Do It Before Quickly Deciding That Hell To The No You Could Not.”  (Seriously, why do they even post stories like this one on the interwebs?)

Oh yeah, something else that happens when you don’t lose the baby weight as fast as you thought you would is that you kind of start to obsess about it just a little bit.  If you’ve struggled in the past with your weight, you might find yourself harboring feelings of resentment.  Not toward your baby, but toward the way your body responded to you having  a baby.  You shoot down compliments from others.  You stand in your closet and cry because it used to be so fun putting together outfits.  You momentarily consider adopting some sort of mild eating disorder but then remember you are a mother and must behave more emotionally stable than that.  You write about it on your blog and get private messages from people telling you to, well, get over it.  Ah yes, thank you.


At the end of the day (and the beginning and the middle of the night), you are left with the most wonderful little baby you could have ever imagined.  You will sit next to his crib at night, watching him sleep, and realize something – you’d gain a zillion more pounds if it meant you got to keep him.

And besides, he needs some squish to sit on anyway.


9 thoughts on “what happens when you don’t lose the baby weight

  1. Dear Heather,
    I had in mind to post a friendly and detailed comment on your last post; mainly appreciation for taking the time to express what a lot of us feel but don’t manage to publish!
    However, I just want to make a brief remark on today’s post – a most reassuring comment from the nutritionist I consulted about nine months after having given birth: You are a milk-producing Mummy – of course your body keeps about 5 lbs of extra storage until you wean the baby – the extra little bit is NOT yours – it belongs to Parker! You are doing a wonderful job not depriving him of it (and that is something the celebrity moms don’t go into – if they lost their pregnancy weight gain in five minutes, how many seconds did they breastfeed????)
    My nutritionist actually took that weight out of the calculation and I did indeed lose the last little bit (well, most of it anyway :)) 22 months later, when I finally stopped breastfeeding.
    (I am presently waiting for that period to pass again, but my third little guy remembers sporadically that he used to breastfeed and starts again…)
    Hope that can cheer you up!
    Keep enjoying motherhood!

    • Susanna – thank you for your kind & thoughtful comment! You are sweet. The only reason I am still really bothered is because it’s not the last little bit, it’s a solid 30 pounds that I canNOT seem to shake. I told my husband the other day that I can’t help but wonder if they left a twin in there or something. Horrible, I know. I just don’t understand why nothing I do seems to help any weight come off.

  2. flamingomama says:

    YOU ARE A BREASTFEEDING MOTHER WHO HAS TO EAT MORE FOOD (aka calories) THAN A MOTHER WHO ISN’T BREASTFEEDING. You, my dear daughter, are making one of the most worthy sacrifices by denying yourself the “opportunity” to starve and thus be thin, in order to nourish my sweet grandson and your precious baby.

  3. I am no longer a breastfeeding mother who has to take in more calories… and I’m still packing those extra pounds. And I hear you! It SUCKS! My youngest is now 2.5 and I am still barely able to summon the energy required to start exercising. Damn those celebrity mom’s who have nannies, chefs, housecleaners and personal trainers to help them!

  4. I totally agree with you – it is easy to “take those important moments for yourself”, if somebody else does all the important things you do for the whole family! Let’s enjoy these things, though, and worry only a little about the excess pounds.

  5. You are awesome. I love this post. I was just feeling super crabby this morning because I’m going to the gym all the time, trying to not eat too much, AND breastfeeding and I’ve actually gone up a little on the scale. Grrr. And yes, the c-section “ledge”. I’m glad I’m not the only one. :/

  6. Linda says:

    You’re great, Heather! Oh, the things we would tell our former selves 🙂

  7. Vanessa Roberts says:

    Heather I so enjoy reading your blog…In fact I get on facebook daily hoping I find another hilarious post. I’m sorry I dont think trying to lose baby weight is funny! I just appreciate your sense of humor. Miss ya girl.

  8. Grace H says:

    I love this. For some reason, it seems like there’s this unspoken code among mommies where you’re just supposed to “love” every new lump and bump and stretchmark you acquire after childbirth, and never complain about the fact that your jean size now has two digits instead of one. (I must have really lucked out, since my second bebe left a navel hernia that looks like a small potato where my bellybutton used to be!) I guess I shouldn’t admit, then, that the only reason some of my old jeans fit is thanks to a little invention known as spanx, and those things are not exactly the picture of comfort.

    I honestly believe it’s okay not to completely love your body, and still know without a doubt that every lump and bump is completely worth it. You are not alone!

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