My P-D-B (Post Delivery Body)

As soon as we announced our pregnancy, quite a few people asked me how I planned to get “back in shape” after she was born.

My plan?

Nothing at all.

One of my goals while I was pregnant was to stay active and eat well to support our growing baby and my increasing energy needs. I figured that by doing so, it would make things a little easier for my body to return to its pre-pregnancy size. After birth, I figured we’d have our hands full trying to figure out her cues and needs… and I was right. Fitness and macronutrient ratios are the last things on my mind right now.

I love working out for the endorphins, health benefits and mental sanity, and I know I’ll enjoy it when I do have the opportunity to get back into things. Working out and teaching fitness made me feel good while I was pregnant, and even though I felt awkward and uncomfortable some of the time, while I was shaking it in Zumba or walking on the base track, it was a lovely distraction.

Treadmill walking at 40 weeks:

 belly40weeks

Another reason why I stayed committed to my lifestyle and eating preferences was so that I could be as physically prepared as I could be for the intense athletic event of labor. I wouldn’t have kept up my physical stamina, I know if things would have gone the way they did. The time I spent in the gym squatting, yoga breaths, ability to focus, and my amazing birth team is what helped me get through it.

The belly, 2 days after delivery:

pdb 2 days

(after a very long and crazy night!)

It’s true that delivery (the baby, fluid, blood, placenta) and breastfeeding facilitate quick postpartum weight loss. 4 days after giving birth, I had to go to the midwives’ because I thought I had a plugged duct and they weighed me. Within 4 days, I had lost 23 of the 34 lbs I gained while pregnant.

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Two weeks later, I have a different body:

pdb 2 weeks

(Goobery on-the-phone pic – lots of multitasking going on over here now)

and I’m proud of everything it’s been through.

My stomach feels smushy –it stretched a lot!- I do have stretch marks, which waited to appear until after she was born, and while I’m the same size-ish (jeans fit again), I’ve lost a lot of muscle. I’m excited to get my abs back and tone up again, but for now, I’m really thankful for how pregnancy and delivery treated my body.

I did tear a little during delivery, since we had to get the baby out so quickly. I have 3 stitches, which were really uncomfortable at first but don’t bother me too much anymore. As I’m still recovering, workouts are going to have to wait a while longer, and I’ve kept up my late-pregnancy style of eating. I’ve found that I’m hungrier during the day, so I’ll snack a lot in addition to meals to keep up my energy and nutrients for breastfeeding. Every night, around 3am, I’ll have a Vega bar to get me through the next couple of feedings until breakfast. My doctor told me to emphasize healthy fats this week, to make sure my milk is satisfying the little one, who currently wants to eat every hour or two.

baby

I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about what pregnancy can do to your body and I just wanted to assure you that it’s really not that bad. The bleeding is no fun –neither was bed rest- I’m still a little sore and emotional, but I am so very thankful and blessed that I had the opportunity to experience pregnancy and giving birth. The human body never ceases to amaze me, and that feeling has been magnified after everything I’ve experienced.

More:

-How my workouts changed in the first, second and third trimesters

Changing eats and third trimester eats

Belly pic slideshow

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140 Comments

  1. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) on January 24, 2012 at 12:16 am

    You look awesome! And your head and heart are in the right place as far as getting back in shape. You are doing it the sensible way; focusing on your baby’s and your health and happiness. You’re great at this; a total natural! 🙂

  2. Emily on January 24, 2012 at 1:16 am

    You look fantastic. And your baby is so beautiful.

  3. Molly on January 24, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Olivia is too freaking cute! And you (especially your bum) look AMAZING!

  4. Cecilia on January 24, 2012 at 2:22 am

    You are doing everything right. After my third and last child was born, I just took it easy and the weight just dropped off. I had always worked out, but this time I was going to relax more. I had just turned 39 and knew that my body would go back as before like after the other pregnancies. My previous pregnancy was 10 years before that and the other was 6 years before that. I found that when your body is in good condition, it has a memory and will return there very rapidly. I am writing this to let women know that just because you have babies, doesn’t mean you can’t and won’t have a great body. I am now 57 years old and in probably better shape than I have ever been and I don’t do any extreme exercising – just light to moderate weight work and walking/running now. There were times when I did do a lot more, but I guess my point is – if you do it now, when you are young, it will be easier for you to “snap” back if you get “off track” later.
    Anyway, enjoy your precious daughter and don’t worry about anything – spoken from a mother of 3 and grandmother of 4 and one on the way!!

  5. Brett Marie on January 24, 2012 at 3:15 am

    Gina you look so great! Major kudos to you for sharing your post-delivery body pics ( I feel like so many women are self-conscience, when they should be proud like you!!) Livi is a dream…. so so beautiful!

  6. babs on January 24, 2012 at 5:05 am

    you look beyond amazing … the best part of it all isn’t how quickly your body snapped back but how amazing your body is for delivering a healthy baby 🙂 too bad society doesn’t focus on how incredible a properly working body is and how lucky we are to have one, instead of telling us we need be prettier, thinner, etc.

    it’s always inspiring to read your posts that talk about fitness and health and *now* baby delivering 😉

  7. Danica @ It's Progression Not Perfection on January 24, 2012 at 7:04 am

    You look so good, Gina! I love hearing the positive aftermath of a pregnancy–that seems so rare. Happy to hear you’re feeling well, too!

  8. Kelsey on January 24, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Gina you look AMAZING!!!! And I’m so impressed at your ability to fit us all in and continue to blog during this busy time–Thank you!!!!

  9. Emily on January 24, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I think you did a great job staying active right up until the very end, and you look absolutely beautiful.

    Plus – you know what emphasizing good fats means? NUT BUTTERS! 🙂

  10. s on January 24, 2012 at 8:49 am

    wow, it’s good to get some insight into the post-delivery body, even if it *is* tangential to childbirth. thanks for the post!

  11. April on January 24, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Amen! Our bodies were made for this and if we continue to treat them well, they will bounce back. I know by continuing to work out and eat healthy throughout my pregnancy was the best thing I could do for both my baby and myself. Heck, I don’t think I coulda pushed for 3 hours had I not kept up my workouts, ha ha!

    I haven’t gone back to the gym yet as I choose to spend the time with my little guy…every moment is just too precious right now.

    You look fab, no surprise! Olivia is a doll!!!! Congrats again!!!

  12. Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables on January 24, 2012 at 9:43 am

    You look great! I hope you continue to feel better with each day 🙂

  13. Sarah on January 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

    How did you do yesterday, i.e., first day home alone?

  14. Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola on January 24, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Omigosh you look amazing!!! I can’t believe how quickly you got your body back! But more than that I’m so impressed with your attitude- I think you def have your priorities in check and are focusing first on the baby and your health!

  15. christine on January 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    You look freakin’ awesome! Good for you.

  16. Chelsa on January 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    You look amazing and you’ve given me hope that real people {not just celebrities} can look fabulous as a new mom 🙂

  17. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on January 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    You look great! You’re doing a fantastic job 🙂

  18. Life's a Bowl on January 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    You look absolutely fabulous! Enjoy the time with your brand new precious bundle of joy and there will be plenty of time in the future to tone back up! And before you know it, you’ll be chasing the little one around the house and she’ll be your go-to at-home workout 😉

  19. Megs on January 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Wow, you look fabulous, but most importantly, your baby looks beautiful and healthy. Good job, Mama. Can’t wait for my turn in May to experience new motherhood!

  20. Amy@healthyhungryhappy.com on January 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    you look great! its great to see how things change (im only 8 weeks along so definitely curious!) thanks for sharing!

  21. Roselyn @ A Balanced Fit on January 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    You have such a healthy view on your postpartum body, and I know that will helpful for your readers who may not have had kids yet, or who are about to. Women stress so much about what their bodies will look like after birth, but let’s look at the big picture here: you housed a HUMAN for 9 (10?) months! What an amazing and miraculous thing!! Kudos to you. 🙂

  22. Maria@healthydiaries on January 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    So nice to see you have such a healthy outlook on your body. You’re such an inspiration to other women (as always). It never ceases to amaze me what our bodies can do. Hope you continue to heal well 🙂

  23. Corrie Anne on January 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Love to hear the positive, but honest side of this!

  24. Erim on January 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Girl, you look amazing!

    And yes, you’ll get your muscles back! I got my pre-prego body back within 3 months (and I gained 60 pounds!).

  25. Di on January 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    You are such an inspiration!!! You look beautiful and I think it’s incredible you kept up working out until Livi was born. You should be proud of yourself Gina! 🙂

  26. Kate on January 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Your behind looks phenomenal!!!!!! Wow, you just look so great! Congrats on the cutest baby (those eyes will be causing the Pilot some sleepless nights when she is a teen…lol) and on being such a great mama. I have two little ones 1 and 3 — so I know how hard it is. I am so impressed how you seem to be managing it all. Keep up the wonderful work — and don’t ever be hard on yourself because you are Olivia’s best mother and you know what’s right for your baby girl! xx K

  27. joelle (on a pink typewriter) on January 25, 2012 at 11:06 am

    You look great! And look at that little face – soooo worth any weight gain!

  28. Heather on January 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    looking good!
    I remember peeing and sweating A LOT after delivery. SO much of what you lose is water weight!!

    i have a crescent moon tattoo around my belly button that i was worried would get really narsty after giving birth. while i was pregnant i joked it wasn’t a crescent anymore, but a full moon.
    thank goodness (and genetics) it looks perfectly fine now-exactly as it did before getting pregnant.

    One of the weirdest permanent changes that happened after I gave birth (nearly 9 years ago) is that one of my feet is now 1/2 inch bigger than the other! I guess those joints just got a little too relaxed during pregnancy and decided not to return to its normal state of being.

  29. Julie (A Case of the Runs) on January 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Wow, gives me hope!

    I thought I saw somewhere on here that you’d consider binding (hips and/or stomach). Did you do any of that? I see those things sold at Babies R Us and wanna know!

    • Fitnessista on January 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      Wearing both 🙂 I’ll do an update on how they worked after 8 weeks

  30. Shimeka Williams on January 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing such intimate details of your life. My husband and I want to start a family soon. A lot of people would like at me like I was crazy when I said I wanted to lose weight first. I realize how important my overall health is to an unborn and nursing child. This is reassurance that I am not the only person who thinks along these lines. Congratulations on the new addition to you family.

  31. Amanda @ Semi-Health Nut on January 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    This post makes me so happy because who doesn’t worry about ruining her body during pregnancy? I love the fact that basically all that preparation you did up until the day your beautiful baby was born…totally paid off. The fact that you lost most of the weight in two weeks says it all! You should be so proud of that! 🙂

  32. Cheri @ Overactive Blogger on December 9, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Anyone else find it KIND OF rude that someone would ask a pregnant woman how she planned to get back in shape? Like…one thing at a time dude!

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