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:


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.

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.


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.


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

Changing eats and third trimester eats

Belly pic slideshow

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  1. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on January 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    You look wonderful but it’s your attitude about things that’s even more wonderful! The fact that you didn’t have a hard-and-fast gameplan for “getting back in shape” after the birth, that you focused on staying healthy during the pregnancy, and it all paid off now.

    And yes, the human body is truly amazing. And I was never so hungry in all my life as I would be from about 11pm-4am in the new motherhood days…because baby was eating.non.stop and you’re smart to keep up with the calories and (healthy) fats. I was a bottomless pit and felt like a teenage boy playing football or something…I could pack it down like no other time in my life! 🙂

  2. Nour on January 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    You look great! Congrats on your adorable baby girl. I’ve been reading your blog for the past several months and am always inspired by your motivation. Any tips on just getting stuff done?
    I’ve made lists, they work on some days, other days not so much…I love anything health-related, love yoga, gym workout, belly dancing–But sometimes just can’t get motivated to go. I’m also trying to finish up my PhD and getting it done is also tough–I just want to be really productive for most days of the week!
    Thought maybe you had some good tips to share!

  3. Risa on January 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    This is so encouraging to me!! Thank you for your vulnerability and openness…I already feel way more comfortable with the thought of having babies. Watching your body bounce back so quickly is really inspiring to me.

    • Kristina on January 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      Agreed! 🙂

  4. Michelle on January 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    You look great (and your little lady is adorable)! I hate the after-baby horror stories. I look better now after 2 kids than I ever did before kids! It’s not luck, it’s hard work, but having a baby doesn’t define your body (or your life!).

    • Leslie Wingate on January 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Me too! WOOT! My boss said I’m the only woman she’s ever seen that looked better after having babies. 😀 It kinda rocks when someone says that.

  5. Leslie Wingate on January 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    You look MAH-VA-LUS!

  6. Amanda on January 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    You are amazing! I plan to look back on all of your family posts when I get pregnant one day. You are an amazing example of a healthy woman. Love it! Olivia is gorgeous <3

  7. Felicia on January 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    lots of coconut oil ! so good for you AND the baby 🙂 love the updates, she is beautiful!

  8. Heather Eats Almond Butter on January 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    I have never been in more awe of my body than I was after carrying and delivering a child. A woman’s body is an amazing thing. I think so many women fear pregnancy b/c of the changes that will occur (myself used to be included among them). However, now I realize our bodies were made to do this, and it’s awesome.

    You look great Gina, and you’ll have those abs back before you know it!

  9. Liz on January 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    What an amazingly refreshing post – you have an awesome attitude toward your body and what it needs to be doing post pregnancy. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  10. Morgan @ morganshines on January 23, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Wow girl!! You look FANTASTIC!!! And that baby is BEAUTIFUL!!! Such big, beautiful eyes!!! 🙂 You are such an inspiration!!!

  11. Shannon on January 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Looking good! You look positively radiant 🙂

  12. Kelly @ Vegolosophy on January 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    You look great! The human body is one fascinating thing 🙂

  13. Maritza on January 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    You are such a great example and inspiration. I have enjoyed following you on your journey and it has given me the courage and reassurance that I can get through pregnancy and childbirth. You and your family are beautiful and I can’t wait to see more of your adventures.

  14. Rebecca on January 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I just read Maria’s (A life to bragg about) 2.5 month postpartum update and then went right to yours. Seriously inspiring stuff. I don’t have kids (although I can’t wait until I do!!) but I find myself nodding and exclaiming “YES!” when I read these updates because they’re so positive, as they should be! The human body is amazing, and I think it’s nothing short of magical that it can carry, deliver, feed and nurture another being’s life. You look amazing!

  15. Nicole on January 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    This post was really inspiring. Thank you for sharing a really healthy and realistic perspective. Also, thanks for sharing another picture of Olivia. She is so darn cute! You haven’t put too many up, so I wasn’t sure if you’re intentionally keeping her exposure to the Internet world to a minimum.

  16. Melissa on January 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    You look amazing. You looked amazing at 40 weeks too! I’m so glad you blogged so much of your pregnancy… You are my fit and healthy pregnancy inspiration.

  17. Anna @ On Anna's Plate on January 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    You look great! I’ve been thinking a lot about this as my due date comes closer…good to know that the body CAN recover pretty quickly, if you take the right steps throughout pregnancy!

  18. Christina R on January 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Gina, you are such an inspiration between your positive attitude & how great you look. So happy you decided to share this special journey with all of us.

  19. Suzanne on January 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    You look fantastic! You’re always so upbeat an positive in every situation. I love that about you and your blog.
    In terrified of pregnancy and childbirth, but your posts ease my fears. Livi is adorable. Love the outfit.

  20. Sarah on January 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    You look absolutely amazing! And hell, your body got you through all of that. Seriously, what else even matters?!

    Something I’ve been wondering: did you find that pregnancy made you break out at all? I always hear stories about mamas getting really bad acne all over again, like a hormonal teenager. Your skin looked amazing in every picture though!

  21. kara on January 23, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    oh my gosh! you seriously look AWESOME! and that little cutie at the bottom.. so beautiful!

  22. Nicole on January 23, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Hi Gina! I am sooo happy for you and your new little family. I am so amazed by your grace, calmness, and knowledge throughout this entire pregnancy and after the delivery. I’m no where near close to the age to be ready to have a baby (only 20!), but I have soaked in every single word you’ve spread to your readers. I am so proud of you for handling everything so well!

    I do have a quick little question if you don’t mind answering,
    I know you are gluten free and I recently got diagnosed and have to eat gluten free from now on. Im so scared about the transition and what I can’t eat, but I know I’ll feel better physically once I start consistently eating this way. Anyway, my question was if you have posted about going gluten free, tips, foods that help it, or anything. I’ve googled it and all of that but I would love some personal information about it from someone I trust! If you have the time, Id appreciate it! If not, its okay 🙂
    Thanks again, Gina!! 🙂

    <3 Nicole

  23. Colleen on January 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    I have to tell you, you have been such an inspiration to me. I am due with my first baby in April, and you have been a wonderful fit pregnancy role model for me! It has been great to see someone with a healthy body, a healthy attitude, and willing to share their experiences. I started reading a “fun,” casually written pregnancy book when I first found out about my baby, and it basically said to sit on your butt, because your thighs are going to turn to cottage cheese whether you work out or not. I stopped reading it when I got to that page, because I was like “I totally don’t agree with that philosophy, I agree with Gina instead!” I think your family posts could be a wonderful healthy pregnancy book!

  24. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey on January 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Oh my gosh you look AMAZING!!! Honestly – I just can’t believe it. I love Livi’s eyes – they’re so big!

  25. Lori on January 23, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    You look great! I bounced back from my first but my second? My body is definitely not the same (but i’m well into my 30’s and I know for someone as fit as you, that wouldn’t matter). I’ve always been thin and even weigh a few pounds less, but my body is so weird now my clothes fit, even clothes I’ve had for years (thanks BR), but they don’t fit me right and they are all big! I think its all in my tummy now but I know that’s my fault 🙁

  26. Sara on January 23, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I was about to say how great you look, then get back to work, but then I scrolled down and saw the pic of Olivia with her bow. So now I’m just going to grab a snack and head out the door to visit my cousin because I feel an overwhelming great need to hug-a-baby and she has one. 😀 Reading your blog has become dangerous to my productivity.

  27. kirsten on January 23, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    you look amazing and your baby is so cute!!

  28. Lori on January 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Sorry, I don’t think I made much sense (lack of sleep) but just wanted to add that Olivia is beautiful! God Bless!

  29. char @ char on a mission on January 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    It’s nice to know how honest your stories are – and way to go with that weight loss so far!! You look pretty fantastic for being a new mama! I can’t wait to experience this shhtuff!

  30. Michelle (Better with Berries) on January 23, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    While I’m no where near a point in my life when I’m ready for kids, it is so fascinating to me to read your stories! You look great and you’re right – your body has done so much and you are right to be proud and thankful for it. You rock!

  31. Lizzie on January 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing this personal and albeit, intimate post with us! You look absolutely gorgeous and I hope to have 1/2 the positive attitude you have when I give birth yearssssssssss from now.

    PS. I die for that pink bow.

  32. Sarah on January 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    You look absolutely fabulous in the post 2 week picture! WOW. and your jeans fit! You go girl! What a happy mama and beautiful baby girl! I love reading this posts. Keep it up!

  33. Aria on January 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    You look AMAZING for giving birth only 2 weeks ago! You have a great attitude and I have to say that when I’m dying at the gym and just want to throw in the towel, I think of you & you inspire me to get healthier & stick with it. Thank you for your honesty and constant inspiration 🙂

  34. Aria on January 23, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    P.S. Olivia is the CUTEST!! <3

  35. Laury on January 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    You look amazing and you are so lovely. I am so proud of your attitude towards this…it is the best thing you can do! Rest and let your body heal, be relaxed about the progress. I had a hard time dealing with all the muscle loss at first and I wasn’t back in my jeans until a couple of months ago but I now feel the best I ever felt. Our bodies are amazing!!! Thank you for sharing all this, you are such a great role model. I just love the message you convey to women. XO

  36. Lauren on January 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    You look excellent, and like everyone has said, you have a great attitude. I lost most of my baby weight in the first month, but I am still hanging on to a few extra pounds six months later. It was important to me not to put to much pressure on myself and to enjoy my baby. I actually feel better than I ever have. People will make you think that you will never feel rested after you have a baby, but I have a lot of energy and am very happy. You go through lots of changes, but most of them are so very positive 🙂

  37. Ginger on January 23, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    you look amazing and are an inspiration for your attitude like everyone else has said. I think that attitude is especially important for those of us with DAUGHTERS to model.

    my baby is 1 this week (SOB!!!!) and my body is pretty much just like it was before preg, but, even if it wasn’t, it would be 100% worth it 🙂

  38. Lindsay on January 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    I’m really glad to have read this post. A couple weeks ago, I had a friend scare the bejeezus out of me about post pregnancy body. She basically said it never goes back the way it was, etc etc. Needless to say, the convo didn’t exactly make me want to have children. However, after reading this post, I can already see that what she said isn’t true. I love the fact that you are taking your time to get back into working out and not rushing into it. You are so right- the human body is an amazing gift from God and I want to treat it right and respect it for all it can do!

  39. Natalie on January 23, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    You look fantastic, Gina! Get as much rest as you can, you certainly deserve it.:-)

    First time to comment but have been following since shortly after the Pilot returned from his last deployment. I was initially hooked as I am a former(?) military wife (my husband was a TAC-P in the USAF, did two deployments, but separated shortly after we married), and I totally understood all the feelings and experiences you talked about. Since then, I have learned so much from you about pregnancy, health and fitness. Thanks for your perspective and positive outlook. I wish you guys the best with your beautiful bundle of joy:)

  40. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on January 23, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    All your hard work and dedication to health during your pregnancy definitely paid off! I think you’ll be back to your Pre pregnancy self in no time! I can’t believe you lost 23 pounds in 4 days!!! Haha! That seems so crazy…but the body really is amazing and knows what it needs to do!

  41. Pure2raw Twins on January 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Gina hugs!!! what an amazing post and attitude! you are an amazing person and mother! it is so nice to see our friends journey of having a baby to ‘prep’ us if that ever happens for either one of us!
    and your package was shipped out yesterday so hopefully you get it this week!

  42. Suzi @ Confessions of a Fitness Instructor on January 23, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    I really appreciate you sharing all of this with us Gina, I know others like myself who are still childless are interested to know and see how you bounce back after giving birth. I agree, people certainly give you horror stories about what happens to their body, but I expect many times those are from people who didn’t take care of themselves like you did throughout the pregnancy.

    Your belly already looks pretty fab, I doubt anyone seeing you (that didn’t know you) would even believe you have just given birth!

  43. Michelle on January 23, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    You look awesome Gina! Olivia is soo alert and beautiful!

  44. Yelena (One Healthy Apple) on January 23, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    You look amazing! I’m 22 weeks and watching my body change, but this is giving me hope that it is possible to look good after baby! You’ll have those abs back in no time.

  45. Tiffany on January 23, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    It really is amazing how quickly one can bounce back. I was active throughout my pregnancy as well and within 9 days I had lost all of my weight and can now wear clothes that haven’t fit in years. Even at 10 weeks, it is not much easier to get exercise in when I stay at home with her all day, but I’m now doing something 3-4 times a week to get back into shape.
    Take it easy while you can and enjoy her. We have the rest of our lives to exercise and get back into shape.

  46. Rene on January 23, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I don’t usually comment but I just have to say, Olivia’s going to be a real STUNNER when she grows up. Is there fast-forward button somewhere? 😛 I love your family posts!

  47. Lisa O on January 23, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    You and your daughter are beautiful… loved your honest account and I’m amazed at how quickly your body has naturally bounced back doing all the natural things – just looking after your baby! Gives me hope for when I go through the same thing, any day now (39 weeks today!) after following your entire pregnancy here and despite swapping zumba for aqua aerobics (it’s dang hot in Aus, I live in Perth and we are having a heatwave right now – working up to 40 degrees celsius… sorry not sure what it is in fahrenheit!), I’ve tried to follow your healthy lead.

    I also love how much Olivia looks like you – everyone keeps telling me little girls look just like their dads and I keep hoping my daughter will resemble me a bit, it must be so special to look at a mini version of yourself!


  48. Tasha on January 23, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Long time follower, first time commenter…

    Just wanted to say that you look great post-pregnancy! Your body has been through a lot, so it deserves a bit of rest, but I’m sure it will be back in tip-top shape very soon. 🙂

    Your posts bring back so many memories of pregnancy. Now that we’re trying to have another baby 7 years later (it took me that long to forget all the yucky stuff about giving birth!), your stories get me even more excited to have another little one in our family.

    Love and light to you and yours.

  49. Amber @ Bold, Busy, Blessed on January 23, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    You ROCK!!!! And thanks for the honesty 🙂 Congrats again, she is super cute.

  50. chelsea on January 23, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    A positive mindset like yours can accomplish so many wonderful things!

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