What Pregnancy Has Done (Nicole)

Age: 22
Children: 1 Child, 7 months old

Like most young ladies, I struggled with body image. It was the most severe when I was in middle school and my doctor made a comment about my weight being high. I was only 124 pounds, which was a healthy weight for my height. I ripped myself apart for the longest time. When I was 20, I met my husband. I weighed 120 pounds, at 5’2″. I knew I looked good, but I didn’t feel it. We planned our pregnancy and successfully conceived one month after we married. I embraced pregnancy because I finally had a reason to look bloated! I loved it so much, we are planning on a second pregnancy already.

I gained 20 pounds while I was pregnant, which is slightly below the 25-35 pounds of weight gain that is recommended for my body type. I was on track to gain 25-35, but I stopped gaining weight at 28 weeks because I lost my appetite. My baby boy, Finn, was born at 38 weeks and 1 day, weighing 6 pounds 8 ounces. I didn’t get a single stretch mark and my body snapped right back into shape. My friends called me a freak of nature and my neighbor told me that I am the kind of woman that other women hate.

Now, at 7 months postpartum, I am 5’2″ and 115 pounds. I have never been in better shape, and not only that, I’ve never had so much self confidence! There is nothing I did to get where I am today. I did not exercise during pregnancy or after pregnancy and I do not eat very well. I honestly believe that breastfeeding may even have had something to do with it.
My breastfeeding story is interesting, to say the least. I breastfed until Finnegan was 3 weeks old, completely stopped for 8 weeks, and decided to relactate when he was 10 weeks old. I pumped around the clock, took every supplement and drug I could get my hands on, and regained a full supply and our exclusively breastfeeding relationship within one month. My weight plateaued for a while until I relactated, when I lost an additional 5 pounds.

I feel like I get a lot of scrutiny because of my figure. People tell me that it isn’t fair or that it’s wrong. I believe that every woman has a shape, this just happens to be mine, and mine just happens to be one that society favors. Unfortunately that makes the women who have naturally different shapes feel that they are doing something wrong, or that they are not beautiful. All woman are beautiful, though! All mothers are beautiful. Every body is amazing. Just look at what you did with it; look at who you made. :) Pregnancy and childbirth are the most spectacular experience and the most incredible thing I have ever done!

The photos I have posted are of myself at full-term while pregnant with Finn, myself at 7 months postpartum, and my bouncing baby boy! Thank you for reading.

4 thoughts on “What Pregnancy Has Done (Nicole)

  • Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Wow. You look amazing, to say the least. Rock it mama!!!!

  • Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Good for you! I didn’t gain much with my little one and now at two months postpartum, I look the same as I did pre-pregnancy…except for some loose skin which will hopefully tighten up. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your post-baby body. You’re right, everyone is different and all shapes are beautiful!

  • Friday, July 12, 2013 at 5:32 am

    I think I agree with your neighbor lol but don’t you ever let anyone make you feel guilty about getting back in shape so quickly. Gaining only 20 pounds definitely has it’s benefits postpartum.

  • Friday, July 12, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    You look amazing!!! You work hard for your body. Love the nursing picture!!!

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