Pregnancy affects the physical appearance of our postnatal bodies in many different ways, including stretch marks, abdominal muscle separation and pregnancy weight gain. While the changes are all a normal part of growing a baby, they can leave you feeling like your body is no longer your own. There is also the added pressure of feeling like you should ‘bounce back’ as quickly as celebrities on social media or – closer to home – your new mum friend down the road.

Try to remember that your recovery journey is a very personal and unique experience and while it can be easy to compare yourself to others on the same journey, try to avoid this. Just think about all the different factors that influence your recovery e.g. size of your baby, position of your baby in the womb, the amount of weight gained in pregnancy, how well your baby does or doesn’t sleep, how much help you have at home, the number of children you have, the natural elasticity of the skin – this is down to genetics and not the cream you did or didn’t have time to rub on your expanding bump.

Only 1/4 Women have lost their pregnancy weight by six month postpartum

It is advisable to lose the weight gained in pregnancy to support your own health and to enter subsequent pregnancies at a healthy weight for your body. Research has also identified that being unable to lose the pregnancy weight can have a negative impact on maternal well being, leading to low body satisfaction and self esteem and in some cases increased depressive symptoms.

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