I started writing this post 2 weeks ago, and since I now blog in 5 minute increments whenever I can, it’s now all about the 8 week postpartum body. it was also a REALLY long blog post so I have divided it into 2 segments.
Since we as women spend a lot of time worrying about our appearance, then getting pregnant, growing life for nine months, have our bodies basically rearranged, and then live in a culture that is obsessed with how quickly women are back in their skinny jeans (and those tabloids glorifying celebs on the red carpet in the size 2 dress 2 weeks after giving birth)…I’m taking a cue from Caitlin, founder of Operational Beautiful, who has been documenting her recovery on her blog, Healthy Tipping Point. I like the “real woman, real recovery” context. Because, seriously, I think we are dealing with enough chaos after having a baby to be panicky about getting out bodies back immediately thankyouverymuch.
I’m discussing and taking pictures of the 8 week post-pardem figure of mine (because I couldn’t get it together enough to take a pic sooner). Don’t worry there won’t be any pictures of me doing a kissy-face in a bikini, I assure you. (Because the world really needs more people taking pictures of themselves doing kissy faces, right?) I’m also giving a full review of the Belly Bandit and Shrinkx Hips products I ended up buying after researching the issue during my third trimester.
Here are the logistics:
(What I looked like the day I went to deliver)
I gained 36 lbs this pregnancy. (50 with PML) So far, I’ve lost 20 lbs. This is basically baby and water weight because this happened by 2 weeks after the baby was born. Then I gained 3 lbs back around week 4 because I was STARVING (breastfeeding…sheesh) and denying myself nothing, and have since cut back on dessert after every meal and managed to get back to that 20 lb loss.
First day home from the hospital (a.k.a I look 7 months pregnant but there is no baby in there)
As far as pain goes, this was SO much easier the second time around. So thanks for all the encouragement, I was worried. It’s true, in my experience, second babies are easier pretty much all around. I was in pain for about a week and then just the usual exhaustion and occasional muscle and back aches for a week or two after that. I was able to do a little yoga stretching by week 4, but didn’t even attempt working out until 6 weeks and I am definitely easing my way back into it with modified CrossFit workouts from Annie, yoga DVDs,and the occasional walk with the kids.
Belly Bandit/ Shrinkx hips wrapping.
It wasn’t cheap.
Let’s talk Belly Bandit first:
In a nutshell: I highly recommend this product.
I put it on within 24 hours of giving birth (I could barely even attach the thing around my waist) and wore it for a few hours each day for the first three days postpartum. I noticed by day three, my belly had shrunk down enough that I could wear it around my waist for most of the day fairly comfortably. I felt like my belly definitely went down quicker than it did when compared to PML’s postpartum experience where I didn’t even know about wrapping until well after 6 weeks postpartum.
I thought the support was really great for my back as well as for my belly. I also felt like it helped my body to get rid of the excess IV fluid etc a little sooner. I was peeing like crazy (TMI) which I know is a hormonal thing, but i also think that having that tight wrap around my midsection was helping to squeeze my organs or something. I’m no doctor, so maybe this isn’t even possible, but I felt like the wrap overall helped with the slimming of the belly.
I was pretty diligent with the belly wrap for the first 4 weeks. Between week 4-6 I was wearing it maybe every other day, for only a few hours. And now, I am pretty much done with the belly band. I still have a muffin top and feel pretty doughy in general, and of course the only remedy for that is time mixed with exercise and eating healthy. I do think the wrap helped to slim my midsection sooner than it otherwise would have done on it’s own.
Price. I bought the BFF Belly Bandit specifically for the double velcro front and the corset-like boning along the sides, the material was clearly much more durable and far superior to my generic wrap I bought for $25 with PML. I figured, if I’m going to spend $50 on a regular band then I might as well drop another $20 and get all the bells and whistles. Crazy logic? maybe. The downside to the double velcro is that it is really noticeable through clothing. It also squeezes you so tight that there is always some impressive back fat happening….not sure if this could be avoided with any other kind of postpartum wrapping.
Overall, I recommend the wrap. I think it’s worth the money, especially if you are planning to have a few kids,. The material is durable enough that it will hold up through a few post-pregnancies.
Okay now for Shrinkx Hips:
In a nutshell: Don’t waste your money.
Pros: This product is made well, it’s durable, stretchy and definitely feels like it could shrink down the hips.
Cons: I started wearing this right away as well. I wore it just a few hours a day for the first few days after Parker was born and always noticed an increase in bleeding. So, obviously, I listened to my body and took it off. I tried again at the end of the first week home and would just try to wear it for 4-6 hours a day. You definitely can’t wear it outside of your house. It foist work underneath clothing (maybe sweats–but it looks really weird). I don’t doubt that the product could work…I just started having consistent lower back and hip pain and thought it was one thing to try to suck in your already contracting uterus with a belly bandit. However, it’s a whole other beast to try to alter my skeletal formation, and especially risk screwing up my spine. Those spines are pretty important. So after week two, I decided that it was kind of a dumb thing to do and quit using it for the sake of my back.
Could it have been actually shrinking my hips? Maybe, but I didn’t want to do any other unnecessary damage to my body. I would say save your money on this product.
1 week postpartum (with Belly band). The black is very forgiving and you can tell there is still a bump going on.
Nursing has been super easy this time around, thank heavens. I was only sore for maybe a week. Haven’t had any milk issues (nothing makes me feel more like a heifer than talking about milk supply) and I actually like the excuse to sit down for 20 minutes at a time and say to PML or Rod “Oh sorry, you’ll just have to find fill-in-the-blank on your own, or wait until I am done.” With PML, I just felt like I sat and nursed all day. With Parker, I’m sure I am nursing just as much, I am just trying to do 100 other things with this move and a 2 year old so I don’t feel nearly as tied down. I;m also a lot less modest about it. I always felt like I had to leave the room or something with PML. Now, I just pretty much nurse wherever (I do cover up in public) and figure that if people are freaked out by it than its their problem.
I am STARVING all the time. I don’t know how women shrink down so much when they are nursing because if I would let myself, I could eat like Honey Boo Boo’s family at a Vegas Buffet all day, everyday. So, the weight loss I’m sure will be slow because I’m pretty committed to breastfeeding and I know that if I cut too many calories my milk (moo! there it is again…) will go away.
With PML it took me 11 months to lose the 40 lbs, and then I lost the last 10lbs within 2 weeks of weening (gah!) PML…As much as I would love to “get my body back” in the next couple of months, I’m guessing things will be the same this time around.
So far, I feel pretty stable. I’ve had a few shower cry’s mostly related to moving a week after Parker was born, but that is to be expected, right? It’s been kind of a lot. This adjustment from 1 child to 2 is a bit of a doozy. Parker is the EASIEST baby so far, so that is helping. But it’s the 2 1/2 year old energizer bunny that I have to tame that is putting me through the ringer. Can you recommend any good books on the terrible two’s or hyperactive kids? Someone recommended the Wonder Weeks App which has been helpful (Thanks Tenille!), but it’s geared for the younger child. We are still definitely in survival mode around here.
Hopefully in a few months, I’ll be back to “normal” (whatever that means)…
Part 2 has 8 week postpartum pics and what I am doing for my exercise and nutrition going forward….
What do you guys think, would you buy a belly bandit? Any one have a different experience with Shrinkx Hips? And most importantly, any good books on dealing with the Terrible Two’s and Three’s?
Related Post: Post Pregnancy Body: 8 weeks Part 2
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