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Body After Baby? Nonsense!

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Body After Baby? Nonsense!

When I paid $19.95 to sign up for where I met my now-husband, I got a free subscription to People magazine. And although I canceled my subscription a month later, Iíve been renewing People for nine years now — which is my guilty secret (okay, not so secret) vice.

I read my People magazine cover to cover, and then I read The Economist so I donít feel like a total dimwit. I donít have a television, so People is my lifeline to pop culture, and for the most part, it brings me great joy to know who Taylor Swift is writing about in her precious bubble gum pop (which I immediately download to my iPod, along with Miley Cyrus and the Glee soundtracks. Donít laugh).

But every time I see a ďBody After BabyĒ article showing off how some celebrity is prancing around in a bikini six weeks postpartum, I want to puke.

Iím an OB/GYN physician and a mother, so I speak from experience when I say, ďNonsense.Ē Real women donít have personal trainers, raw foods chefs, full-time nannies, and plastic surgeons at their beck and call. Body after baby, my ass.

Let me tell you the truth about the bodies I would see in an OB/GYN office. Shapes change. Waistlines disappear. Formerly plump breasts sag like empty Ziploc bags. Stretch marks mar porcelain skin. Muffin tops bulge over those damn low-waisted jeans that donít flatter any figure. Vaginas gape. Stuff falls out.

Yes, it’s true.

This isnít the case for every women, so if you havenít had kids yet, donít freak out the way I did back in my twenties when I watched what happened to women after enduring pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Some women emerge unscathed. Some of those Body-After-Baby celebrities are probably just genetically blessed. They pop back six weeks later after plopping out their sixth kid, and youíd never know they just birthed a ten pound babe.

But the more we popularize the concept in the media, the more self-hatred we all feel when we canít live up to impossible standards.

Next: My Body After Baby Experience

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Read more: Babies, Beauty, Body Image, Diet & Nutrition, Family, Fitness, General Health, Guidance, Health, Inspiration, Mental Wellness, Obstetrics, Pregnancy, Self-Help, Spirit, Women's Health, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at† and also created two online communities -† and† She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


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7:14AM PDT on Oct 17, 2011

Inspiring :)

8:59PM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

I have a 9 month old and am actually below my pre-pregnancy weight, but a lot of my clothes still don't fit me. I hate my muffin top.

6:13PM PDT on May 25, 2011

Thank you so much for this inspiring article! I am currently 6 months pregnant. I've also struggled with an eating disorder since I was 14-years-old (I am now 31). This has made the weight gain aspect of my pregnancy especially difficult for me. My doctors and OB do not allow me to see my weight, and I've stopped weighing myself at home, so that I may take that "burden" off my mind and provide my little girl with the nutrients I know she so desperately needs. Recently, I've been anxious about what my body will look like after I give birth and how I will lose the weight as quickly as possible. However, this article makes a wonderful point... I need to learn to embrace my body, a body that has carried life inside of it, which is one the most precious blessings from God I feel I can receive. I plan on re-reading this when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I am really grateful that you've given me a new outlook on my weight gain during pregnancy! I believe my daughter will be well worth it!!!!

2:47PM PDT on May 19, 2011


6:30PM PDT on May 12, 2011

Thank you Lissa Rankin for this article! I'm 33 and I just had my fourth child who is now 7 months old and I found myself and my thoughts all up in your article. I am going to save this a read often for encouragement, thank you again

4:40AM PDT on May 4, 2011

Yes, I hope enough of the good.

7:22AM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

i feel better :) i was always in great shape now im just a blobby shape 2 kids later.i get so sick when i see the stars that dont look like they had kids a month later.makes you feel like crap pluse people are rude and dont think before they talk.any thanks for tellin it how it is :)

7:53PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

Lovely article!

1:40PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011


7:21PM PDT on Apr 21, 2011

thanks so much for putting this out there doc :) i'm doing my clinicals right now at a ob/gyn office and i'm a mom so i can really appreciate what you are saying

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