Thoughts On The Mama Pooch…

body after baby

I get a lot of clients who come to me saying they really want to lose the “mama pooch.” They say that ever since having baby this “trouble spot”  just won’t go away no matter what they do.

And they’re willing to go to do anything to get rid of the mama pooch once and for all.

And before I had kids I was in full support of this mission. “You can do it! Let’s get that flat tummy back! I’m here to help!”

And now I’ve had a baby of my own. And I also have a mama pooch.

Sure, mine may not be as “pooch-y” as others since I’m a Pilates instructor. So maybe I shouldn’t complain…

But maybe we all shouldn’t complain.

Like I said, I’m a Pilates instructor. I did Pilates every day for years leading up to my pregnancy. I did Pilates throughout my pregnancy, right up to my due date, and still do it.

And I STILL have the mama pooch.

But here’s what I’ve been thinking now that I’ve joined this club of women with a little extra wiggle in the middle.

Who cares?

What’s the big deal?

Seriously. Why is it such a problem to have a little extra belly?

There was a time in my life when I would have loathed it. I would have criticized myself in the mirror. I would have complained. I would have tried diet after diet to get rid of it. And I would have been embarassed by the imaginary group of people who are staring at my mama pooch anytime I leave the house.

But thankfully, I’ve changed.

I don’t hate the mama pooch.

It’s really not that big of a deal and maybe “we” as a collective mama pooch club could decide to stop obsessing about it.

Maybe we could let it go.

I mean, how does the pooch get in the way of living a happy, full  life?

It doesn’t.

Unless of course you’re expected to walk the red carpet or pose for US Magazine…then I could understand. Or if you’re expected to be in a swimsuit on national television…then I *maybe* I could understand the pressure to get rid of it.

But most of us don’t have to worry about that.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to be in the “Celebrities, They’re Just Like Us” section any time soon and I don’t have plans to host a pool party on national TV (shocking, I know).

{via US Magazine}

Those magazines somehow lead us to believe that we are on the same stage as celebrities, open to scrutiny from the public eye at any given point.

But most of us aren’t.

Most of us just get dressed, go to work, take care of our kids, hang out with our families and hang out with close friends.

And I don’t see how the pooch affects any of that.

So why are we spending so much time worrying about it?

I know it can be a confidence issue for some….but confidence doesn’t come solely from changing your body. It comes from changing your perspective.

Let’s remember friends…we grew humans!

Real, live humans!

And we have a little souvenir to show for it.

It’s the way our bodies were made.

So today, and every day, I’m choosing to wear my pooch with pride.

body after baby

When I acknowledge my little belly my husband says “stop it, you look great” to reassure me. But then I reassure HIM that I’m not concerned. I’m acknowledging it because it reminds me of my pregnancy and how much I loved it. It reminds me of the greatest, strongest, most powerful day of my life when I gave birth to our little girl.

I’m proud of it.

So can we drop this whole obssessing over the pooch thing?

We all have it. We have it because we did an incredible, miraculous thing. And some women would give anything to have a chance to experience that gift.

I’m all for getting back into shape. I’m all for re-building muscle and re-gaining strength. I’m all for doing challenging core work to keep yourself fit.

But do it with grace and do it with pride.

And next time you have a negative thought about your belly, go grab your babies and give them lots of love. Because they were, and are, so worth it.


PS – You may also like Chasing Perfection, My Journey To Find Balance With Body Image and  Change Your Mind, Change Your Body.

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9 thoughts on “Thoughts On The Mama Pooch…”

  1. I have a confession and I’ll feel better to just say it publicly.

    I have a mama pooch and I kinda have been hating it. (That’s not the confession…hold on…) Yesterday I saw a cute instagram photo you posted and the first thing I thought was, “I bet her body is already back to ‘normal'” (What is ‘normal’ by the way? Right?) Anyway, I just assumed that I was doing something wrong, and you’re doing everything right, and if I could be a little bit more disciplined then I could get rid of my belly. And maybe I can, or maybe it will take awhile, or maybe I never will. In the meantime, I want to be proud of my body and not covet others. Thanks for being real and inspiring. 🙂

    1. Hi Lelsey! I’m SO glad you shared this. Because we ALL do it. All the time.

      And the funny other side of this is that I hit “post” and then thought, “do I look huge in those white jeans?” Ridiculous isn’t it? I then had to tell myself, who cares, this picture is about my baby and I have a new “mom body” thanks to that little blessing!

      The point i,s we’re all so tempted to be hard on ourselves and to compare. While you were being hard on yourself, I was doing the same. But thankfully, we can choose to realize our temptation and decide to just be proud of our bodies. 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing! 4.5 weeks pp and I find myself squishing my mamma pouch and glaring at it! You’re right; I shouldn’t let it bother me so much because it was all worth it to carry two little girls in there. At least my arms are still somewhat sculpted!

  3. I’m thankful that the pooch is disappearing quickly, however, I would love for my hips to start shrinking so I can wear my clothes again! 🙂 On one income it’s hard to justify a new wardrobe… and then I have to remind myself that what I have is enough… in all areas of life.

  4. Robin, thanks for sharing your thoughts about the mama pooch 🙂
    I, like you, have been practicing Pilates for many years before my first pregnancy. I was completely shocked and surprised to see a huge mama pooch after my first set of twins was born. No matter what I did it didn’t go away. It took me about a year to become content with my body and accept my new shape.
    However, I can say for certain that with constant Pilates practice and diligent cardio workouts the mama pooch does “deflate” over time. It took me about 2 years to regain my mid-section but it did happen (mostly 🙂
    During my second twin pregnancy I knew what was ahead of me and knew that I would have to change my perception of my own body.
    7 months postpartum I don’t look perfect and I know that mama pooch will be my lifelong companion but it still looks better month after month as I practice Pilates.
    Just like you, I’m proud of it because it’s a symbol of motherhood for me. And I have 4 beautiful girls, a gift that is way more valuable than a perfect tummy.

  5. Pingback: 28 Days of Pilates: Day #11

  6. Such inspiring words of wisdom! I’m tearful at the part where you talk about the pooch being a reminder of the “greatest, strongest, most powerful day of my life”. I have defined upper abs (just good luck DNA I guess?) but still have the ol’ pooch at the bottom. And I agree – who cares? I’m embracing my toned areas and my flabby ones too – in fact my kids used to grab my pooch and squeeze it and I would laugh and say “hey, that’s my belly full of jelly!” And they would giggle and I would giggle and it would usually end up in tickles or kisses or hugs. So see, the pooch does have a purpose!

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