Getting Your Pre-Baby Body Back Is Harder Than It Looks

mom with new babyFrom Bethenny Frankel to Mariah Carey and Miranda Kerr, we constantly see a slew of Hollywood mamas go from pregnant to bikini-sporting perfection in a matter of weeks. Good for them, but it really sucks for the rest of us mortals, who beat ourselves up for not having the willpower to do the same. But they're far from the norm, and a new study proves it.

In fact, a new British study says it takes the average mummy a LOT more time than that to get yummy again -- and they're not just talking weight. In a recent study of 1,000 women, they looked at how long it took a new mom to get back her "mojo," which includes things like sex drive, energy, and yes, figure too. Instead of just mere weeks, they found it takes the average woman ...

An average of 409 days to feel like herself again. That's one year, one month, and two weeks, which is five months longer than most women thought it would take. Now THAT sounds a whole lot more reasonable, right? Of course, that's just the average, so it will take some women less time and some women more time, but I think it's important for women to know what "normal" is, because Frankel and gang aren't it.

It's not to discredit anyone for an amazing post-baby body. I've known more than a few women in "real" life who snapped back amazingly quickly too, but whether due to genetics, personal trainers at their disposal, or an army of nannies on call to watch the baby while mama works out, not all of us are blessed with the same advantages. And that's okay. Also, just because they're looking good on the outside doesn't mean they're not struggling with the other issues like exhaustion and lack of a sex drive.

Interestingly enough, the study found there was one thing that helped moms feel like their former pre-baby selves more than anything else -- finding a job that provided a good work/life balance. Personally, I think true work/life balance is nothing short of a myth, but I understand what they're saying about going back to work. I'm sure plenty of stay-at-home moms will disagree, but for some women their career can be an important source of their self worth, and getting a least a piece of that life back is sometimes what it takes to feel like themselves again.

The bottom line here is that for every bikini-clad celebrity you see holding her newborn looking fresh and unfrazzled, there are millions of other mamas out there, who are struggling to find their former selves -- physically and mentally. And that's okay. THAT's the norm for most. While the goal of snapping back into shape as quickly as possible isn't a bad one necessarily, and we should begrudge those who do, the fact is it can take awhile, and we shouldn't beat ourselves up if it does. For all of the amazing parts of motherhood, it's also incredibly difficult, and to think that our lives and bodies won't be affected by it in big ways and small is unrealistic and just setting ourselves up to feel like failures.

How long do you feel like it took you to get back your "mojo" after having a baby? Or, if you're pregnant, how long do you think it will take you?


Image via sebrenner/Flickr

a mom's life, is it normal, motherhood


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Torra... TorranceMom

After my first child was born, I was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans in three months. Not the case with my second child! She's fifteen months old now and although I weigh less than I did when I got pregnant the first time, I can't shake my little pot belly. I don't think it's going anywhere . . .

Stacey. Stacey.

Depends if Im standing or sitting LOL. When I stand up and my stomach is flat I feel like myself, it took a whole year for it to get flat whitle standing, but when I sit down and it turns into rolls, Im not so good, and I dont think its ever going to be "normal" again unless I get surgery to tighten the skin or get a huge 6 pack (no thanks).

Anne4222 Anne4222

After 65lb weight gain with my twins it took me a full year to come back to my size 4. I was also breastfeeding for 16 months so I was hungrier than when I was pregnant.

the4m... the4mutts

Mojo, as far as sex drive, never had an issue! Not a single one. I was lucky. I've had 4 children, the younger 3 all being 18 months apart. So I STARTED trying to get my body back after my 4th, and I got my tubes tied, and a tummy-tuck. *medically nessecary, due to a muscle ripping in half*

Its been 2.5 yrs since my youngest was born, and my body will never be "post baby" like it was when I was 18. I've been pegnant since I was 19, sooo, yah. But I DO look far better than I did 2.5 yrs ago! Its an ongoing struggle, but I keep at it every day, I'm confident in my own skin, and I am the healthiest I've ever been :)

Hi_Rae Hi_Rae

I came home from the hospital in my regular clothes. Now 10 weeks later I weigh less than I did before I was pregnant. With that being said, I don't have my flat abs and I have some extra skin on my stomach so while I feel okay in clothes I don't feel good in a bikini or anything like that, and I definitely don't feel like myself

nonmember avatar Karly

Im 10 pounds heavier now than i was pre pregnancy. I feel great! I was 100-105 pounds all my life( as a teen and adult) and it wasnt pretty. I was always bitched about my underweight and how skinny i was. I wore size 0 jeans. Now i feel full and sexy. I love my body. I love my hips and my stomach is flat but it does roll when i sit. Im 120 now. I wear a size 2-4 and my boobs are gorgeous! Thanks to breastfeeding :) im a D. I feel like becoming a mother shaped me. I love it. It took me a year to lose all the babyweight. I was 172 when i went into labor. A good healthy life is the key to staying in shape. Period!! Eat healthy eat less and work out. Its simple really.. Oh and breastfeed.

nonmember avatar Monty

Getting my body back was easy. Getting my skin back has been an unattainable dream since my last child was born almost three years ago. No one ever talks about the skin problems pregnant women go through pre and post baby. It's impossible to be fully happy about motherhood when you look in the mirror and see a monster every day of your life. :(

Nanis... NanisMamaCC

I'm still working om getting back to my preprego weight...and my daughter will be three next month!

suziejax suziejax

I was back right away with both my kids My tummy went flat almost right away... I only gained baby weight

prinz... prinzesa_edith

well i agree about work/life balance. i got pregnant at 19 and i am know 24, with a 5,3, and 2 yr old so I've been pregnant or breastfeeding since i was 19, and i have not gotten my mojo back. i have my sex drive at least. lol. I'm still breastfeeding my 2 yr old but its coming to an end, and i really want to go back to work. i feel like i need to bring in my own money and feel more dependant on me, since ive been dependant on my husband for so long, and my whole life is all about my kids. maybe then i will get my mojo back, and stop looking like a raggedy mom. i don't even know how to shop for myself anymore.

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