What about that baby bump?

There are some women who seem to just bounce back after pregnancy. Within weeks they look like they’ve never given birth. The way I see it, it took nine months to grow that belly so it’s going to take a little while for it to go away.

Actress Jennifer Garner’s recent announcement that she has a “baby bump” has spread like wildfire through social media. Who cares, right? Well, a lot of moms do. That’s because Garner took pride in announcing that no, she wasn’t pregnant — the baby bump is from her past pregnancies and it’s here to stay. That means we have something in common! Her baby bump is named Violet, Sam, Sera. Mine is named Meredith, Kate. Both are several years old.

There are some women who seem to just bounce back after pregnancy. Within weeks they look like they’ve never given birth. The way I see it, it took nine months to grow that belly so it’s going to take a little while for it to go away. In fact, it takes up to eight weeks just for your uterus to go back to normal size.

Nevertheless, advice abounds on how to get rid of that post-pregnancy belly. What is realistic and, more importantly, healthy?

“A lot depends on how much weight you gained during pregnancy, how active you are, your genes and your normal body make-up,” said Osman Shariff, M.D., obstetrician/gynecologist with Women’s Care Physicians of Louisville, a part of Norton Women’s Care. “Over the past nine months your muscles and skin stretched out. With healthy eating and exercise as approved by your obstetrician, you’ll see things get back closer to your pre-baby shape.”

But what about that bump?

I found out from Dr. Shariff that a baby bump varies from one person to the next. There is no easy answer as to why one person will have a larger bump than another, or one person may not have one at all.

“The presence, absence or degree of a baby bump is as individual as the woman herself,” Dr. Shariff told me. “It’s also not indicative of a woman’s health. In fact, it can create a negative body image.”

What this tells me is people need to stop obsessing over that bump and instead start focusing on eating healthy and exercising — in other words, living a healthy lifestyle and being a good role model for those kids who created the baby bump in the first place.

That bump may or may not go away, so wear it as a badge of honor.


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