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Why the Pressure to “Snap Back” is BS

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Sep. 21 2018, Updated 5:31 p.m. ET

Childbirth is a wonderful thing. It signifies a huge change in a family dynamic. When a woman is pregnant it is probably one of the most bittersweet experiences that she can have. The end game is a beautiful bundle of joy that you get to raise and cherish. But the amount of strain that pregnancy can put on a woman’s body is second to none. The morning sickness, the weight gain, the swelling and the constant threat of complications and that’s just the physical. Never mind the mental exhaustion that comes with being pregnant. Once the baby is born though, it is probably one of the best days of a mother’s life. Now you’re left with the remnants of your once big belly. That is where the pressure to “snap back” comes in.

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Snapping back is the act of restoring your body to what it was before pregnancy. Women often spend hours in the gym and try a million different diets just to lose the baby weight. And that’s great, however the issue comes in when a woman begins to feel pressured to snap back. Whether it’s by her significant other or by society, the pressure of getting your body back to what it was before pregnancy is problematic.

Society puts a lot of emphasis on what they think is beautiful. Even though they’d like to believe that their definition of beauty is evolving into something more natural, society still thinks that flat stomach with big butt and breasts is what a woman should look like.

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No body can live up to what society expects you to look like especially after you’ve just spent approximately nine months carrying an entire human being. Nonetheless, you are bombarded with images of celebrities who just had kids and already have washboard abs. The logical part of your brain says that they have personal trainers. They have people to take care of their newborns while they spend hours in the gym. You don’t. And then there’s the still very hormonal part of your brain that screams why can’t I have that? What am I doing wrong?

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There are a lot of very funny memes that address thought processes such as this but it is actually very dangerous. It’s this kind of thinking that leads women to set unrealistic goals for themselves and ultimately fail. They wonder what they’re doing wrong and see themselves as ugly or failures. This, in addition to the stress of having a new baby and other responsibilities can lead women into a depression that can be very difficult to recover from.

It’s perfectly understandable if you want to lose the baby weight. Who wouldn’t? But if you do want to snap back make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons. Don’t give in to this idea that you have to have a flat stomach after having kids to be beautiful. You don’t. What you have to do is focus on your health and the health of your child. Everything else will fall into place after that.

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