From Kate to Khloe: Expecting celebs to 'bounce back' after birth hurts us all

Postpartum recovery is about so much more than what size jeans you wear.

From Kate to Khloe: Expecting celebs to 'bounce back' after birth hurts us all

For most of us, "debuting" our post-baby bodies looks a little more like sharing a blissed-out-but-exhausted first family photo with our select Facebook friends. Even then, let's be honest, everyone is just looking at the baby.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are moms like Kate Middleton or Khloe Kardashian who are hounded for photographs that are then viewed worldwide.

Honestly, what it would be like to have your postpartum body viewed scrutinized by millions of people is seriously beyond my comprehension. So when Kardashian admitted in a new blog post that she "couldn't believe" how she looked in post-baby paparazzi pictures and can't wait to "get my body back to where it was," there's nothing wrong with feeling that way. That is her authentic experience and she has every right to it. I, for one, don't know anything about the pressure she's under.


But one truth that's important for her—and all of us—to keep in mind is this: Every mama's body changes differently during and after pregnancy.

This should come as no surprise, considering bodies always come in different shapes and sizes. Yet, there seems to be some kind of cognitive dissonance between this fact and the uniform expectation on how women's bodies should "bounce back" after childbirth: lose the weight, lose the hips, lose the maternity pants—pronto.

Not only is this unrealistic for the vast majority of us, but it's also unfortunate. These "post-baby bodies" of ours were celebrated for, give or take, 40 weeks. Then the script immediately flips and we have to stop acknowledging how incredible they are?

What if, instead, we made a point of continuing to celebrate postpartum bodies—not for some miraculous reversion to the way they looked before, but for the way they are forever changed by serving as our babies' first homes?

While we're at it, let's remember that no matter how bodies look outwardly, it takes mamas a while to feel settled into their new normal. After all, there is still a lot going on inside—physically, mentally and emotionally—after baby arrives. According to one survey, it takes new moms an average of 22 weeks to feel "normal" physically after childbirth and a full 24 weeks before they feel "normal" emotionally.

Note the apostrophes around "normal." It doesn't mean that our bodies and mindsets will be exactly as they were before pregnancy. But it can mean they are even better. For evidence of that, look no further than the baby your body fostered and nourished—which is why some two-in-three new moms say they ultimately feel more confident with their bodies than they did before pregnancy.

None of this—from the way our bodies recover to the way our perspectives shift—happens overnight. However, a day will probably come when you look back and recognize that "bouncing back" wasn't nearly as important as bouncing ahead into this incredible new role of mama.

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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