About a week ago, Teyana Taylor gave birth to a baby girl. Her husband took to Instagram to congratulate her for NOT getting any stretch marks during both her pregnancies (which was weird for me). Then recently, she posted a video showing off her post-partum abs. This got me thinking about the snap-back culture.
We live in a world where the “snapback” – a phrase deemed by the social media generation, to mean how quickly a woman’s body snaps back into shape or to its previous pre-baby state, is lauded and seen as a gauge of beauty for many women. As a mother of 2, I call bullshit on the entire thing. I was 19 when I gave birth to my first child, I snapped back within a week. I credited my youth for it and moved on. Fast forward to 12 years later, at 30, I gave birth to my second daughter. The pregnancy was stressful, so instead of gaining pregnancy weight, I lost a lot of it. Which meant I had no pressure to snap-back. Within 2 months, my body went back to was it was pre-pregnancy. Though this is something I should be happy about (and I am) I still feel for women who don’t snap back as immediately as others.
Snapback culture is unrealistic, it places unnecessary pressure on women to hit the gym or take up some crazy diet to look a certain way, for what? To able to say, “I got my body back in 2 weeks”?
So much happens post-partum, from raging hormones to not feeling like yourself. It took me about 8 weeks to feel like myself again, and I’m not even talking about my body. Pregnant women gain weight. Anywhere from 5 to 50 kgs depending on the woman, and to be honest, people need to get comfortable with it. Society needs to make it acceptable to be pregnant and not be required to stay in the gym three to four times a week.
So, you just gave birth and don’t have your body back? It’s okay. Instead of feeling pressured to snap-back, pat yourself on the back for what you’ve just accomplished. You’ve built, carried, and brought a human into the world. That’s outstanding. The rest of the world needs to manage its expectations, mommy. Don’t compare yourself to someone who may have a personal trainer, a stylist, and a nutritionist. Instead, serve them all the post-partum thickness mommy.