Are you trying to get fit after twins and having a hard time? Hear about how one mom worked on her post twins body on her own time frame.
As expecting and new moms, we observe so much emphasis on social media, Hollywood, TV, etc. of “Look how quickly these women dropped their baby weight!” It puts immense pressure on new moms to simply bounce back with their post twins body.
Caring for your post twins body
Plot twist – it’s twins! I could just picture the stretch marks racing down my stomach. We watch superstars like Beyonce lose the twin weight, no problem. We forget it is likely with tons of help, money, and cosmetic procedures. In our culture, there’s so much pressure to “bounce back” immediately after giving birth — it’s being normalized all around us — that we don’t talk about when our twin postpartum and weight struggles continue after the first year.
As twin moms, we do our best to downplay our stress, plaster on a smile, and assure everyone that, “We got this!”. It’s not until 3.5 years later (still dealing with difficulties from my pregnancy), that I can see more clearly the hell I went through.
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To put it into perspective, I had just undergone my first major surgery (awake), had two babies simultaneously (cut from me — I know, dramatic,) not much help through the night from the nurses, and then sent home within 3 days. I’m lucky that that is all that happened to me. I can’t imagine what the twin moms who have NICU babies or surgery and delivery complications endure. Let’s not forget the hormonal roller coaster moms go on. This can all wreak havoc on the average moms post twins body.
Postpartum is HARD!
At home, I couldn’t stand for a week and my pain medication wasn’t working. On top of recovering from surgery, I was expected to take care of and feed two infants 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To say the least, we all go through a superhuman amount of trials in the first days/weeks as twin moms.
Over the next weeks and months, we start to regain ourselves mentally and physically. Some moms rebound quickly and some mamas are more gradual with their comeback. Others have postpartum depression and anxiety to deal with and many moms don’t rebound physically within that first year.
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I’m 3 years down the road and still struggling. Being 5’1″ and carrying my twins to 38 weeks was too much of a strain on my back. I waddled into the OR the day they were born weighing 205 pounds and my stomach measured close to 45 weeks pregnant. I had to keep telling myself it was all for the health of my boys every time someone made me step on a scale or measured my belly. Everyone told me to not worry about my flabby tummy and stretch marks until after the birth. I would bounce back, they said. That time came quicker than I welcomed, and my post twins body didn’t “bounce back”.
When my boys turned one, I was still in maternity jeans. By that time, I felt not only defeated, but my back issues had only gotten worse since giving birth. I just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t naturally back to where I was pre-twins. Why couldn’t I bounce back? I felt like all did was run here, there, and everywhere to go visit different specialists, all for the hope of some relief for my back; just to start experiencing some sort of “normal” again.
The first year may not be conducive to getting your groove back
The first year I was solely in survival mode with all the appointments for the boys and myself with my health and postpartum depression. As the terrible twos roared on in our house, I could feel myself still wanting to eat like I was nursing two children (I had stopped pumping at 8 months). I wasn’t active and went back to a stressful job for a few hours a week to “get out of the house”. Talk about a rut.
I attempted several programs to jumpstart myself back to my pre-twin condition. By this time, I was determined to not get sucked down the black hole of being a mom. I attempted the NOOM App, going back to my gym, working out at home, pushing the boys in the stroller more, and I’m sure many other methods I blocked from my memory.
Every time I tried, I felt failed. Not to mention having two babies going through their own therapies and appointments. The outcome was more and more stress and comfort eating. Let’s just say my life motto started to be, “I eat because I’m unhappy and I’m unhappy because I eat,” and “Sweatpants are all that fit me right now.” I could never find the balance of taking care of everyone, all my responsibilities, and then somehow find the time and energy for myself.
As my twin boys grew, I numbed myself with food. It wasn’t until I saw a photo of myself from a zoo outing that I realized how bad it was. I had done what I promised myself I wouldn’t do: let myself get unhealthy. It was a rock-bottom of sorts. It was time to re-examine my habits.
I hit my turning point
Almost a year later, I am a little more than 40 pounds lighter than I was in the zoo photo. I finally broke the cycle and lost not only my baby weight but an additional 20 pounds, and gained a new mindset on life. I’m proud I can finally say I have been able to bounce back, and then some. I can now fully embrace my post twins body.
It wasn’t easy, I think part of me put off doing it for so long was because I knew it was going to be strenuous, but my goal to be a fit, upbeat mom was important for me, and most of all, my kids. After a health professional suggested yoga, I finally got a babysitter and the courage and did it. I was finally really ready to work on my post twins body.
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My life was changed forever from that first hot yoga class. The way it made me feel not only physically, but mentally had such a profound effect on me. Over the next couple of months, I fought hard to fit yoga into my busy twin mom life. I fell in love with the workout, the added mental health benefits and luckily my instructor is the most encouraging and kind mentor I’ve ever had.
A healthy mama is the best thing you can give your twins
All of a sudden, I enjoyed working out. That made my goal to bounce back more attainable. I actually wanted to go and take care of myself, which was a foreign concept. My health was on the back burner for so long, I had to keep telling myself the time away from the boys was beneficial for all of us.
It wasn’t until I buckled down and examined my diet and incorporated it with doing yoga 5-6 days a week did I start to experience results by doing a 40-day yoga program with Baron Baptiste. I started off small, doing 20 minutes a day and over the next 6 weeks increased how long I practiced. I not only lost weight but felt stronger!
Finding what makes you want to work is the key
Find something that energizes and revitalizes YOU! If it doesn’t make you happy, there’s not much motivation to go out there and be active. The above-mentioned activities that I failed at might be your jam! I need to acknowledge it’s so arduous to implement a plan when you have little babies. It wasn’t until my boys got closer to age three that I could step away from them for an hour to squeeze in a workout.
What pushed me this entire time was my twins. I never wanted to not go and do an activity with them because I was self-conscious or not fit enough. Along the way, the most stunning doors have opened for me, and I’ve set goals I never foresaw being obtainable. Being 40 pounds lighter is just the cherry on top of this crazy twin life sundae.
I share this with you not to bemoan of my pains or boast of my progress, but to nudge and motivate you! You will accept and embrace your own post twins body in your own time, as my yoga instructor would say. Whatever you have been putting off since giving birth to your twins, whether it’s losing weight, changing careers, education, a hobby, you name it, go and get it, girl! Having twins has pushed us all into different, uncomfortable, and unfamiliar places. Choose to utilize it as a way to rejuvenate you and your life. We all love a good ‘HGTV’ or ‘The Home Edit’ glow up, this time let it be for yourself!
Katie Snyder is a stay-at-home twin wrangler who spends most of her days being force-fed Goldfish crackers while watching Sesame Street (her favorite character is Ovejita). Katie and her husband, Joe, live in Pennsylvania with their 3-year-old twin boys, Henry and Barrett, and their two chihuahuas. One of their favorite family activities is going to Wegmans. Katie, a former preschool teacher and curriculum director, enjoys sharing her love of literacy with her twins. Their favorite book is “Goodnight Moon”.
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