You survived morning sickness, swollen ankles, and maybe even preeclampsia. Pregnancy is difficult AND you did it! You are amazing so why don’t you feel like it? Why are you disappointed with your postpartum body?
If you are like me, then pregnancy is the largest (size & weight) you have ever been.
I didn’t feel miserable; however, I was uncomfortable. As a result, my third trimester was filled with lower back pain, chest pain, and restlessness. At forty weeks, I was past ready to have my baby, and still, my daughter didn’t want to come out. I went past my due date and when I finally gave birth it was the most pain I’d ever experienced – until breastfeeding (that’s another story).
My daughter was born and my life changed. My life changed and my body had changed too.
Prior to giving birth, stretch marks weren’t an issue and my breast sat up perfectly–without a bra! Then, pregnancy happened and I was plagued with postpartum body insecurities.
POSTPARTUM BODY INSECURITIES
Now that your baby is here, you may be looking in the mirror confused.
+Why haven’t the stretch marks disappeared? You used all the recommended creams, butters, and oils.
+Why aren’t your breasts still perky? Your milk production has dried up and those A|B|C|D cups are now sagging. What the heck?!!
+Why isn’t that coin bouncing off your ASS-ets like they did pre-pregnancy?
Well, mom, pregnancy isn’t nice to the idea of what our body should look like and that’s okay because the idea of what our bodies should be after birth is flawed.
- Our stomachs will not be flat soon as the baby comes out because the uterus needs time to shrink.
- The breast don’t go back to how they were pre-baby because there is likely colostrum and milk forming in there (filling and stretching).
Our bodies don’t need to change quickly, our expectations are the issue.
“Our bodies don’t need to change quickly, our expectations is the issue.”
Your body just grew a baby and although it may be different from what it was pre-baby. You, my dear, are beautiful.
Your pre-baby body is gone but not forgotten. Learn how to find peace with your new body.
FIND PEACE WITH YOUR NEW BODY
It’s okay to not have the body you desire after pregnancy but its more important to feel proud of what each
flaw change represents.
+ That stretch mark is there because your body needed to make more space for your beautiful baby.
+ That lower belly pouch is a reminder of your ability to carry a child in your body.
+ Those sags in your breast is where milk was stored to nourish your baby.
+ That scar is proof that you experienced something amazing.
You can wish all the changes away quickly but it is more useful to be kind to your current body. Show your body gratitude for the work that it has just done.
If you gave birth in the past 6 months, take it slow. Your body and hormones have to re-adjust. Your uterus has to shrink, the body has to heal. Rushing to the gym soon as you leave the hospital can be dangerous. Instead, let your body heal and adjust while you focus on being a mom to your sweet baby.
Once you’ve taken the time you needed and gotten approval from your doctor, start where you are (not where you were pre-baby) and decided what changes you’d like to work towards.
LOVE YOUR BODY
In this context, I’m talking about doing the things that help your body be better and do better. This includes:
Eat whole foods that give your body the energy it needs to support you as you heal. Don’t abandon those healthy eating practices you gained while pregnant.
Indulge in deep, snore-worthy, sleep as often as possible.
Follow a physician supported postpartum fitness routine to begin helping your body regain strength and tone.
When talking about your body, don’t always be a critic. I invite you to find things you like about your body and share those thoughts.
Let your wellness journey and your desire to get in shape be led by love for your body and not hate.
After giving birth I felt insecure but I took a step back and saw beauty in what I had just accomplished and who I had done it for (my baby girl).
It’s not easy but it’s time to give our bodies a break from self-inflicted criticisms. We will tell our children that they are perfect just the way they are; isn’t it time for us to believe that about ourselves?
- You are a mom now and you are amazing for birthing a child.
- There is nothing wrong with wanting to work on your new body but take it slow.
- Appreciate the changes that aren’t going away quickly and find the beauty in what you may think are flaws.
- Your baby will love you just the way you are.
- You aren’t alone.