Do you love your postpartum body? Here’s my story.
Within the first few weeks of being a new mama, I left the house a very few times. When I did, I noticed a trend. The first thing people would say to me, after cooing over the baby of course (childish smile), was about my body.
“You look great for having just had a baby!”
They were obviously lying.
Between the hormonal sweats, dark circles under my eyes, and inability to fit into either regular or maternity clothes, “great” is not the word I would use to describe the way I looked.
The thing is, I really didn’t care that I looked like a zombie that just went for a swim.
Don’t get me wrong, I love dressing nicely and having my hair and makeup done. It brings me joy. That being said, those first few months of motherhood are a major exception when it comes to how we present ourselves. The way we look right after having a baby tells a story of healing and transition. It’s a beautiful mess that loves a full embrace.
What if we took the focus off of our looks and onto the incredible things that we are doing as new mothers?
Now that I’m a mama, whenever I see a new mom all I want to do is tell them how amazing they are…and maybe give them a hug. Seriously. I’m that girl. I’d totally do it.
WHAT ABOUT THE “BABY WEIGHT?”
I struggled a bit with body image through my teen and early college years. I think it’s fair to say that most girls do. Learning about true health, real food, and living a holistic lifestyle has been a huge game-changer when it comes to how I view my body. Nevertheless, I think that it can be really easy for women to revert back to that negative place when we are no longer carrying a baby, but still carrying the weight.
I found comfort in understanding how important that extra weight really is.
What we refer to as “baby-weight” is just our body’s way of storing fat and nutrients to support mama and the new baby. In those first few months, while we are trying to stabilize our milk supply, the body is continuously relying on the extra weight in order to keep everything running.
On those days when all we had was half a piece of beef jerky because we were busy tending to baby, we rely on those stores. When the baby is going through a growth spurt and demands more milk than usual, our body turns to the “weight”. As long as we are choosing nourishing foods then the extra weight we have post-baby is perfectly healthy and even necessary.
If you are not breastfeeding, the weight is still helping to support you as a back-up energy reserve as you heal and adjust!
BUT WILL IT GO AWAY?
I’d be lying if I said I never had fleeting moments of heartache while looking at the pants that my postpartum body, especially my widened hips, had no chance of fitting into. At the same time, I started to really enjoy and embrace my womanly figure. I wasn’t a girl anymore. I was a strong, powerful, baby-makin’ mama.
In my experience, as long as women are nurturing their bodies through healing food and love, nearly everyone gets back or close to a holistically healthy weight (unless there are underlying issues). It does, however, take time…and a little bit of that self-love!
IT IS POSSIBLE TO LOVE YOUR POSTPARTUM BODY MORE THAN YOU DID BEFORE?
Sure, my breasts aren’t as perky, my skin’s not as tight, my butt isn’t as “voluptuous” and my belly button is double the size it used to be (how does that even happen?!) but this body made life!
I have a love and respect for my body that I never had before. Each “imperfection” is just a reminder of what my kids and I have been through together. It’s a signature of a bond that can never be broken.