Loving Your Postpartum Body
I feel the need to start off this post with a DISCLAIMER:
I think everyone is beautiful in their own way. I don’t think there is a “right” way to look because I think there’s beauty in diversity. All of the thoughts I am going to express in this blog post are personal issues I have with myself. We are all our own worst critic.
I am writing this for anyone out there who struggles with their postpartum body - or even if they haven’t had children this will still apply to them!
It’s so hard for me to be this vulnerable but I hope by being totally candid in this post I can help someone out there!
And please, if anything comes across the wrong way let me know so I can fix it. I do not want to offend anyone!
When I first found out I was pregnant with Izzy, I was so excited to get a baby bump. I thought the only changes that would really happen was that my belly was going to grow and my boobs would just get a little bigger.
BOY WAS I WRONG.
While I was pregnant and even while breastfeeding I never felt like my body was my own. I was always thinking of Izzy and what I was eating and how I was taking care of myself. When I was breastfeeding I always had to make sure I was around Izzy to give her milk (because she very rarely ever got bottles) and if I wasn’t around her I worried the entire time about having to pump.
On top of feeling like my body was not my own, I was dealing with so many changes in my body. I gained weight not just on my belly, but my arms, legs, chin and face. I have a few rolls on my back now from my skin stretching. My boobs are saggy. I have stretchmarks and I honestly just don’t feel like how I used to. I will look in the mirror and not even recognize myself.
(And no I am not complaining, nor am I putting down people for the way they look. I am just stating what is different about my body.)
I didn’t realize that pregnancy came with so many changes for your ENTIRE body. Then postpartum came with so many other changes like hair loss, sweating, and my body just looking totally different. I thought I would “snap back” - and when I didn’t I was devastated.
I told myself the weight would go away from breastfeeding - but it didn’t.
I looked at myself in the mirror and I just hated the way I looked. I commented all the time on how “bad” I look and how I feel so big now. Collin always told me I am crazy… but it is so hard to not feel this way when your body doesn’t feel like your own anymore.
I avoided pictures like the plague, and when I would take them I would delete most of them. I hated looking at photos of me because it made me feel even worse about myself.
But one day I told myself - that my body did a miraculous thing. It grew my baby girl.
My body nurtured my baby girl my entire pregnancy, then for 14 months afterwards while she breastfed. That is a MIRACLE.
I told myself that everyone is beautiful just the way they are and it doesn’t matter if I look different than before. I am different. I am a mommy now to a perfect little girl and I don’t want her growing up thinking she needs to look a certain way to be proud of her body.
Of course I am still struggling with these issues, but I am more aware of it now and try to stop myself from thinking these negative thoughts. I make a conscious effort to be kind to myself.
I think it is so important to love your postpartum body even more than your pre-pregnancy body. Your postpartum body has gone through a lot. Every stretch mark has a story to tell. Every pound was gained for a purpose. And it doesn’t matter if you ever “snap back” because you are BEAUTIFUL!