The whole idea of accepting the postpartum body image is to move from the ‘socially or traditionally acceptable’ beautiful body to a ‘new normal’ beautiful body. To some extent, it may be true that a person with a beautiful body is socially more acceptable and may be successful too. That is why everybody runs after that perfect body.
However, just imagine that a person with a beautiful and attractive body goes for a speech but his words ditch him. Sounds familiar? Yes, we have all seen many instances where famous and attractive have faltered and fumbled in front of audiences. These celebrities put in hours to get that perfect physique, but fail to deliver a two sentence speech when the time comes.
Are they a good example for people like us to follow? Well, most prefer a person with an imperfect body making a powerful impact on the audience to get a thunderous applause. As mothers, that is how we are supposed to set standards for our children.
Invest in getting an unshakable confidence. Our children need to develop confidence that doesn’t change with the changing body. As parents, we should embrace our own bodies and our children will follow suit.
However, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t lead a healthy lifestyle. There is a huge difference in a fit body and a traditionally beautiful body. It may not be easy to shed the insecurities that arise from changes in the body after pregnancy, but it is not really difficult either.
Today, we share stories of a few women who give their perspective on their postpartum body along with our insight into embracing the post-pregnancy ‘new normal’ body.
15 Choosing Her Passion Over The Gym
Tawnya Faust, a blogger, shares her body embracing experience on her blog. She says she realized that her body is perfect every which way. She realized it only after the moment she couldn’t breathe anymore being obsessed with getting a six pack. She chose to pursue her passion of writing and photography to make herself happy once again.
Although she respects those women who sweat it out in the gym, she thinks that an exercising regime may not make every woman happy. She took time to realize that a post-pregnancy body isn’t important to her. She is in no way less strong than those women who make exercising their priority.
Every woman leads a different life and has different things that make them happy. A perfect may not be one of those things.
She has embraced her body and became free to delve into the real pleasures of her life. She says she knows her strengths and that is why she is strong.
14 Wearing The Tiger Stripes
Constance is a mother who proudly wears her c-section scar. She has a unique way of looking at a postpartum body. She presents one perspective on the ever-going debate on restoration of historic and famous artwork that has been damaged or vandalized. She says imperfections on a historical or famous piece of art becomes a part of their history.
These imperfections should be retained so they can tell their amazing stories.
She applies this outlook to her postpartum body as well, and says babies make a permanent mark on the canvas of the body and mothers should feel proud of it. Embracing the beautiful imperfections, now she just wants to be a strong mama. She loves the fact the carrying her baby has made her arms stronger.
She is no longer obsessed about her body after giving birth. She feels her body may have a loose tummy and wider hips, but it has created and given birth to a perfect little human being.
13 Being Graetful For The Motherhood Journey
A mother of twins thanks her friend for helping her embrace her body after pregnancy. The friend has been struggling to conceive for years and often says that she would give up anything to have a child. She wouldn’t even mind getting stretch marks, which so many women struggle to accept.
Stretch marks would remind her of what a woman’s body is capable of. It stretches even when there appears to be no more room. She adds that stretch marks are the beginning of motherhood. A mother has beautiful life to focus on and as she dissolves in the innocent life, the stretch marks also dissolve over time.
When we look at these stretch marks in the mirror, it should remind us to be grateful for this whole journey of motherhood that some women cannot experience. So let us appreciate what has been bestowed upon us.
12 Using Makeup To Hide It All
The 40s are the new 30s, and the 50s the new 40s. Women are getting better and better at using age-defying tricks. They look much younger, petite and active even in the later years. But who are these women?
Women who live in the public eye and have celebrity status have all the help in the world to look younger. How long can they do that? There comes a day when nothing can stop the mirror from telling the right age.
We can try and look perfect only until a certain age and then we cannot turn the clock back. At that moment, it would sound silly to worry about the body. May be at that juncture in life the most possible question that will be hanging in our minds will be about our achievements or successes.
The perfect body loses its significance with age and those who rise above focus on the body and instead focus on their minds, lead exemplary lives.
11 Loving My Baby And My Pooch
A mother confessed that she feels happy about her big tummy because it gives extra room to snuggle her baby. Well, that is one wonderful way to look at the tummy. It does provide extra warmth and comfort to a baby.
She further adds that she would think about losing her weight in future once she gets time, but at this moment she just wants to absorb the little baby as much as she can.
A growing child starts learning the ways of adults and slowly outsmarts the parents. Once he steps into adulthood all the innocence is lost. This stage of infancy will not come again. It is time to take as many pictures and videos as a parent can. It is time to record all the memorable moments in a journal.
As long as the mother is fit and active, the new size doesn’t matter. What matters is the fulfilment that a mother gets from her child.
10 Seeing Myself Through My Husband's Eyes
Most mothers feel unattractive after giving birth. They feel their husbands feel the same. But honestly, a husband’s opinion is often completely different from what she thinks.
Brett Ortler, a dad and husband, says that he loves his wife’s postpartum body because, when he looks at it, he sees his family, and his family makes life worth living every day. Also because, after everything he feels he has put her through, she still sleeps with him!
He further adds that he doesn’t care if his wife’s body has changed. His body has changed too. He became a hands-on dad after being a weightlifter and runner. Now he runs only when chasing his kids. Pregnancy doesn’t happen on its own. The father is equally responsible for it so he shouldn’t be criticizing the mom for her altered shape.
So mothers should feel happy that the father is no longer a teen looking for a sexy body, but a responsible man, equally busy parent, not obsessed by bodies anymore.
9 Wearing My Scars Proudly
All pregnancies are different. Some are complicated and labor can be traumatic. Some mothers literally have broken tail bones, severe lacerations, emergency c-sections and infections. The incredible part of labor is the most mothers win their battles and step out of the hospital as a different woman.
A mother cannot be spoken about in the same breath as another woman who hasn’t yet experienced childbirth. Having a petite body is far easier than giving birth and raising a child.
When asked what they would change given a chance, most mothers said that they wouldn’t change a thing about their pregnancy. Their battles made them who they are. A woman realizes her capabilities and profound strength after giving birth and she wouldn’t trade it for anything.
She is much more tenacious than a svelte non-mommy body. Like the kings told their heroic stories through their scars, moms should also wear them like a trophy.
8 Being The Role Model My Kids Need
Kelly, a blogger and a mother of three, posted her experience with hr postpartum body on her blog . She struggled with her body image and was not able to accept the fact that she couldn’t fit into her pre-pregnancy clothes anymore.
One day, while dressing up, in her frustration she bundled up a pair of pants and flung them across the room. Her two-year-old came up to her and asked if she’s okay. That was a moment of realization that she was modelling unhealthy behavior for her kids. She had called her body horrible and frowned at the belly in front her little one.
As parents, we teach our kids not to act out when they lose their temper. We reprimand them when we see things flying in the house. But they are watching us and learning from us every moment. Now, Kelly has resolved to talk about the body strength she gained after giving birth to them. She has finally accepted her new body.
7 By Giving My Family All My Love
Many mothers changed their body image in their minds the moment they realized that their family loves them the way they are. No matter what! Our kids give us unconditional love and make us feel important as we are the center of their universe.
A mother shares her story about when she went shopping after 3 months postpartum. She was very comfortable and happy in her skin until that day. By the time she was back home she developed negative thoughts about her flabby belly.
She couldn’t help but feel complete and beautiful looking at the face of her little baby who lit up and smiled at her when she returned. No flat tummy can give the joy of nurturing a baby.
After all, no one is perfect in this world. Everyone has some flaw. We just need to be a bit easy on ourselves and stop comparing ourselves to others.
6 Grieving A Short Time For My Pre-Pregnancy Body
It is not easy to get over a body that a woman was proud of. When it seems to be a daunting task to get back to the old self, it is natural to give up. Some women do feel miserable when they are unable to bounce back.
They accept the new body, but passively. Passive acceptance doesn’t bring the mind to peace with a situation. The sadness vanishes for sometime, but only to re-appear later.
It is okay to feel bad and miserable. Mourn over your old body once and for all. Cry if you want to, but not in front of your children. Take a break and release all the negative thoughts and dive into sadness. Then there will be a moment when the body will feel light.
Grieving will remove all the suppressed emotions and give rise to new a self-image and confidence. That moment will bring complete acceptance and the pain will vanish forever.
5 Looking Forward To The Next Phase Of Life
Some women move on easily and accept their new body. According to them, they enjoyed their teens and pre-motherhood phase by looking petite and sexy. Once motherhood begins, it is time to focus on better things in life.
It is time to bring changes in life that will help the children become more interested in exploring the world around them. These mothers are more interested in discussing history, art and architecture, literature and science with the family. They go and help other people.
These mothers focus on fitness rather than a perfect body. They prepare healthy food and exercise to invest in health rather than a flat tummy. This brings a balance in life and creates an example for the children. They care for the body, but do not stand in front of the mirror adoring or hating their bodies. A confidence that comes from the spirit and not body is unshakable.
4 Seeing My Baby As A Gift
Has anyone wondered why nature plays such a cruel joke on our bodies? It may not cruel in nature’s language, but that’s a story for another day. But it is a sign for mothers to move on from being stuck on how they look.
For a few months the baby needs every bit of mother’s care and love. As the baby grows, the body naturally lightens its scars and marks. It is an amazing natural process and takes time.
As they say, we have to lose something to gain something. To have a precious baby in our arms, mothers have to accept all the changes that happen in the body. Most of these changes are temporary. The good news is that anything can be changed with a little bit of an effort. Until then accept this new normal body and enjoy every little move of the newborn.
3 Embracing A Bigger Responsibility
Some women, rather than trying to embrace the new body, try to embrace the big responsibility of a child. They are busy making changes in their behavior rather than the body. Gone are the days when they were just responsible for themselves and led a life full of freedom. We did what we liked and acted on impulse.
No one should get into motherhood just to experience the joy of having a baby. It is much more than that. Each individual has a power to influence others to create a positive or negative impact in their lives.
A baby will eventually grow up and will have a family of his own and will communicate to make others’ lives either heaven or hell. He will learn every small mannerism from the parents. A lot depends on the parents on what kind of legacy the children are going to leave after them.
Mothers get a huge responsibility to raise a child to become an adult who is mature, sensible, independent, loving and responsible.
2 By Becoming Closer To Others
Some women confide about their new body image to their moms and sisters. Sharing with someone close creates an outlet for emotions. They love us with all our imperfections and provide comfort when we need it the most.
Our own mothers and sisters have also probably gone through the same phase. We can learn from their experiences of dealing with our postpartum body.
Go shopping with them and buy pretty clothes and lingerie for the new self. Try to buy something that can be worn even after losing pregnancy weight. Accessorize your wardrobe and try the camouflaging technique. Try not to get into the old clothes until a year and do not get onto the scale time and again.
Enjoy the time with the baby and take her out on a stroll and breathe fresh air every day. As the baby starts sleeping more, mama will get more and more time to get back into shape. Till then, stay strong, hang on and accept the new you!
1 Believing I've Been Transformed
Christina, a mother of two, says she had transformational experiences twice and each time she found that the ability to give birth and nurture a child is nothing short of a miracle. She says that nurturing a child gives boundless opportunities to grow mentally and spiritually.
This experience, according to her, is priceless. This change inside the body can happen only through motherhood. This is such a unique experience.
Any flaw in the body, stretch mark, weight gain is superficial and inferior to motherhood. Christina says motherhood makes her feel strong, powerful and blessed. It makes a mother realize endless possibilities in life and how we grow strong with each one of them.
She holds the opinion that a mother doesn’t just deliver a baby, but also her new self. Also, more than the labor, it is the process of caring for a child that makes a mother feel more contented and satisfied with her life.