LET'S TALK: BODY CONFIDENCE AFTER BABIES
When I was pregnant, one thing that caught me completely off guard was the surge of confidence I felt. For the first time in my life, body changes felt not only acceptable, but encouraged! The fuller face, larger breasts, huge stomach? -All to be expected. It was very freeing, to say the least.
On the other hand, after giving birth, my confidence took a swift nosedive. I was not at all prepared to feel like such a stranger in my own skin. My breasts, which once made me feel sexy, now felt heavy and sore. My stomach felt scarred and deflated. Add sleep deprivation, raging hormones, and hair loss into the mix, and it felt almost too much to bear.
This isn't unusual. I now run a postpartum body confidence account, and women all over the world feel these things (to varying degrees), and oftentimes feel isolated. But the truth is, these struggles with postpartum body image are very common.
A few suggestions, coming from a c-section mom of 3:
- Allow yourself to feel these feelings. You are not "ungrateful" for having a hard time accepting body changes. You are simply human.
- Remember that this is a season. Just like this is likely not the season for going on lavish trips with friends or buying a pristine white couch for the living room - it is also perhaps not the season to have rock hard abs.
- What we take in on social media impacts us more than we realize. I recommend unfollowing/ muting accounts hyper-focused on quickly "bouncing back" (or any account that makes you feel stressed out or "less than" for whatever reason). You do not need that in your life.
- Finally, know that the people in your life love you, so let them be there for you. Chat with a girlfriend about these feelings (she can likely relate!), or with your partner. Personally, I confided in my husband, at which point he asked how he could support me. I requested he be more vocal, regularly, regarding the things he finds lovable or attractive about me. It helped! Whether he mentioned that he liked my booty or my laugh, it made me feel SEEN, and after you've had a baby, that can make all the difference.
This site is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. Please consult your physician or other health-care professional.