During pregnancy and the postpartum months, our bodies go through some radical changes. It is incredible how our bodies were made by God to adapt and accommodate a six to twelve-pound human. It still boggles my mind that my body did that…twice. Women are truly amazing.
However, it doesn’t feel so magical when we look in the mirror after our baby is born and don’t recognize the body that we see. “What is THAT!?” you think, “and when will it go away?”
THAT is the new you, at least for now. Some of the changes in your body might never go away no matter what you eat or how much you work out. And that’s assuming you even have the TIME to workout and cook slimming, healthy meals all the time. Life is so crazy with kids.
I’ve lost most of the weight from my second baby, but my stomach muscles are pretty much nonexistent now. After growing two nine pound kiddos, I look low key pregnant as soon as I eat a hearty meal.
Not just my stomach has changed. I need to wear a much more supportive bra then before. My breasts have lost a lot of perk after eighteen months of pregnancy and fifteen months of nursing.
My thighs are bigger. My shoe size is larger. My wedding ring is too tight. My butt has grown. My waist is not well defined. And hello, cellulite and stretch marks. Everything has changed. I can’t even zip up my wedding dress anymore.
I found it very difficult to accept these changes for a long time.
However, I believe that it is extremely important for us to not only accept, but LOVE our post-baby bodies.
Here I am 38 weeks pregnant with my second baby. For a long time, I hated this picture because I look like a dumpling.
We need to stop expecting so much of ourselves. Even if we only have one child, our bodies will be permanently changed. And with every baby after that, the changes become more pronounced. It is unrealistic of us to think that we have to look like we did pre-baby. Stop and think of the extreme changes that need to happen for a child to grow and be birthed from your body. It is a true miracle. Give your body the respect it deserves.
I’m not saying that we should give up on how we look and pig out on chocolate sundaes and gummy bears (unless you’re on your period, in which case, GO FOR IT). We still need to put effort into ourselves by eating as healthy as we can. You won’t feel good about your body if all you feed it is junk. We need to do the best we can with the time and money we have and be ok with how things end up.
Society has their standard of what is considered beautiful…a thin toned body, perky breasts, and definitely no sagging skin or stretch marks. But I believe the most beautiful woman is someone who has brought life into the world. She’s a part of something much more important than maintaining the perfect figure…something that will last when she is past her better years.
Sometimes I walk past an 18-year-old girl without a shred of loose skin on her body, remembering when I looked like that, and I’m tempted to be ashamed. What an unhealthy attitude for me to have. It’s something I do not want to pass on to my future daughters. My body has nurtured two children, both in my belly and at my breast, for a total of 33 months. Of course, I’m going to look different. I would never trade that to have my old body back. I love my baby body. It’s accomplished something spectacular.
I want to encourage you to embrace your extra weight, stretch marks, cellulite, and general looseness. Every mother wants her children to feel comfortable and confident in their body. What better way to accomplish that goal than to model it ourselves? By listening to our conversations, our children will clearly see what we value as beautiful. If they hear us complaining about the things we dislike about ourselves, they will be likely to do the same about their bodies as they grow up. We need to model an attitude of positivity when it comes to our bodies, and our children will grow up to be confident adults, no matter how their body changes.
You are beautiful. Don’t ever forget that.
First time on the blog? Click here