We download the apps for conception, we read the books for pregnancy and we prepare ourselves for life as a new parent. We attempt to arm ourselves with as much knowledge and equipment to raise this tiny human as we physically can as we run in bewildered into the world of the new born. I am sure you are 100% prepared for this! Or are you? Did anyone mention or happen to tell you what you’re going to notice within yourself after you give birth? Has anyone actually first hand told you what to expect to see when you look in the mirror after childbirth. No, no one told me either. So here it is. The honesty, the raw information you need to know including preparing you on how to welcome in those new found wobbly bits ladies and gain post partum body confidence.
We spend our lives attempting to fit into societies framework of how we are ‘supposed’ to look. We try fad diets, couch to 5K programmes and all sorts of changes to help convince ourselves that our bodies are beautiful & in optimum health. We allow ourselves to become categorised by a shape like hourglass, pear, apple and so on but what about the shape of a mother. You’ve probably spent years perfecting your figure and learning to love yourself the way you are however you’re about to start the journey again.
When you have a baby your pre baby body shape will pretty much be gone. You will have created a new shape which more than likely will be the polar opposite to the shame you where before your beautiful bundle of joy came along. This however isn’t a bad thing at all so don’t panic however it’s the start along a very delicate journey of self acceptance that no one tells us women about. We pretty much have to learn to love ourselves and our bodies all over again including parts that we may not even be able to look at yet let alone accept.
Remember ladies this is not a sprint, its a marathon and its a slow and steady journey. Every women’s journey will be individual to them however were all going to be there with one another.
The first thing i would say you need to do is look in the mirror naked! That’s right mama get those girls out in full frontal view and look at yourself, look at the body that carried and birthed life into this world and before you say anything else i want you to feel gratitude towards this body, feel happiness that you managed something so beautiful and wonderful & don’t ever hate the vessel that carried a life because without it we wouldn’t have the next generation.
Now those wobbly bits – I know i know, i hear you shouting but honestly we ALL have them. Some in the same places and others in totally different. You don’t have to like them but you do need to accept them for what they are otherwise you wont be able to learn to accept yourself and new found shape. Your shape has changed so here’s what we do, we SHOP! Get your partner to have the baby or if your not ready then head online for the goodies and grab some garms because you need to figure out what works for your new founded shape and the only way to do that is to try it all on. Try on silhouettes you previously wouldn’t have even considered because trust me, you’ll be very surprised with what suits you now. Give yourself the time to do this and all the while learn about your body as you go.
As comfortable as they are girl we cannot live our lives in oversized tees and leggings – trust me tried it & it damaged my self esteem and mental health. I found about 18 months after my son was born i hated myself, so i drowned myself out in oversized tees and ill fitted leggings in the hopes i would wake up and feel differently and this just led to damaging mindsets and depression. I needed to make a change. So i did the on-line shopping business and learned my body had taken on a new shape that i actually learnt to love – The Mummy Shape! I wore jeans again, fitted tops, dresses and dumped the oversized shitty tees that where not doing me any favours and my self esteem began to rebuild, don’t get me wrong i didn’t LOVE my new wobbly bits but i took the time to accept that i have changed and I work with it instead of fighting against it and that’s the hardest part.
Some women will go through a phase where they mourn their pre baby body and i absolutely get that however don’t let that mourning turn into a depressive mind set, exchange it for determination and fuel to help you love yourself again. Lets not forget ladies we birthed a child, a full human was carried by us safely. We then delivered that child using our bodies . Let that sink in.
If you cannot find it within yourself to show your body some love right now because your journey is only just beginning i totally get that however the very least your body deserves is gratitude for doing what it has. There’s no one to teach us how to carry babies and deliver them, we are just guided by other peoples experiences and advise which in turn can be a far cry from what we experience. Essentially we are the ones with all the skills that we don’t even know we have yet. So be grateful that your body can adapt, change, grow and keep safe something so precious.
Now i don’t know about you but i have been left with some scars from my babies delivery and a handful of stretch marks. I was so relaxed in my pregnancy amount getting stretch marks however i know a lot of you worry about this aesthetic change but don’t worry yourself too much because the stretch marks carry a reminder of how incredible your body was to adapt, don’t look at them as ugly, horrible, obvious and silvery change you’re focus and look at them as inspiring, beautiful, strong & womanly. Those glittery silver streaks remind me daily of how my body adapted in one of the most beautiful ways it could. Embrace them and love them, don’t cover them up or hide. They are apart of you and you’re journey and story into motherhood.
Grab a piece of paper and notice how flat and perfect it is, now scrunch that bitch up and squeeze it to a inch of its life. Now flatten it out again and make it look the way it used to – It wont, no matter how hard you try because those creases left behind are reminders of how that paper had to adapt under intense change and pressure. They are a sign of survival & strength similarly to our stretch marks. Learning to love and accept them will change your relationship with how you see yourself & this will help you self esteem bundles. I promise.
We are incredible women, who achieve incredible things and one of those is carrying a life and birthing it and if that doesn’t make you honour your beautiful body then nothing will. You are beautiful just the way you are, wobbly bits and all. Loving yourself and self care is a journey so don’t rush yourself, travel at your own pace but if you do one thing positive every day let it be this – Remind yourself how beautiful you are even if you don’t feel it. Make this your daily mantra.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL & YOUR BODY IS INCREDIBLE!!