10 In Motherhood/ postpartum/ Support

Learning to love my postpartum body

We were on our first vacation as a new family of three.  I was getting ready for the beach and putting on my new one-piece bathing suit when my husband said to me “You look so beautiful.”
“Seriously can you just stop?” I replied as I gave him a look of disgust.
“I wish you were more confident in yourself and could see how incredible you are” my husband said to me.  Looking back, I have always struggled with poor body image.  I’ve never been comfortable being in a bathing suit or wearing shorts. Even when I was fit and toned when I was younger and in high school, I had pictures of thin celebrities plastered everywhere as a “motivator” to myself of how I should be.

Now motherhood has made my skin sag in certain places, I have a permanent scar on my bikini line from my c-section, my stretch marks on my breasts are like a road map, and I still have lumps in my behind from all those fertility injections.  I remember being freshly postpartum and feeling how jiggly my belly was, grabbing my skin that hung over my incision and thinking “I hope breastfeeding sucks me back in”.

But I am learning to love this new body and starting to change my perspective.

Instead I look at all the amazing things this body has done.  For 9 months it was a vessel, growing and nurturing a beautiful life.

Instead I see my postpartum body as a beautiful reminder of my strength, all that I went through to get pregnant and bring my precious son into the world. 

When I look at my saggy tummy I remember how incredible it was watching my belly swell as life grew and how it felt to feel life moving inside.

My breasts deflated and nipples calloused are reminders of the sleepless nights nourishing my baby and the sacrifices I made.

I see selflessness of a mother and how I continue to put the needs of my son first. Instead of sessions at the gym I’m home doing endless loads of laundry, preparing meals or snuggling my sweet boy.

But I think the most important thing about learning to love my postpartum body is I can teach my son to respect women’s bodies and that this is what normal looks like – not those photoshopped images of women in magazines.  I can be an example of a woman who is comfortable in her own skin and for that I am grateful.

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Ashley Ancker
    September 25, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    I think every mom has that moment after their baby is born where you are in this weird stage of saggy skin and deflated belly. I remember after having my daughter my hands naturally went to my belly, forgetting she wasn't in there anymore. And instead of feeling a little kick I felt a deflated stomach. I love my body and the life it created. I'm still in awe that we have the ability for nine months to create a little human being. Our bodies are truly incredible.

  • Reply
    Nicolle Mallinson
    September 25, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Yes I did the same thing! I remember saying "I miss not feeling these little kicks anymore". But watching my little boy grow has been the most incredible thing! <3

  • Reply
    Monica Stephens
    September 26, 2017 at 2:03 am

    What a sweet post. The changes our bodies have gone through to grow these tiny humans. We should wear our "birthing scars" with pride. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    hellolittlepeepers
    September 26, 2017 at 3:02 am

    My body has never been the same after kids. But I remember after my first having this huge mental shift and quit worrying about the little details of my body and just felt super powerful and female.

  • Reply
    Kayla Peloquin
    September 26, 2017 at 5:35 am

    The first few months postpartum are the toughest! Maternity clothes no longer fit, but neither do 'pre-pregnancy' clothes either. It takes 9+ months to make a baby yet we all expect it to come off quicker than that. I am learning to love my postpartum body too! I know it won't ever be the same, but growing two babies is pretty special and miraculous!

  • Reply
    WindyCarlson FamilyFoodAndDinosaurs
    September 29, 2017 at 1:22 am

    It definitely takes a while to become comfortable with your new body. Thank you for putting into words what so many women are feeling!

  • Reply
    Nicolle Mallinson
    October 8, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    So happy you enjoyed it Monica! We should all be proud for what our bodies have accomplished.

  • Reply
    Nicolle Mallinson
    October 8, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Yes I agree I definitely think it takes time to come to that place where we can stop worrying about how different our bodies are and feel powerful!

  • Reply
    Nicolle Mallinson
    October 8, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    So very true, why do we expect it to come off in 9 months? How old is your little one Kayla?

  • Reply
    Nicolle Mallinson
    October 8, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    So glad you enjoyed it!

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