Pregnancy is a special thing. Women’s bodies are put through unimaginable processes that create a beautiful small life. Within this long and energy-consuming process, pregnant ladies can often feel like they have lost a piece of themselves, especially when they have to welcome the new body after the birthing process. Pregnancy as a whole can change your body permanently for the rest of your life, and this is not an easy truth to accept. Insecurities and a confidence decrease arise during times such as these. It is important to respect and love your body for everything that it has supported you through. It is okay to seek help for accepting your new body, and there are some ways you can begin to do this.
Take a look at our following suggestions that all women should be taking part in if they are facing insecurity with their postpartum bodies:
Give time for gratitude
First and foremost, you need to take time to give gratitude to yourself. As much as this new body of yours may feel like an outsider, you need to accept it as yours. Being kind and accepting of your new body is the only way you can begin the process of living your life without the weight of insecurity hanging on your shoulders. This does not mean to say that you should neglect any feelings of negativity, but instead, you should acknowledge them, nurture these feelings, and then move on. Wallowing in body insecurity is the fastest way to drive yourself into a deeper pit of sadness. Be kind, show gratitude for the amazing experience your body has just been through, and be kind when thoughts of negativity start to loom.
Skip the “bounce back” mentality
If you have ever experienced social media or been a participant in pop culture gossip, you have likely seen the ‘bounce back’ trends that circulate for influential celebrities who have just had babies. They snap back to their original figures and shapes, looking as if they have not just held a baby in their stomach for 9 months. The reality of these quick body changes is that they have expert personal trainers that show up to their homes, expensive dietitians, and also nannies who can look after their babies whilst doing this.
For the majority of us, this is not our reality, therefore you should not compare yourself with the celebrities that endorse this ‘bounce back’ culture. Your body needs time to rest and recover. Don’t be hard on yourself, especially when you are looking after your baby alone. Your time will be consumed by them, so avoid any unrealistic expectations and avoid looking at celebrities who have all the resources in the world in their hands. You are the real superwoman!
If you are looking to love your postpartum body, you need to give it time to recover. Your stomach muscles are quite separate during the time of your pregnancy, amongst all the other changes that occur. Wearing comfortable clothing during this time is essential to avoid feelings of discomfort.
There is no shame in wearing your maternity clothing once your beautiful baby has arrived it is encouraged! If you are attempting to wear the clothing you had before your pregnancy you are not doing yourself any favours. This can highlight more anxieties and insecurities. You should treat yourself to a new wardrobe of clothes you love that also make you feel comfortable after your baby has arrived. Go for soft, stretchy cotton materials that are kind to your and your baby’s skin when it’s time for cuddles.
Treat yourself when needed
Postpartum depression is very common among many women, therefore you should take time to nurture your mind and body when needed. Part of the recovery process is giving yourself time to adjust and find peace in your new body and life. You need to treat yourself every so often. This can be anything from new creams to nourish your body, to facials that will invite relaxation. Take some time to treat yourself, but do not feel forced to leave your newborn in the care of another if it is too soon.
Invite in health and wellness
Accepting and loving your new body is important, however, you should also be integrating health and wellness into your routine as you start to adjust. This means having lots of nourishment in the form of your diet and also engaging in exercise to strengthen your muscles and cardiovascular health. If you are looking to restore your body to a certain appearance, do not put too much pressure on yourself.
Most women never get their pre-baby bodies back, or perhaps they have a mummy makeover to completely change their bodies. Exercise with intention, but also understand that things may not be the same, and this is okay! The extreme diets that you see on the internet are not the answer. Instead, maintain a healthy daily practice that becomes a part of your overall lifestyle.
Overall, postpartum can be as difficult as the pregnancy. Learning to look after a newborn whilst also adjusting to a new life can be overwhelming, and being unkind to your body is just another stressor for the system. Begin to adjust and accept your new body for what it is, an exceptional part of you that is capable of doing amazing things!