It’s okay to not love your postpartum body, yes your body did an amazing thing – it grew and homed your baby for 9 months and that’s incredible but your new body can feel completely alien. There’s a lot of posts on social media telling us to love our body after having a baby and it is okay to not love it. It’s okay to look in the mirror and not recognise the body staring back at you.
Carrying a baby for 9 months does all sorts to your body – whether you gained 5 stone, didn’t put on any weight our bodies still change. Our once perky boobs are now not so perky (especially if your baby has sucked every ounce out of them), our stomachs and legs (and places we didn’t expect) have stretch marks on them, our hips are no longer were they used to be. This is okay.
When I first found out I was pregnant I naively thought I’d fit back into my pre pregnancy clothes straight away, I didn’t know I’d still look 6 months pregnant for a few weeks after having my baby. Finding time to go to the gym, eat healthy and get in 8 hours sleep is hard for a mum, it’s hard to make sure that you are looking after yourself. When you get half an hour of peace you have to choose, do I sleep? Do I shower? Do I workout? Do I clean? I know for me working out is always the last on the list because I have other things that prioritise that like my mountain of washing.
Whenever I see Facebook or Instagram posts telling me to love my postpartum body I feel angry and sad, I do not love my postpartum body. In fact I hate it. I feel guilty, should I love it? I grew my babies, yes amazing, incredible but also very hard and very straining on my body. I look back at pictures before I had my children, I was a size 10 and I remember feeling so fat, I remember going travelling and feeling sick whenever I wore a bikini. I thought people were constantly looking at me disgusted, I wasn’t fat at all. Now I look back and think how have I never been happy with my body? I would give anything to be the weight and size I used to be, but back then I wasn’t happy.
So if you’re like me and you don’t love your postpartum body, that’s okay. It’s okay to feel sad and angry and not feel like you. Don’t feel guilty when you read these posts telling us to love our bodies, one day we will. For me it’s now all about making my body healthy, yes I want to loose weight but my main aim is to be able to be healthy for my children. I eat healthy, I am just not fit but that’s changing. I am making sure I’m going on a walk everyday with the double buggy, I will go to they gym when I can which at the moment isn’t much but every little session helps. I am going swimming with the kids and I am making sure that I am just in general being more active.
Remember it’s okay not to love your postpartum body.