Having a baby comes with a lot of joy, but as I am sure you know, it can also come with a lot of stress, depression, and sometimes even hate for yourself and your postpartum body.
So how do you learn to love your postpartum body?
Loving your postpartum body takes work. And time. It takes work and time. Speaking from my own experience, this isn’t something that happens over night. But if you are willing to actively put in the work, the results are well worth it! (Sounds like we’re about to discuss your future work out plan huh? LOL). Whether you’ve had a c-section or a home birth, our bodies go through so many changes post pregnancy and learning to embrace these can be easier said than done.
Steps to loving your postpartum body
What’s the first thing I suggest in learning to love your postpartum body? Changing your self talk. This is really important. What you say to yourself about yourself basically shapes how you feel about yourself. Makes sense, right?
Start with correcting yourself whenever possible. If you look in the mirror and your first thoughts are “Ugh, my stomach is horrible.” Immediately correct that with something like “my stomach held my amazing child for 9 months and these are the marks to prove it and I love them.” But keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be this amazing love song to your body every time. Baby steps mama, baby steps.
What’s important is that you are training your mind to rethink what it sees when you look in the mirror. Small adjustments like these have a major impact.
Loving your postpartum body takes determination
It may not be easy to actively correct yourself every time you think or say something negative about your postpartum body, but it is definitely necessary. It is vital that you continue recognizing and then correcting negative self talk whenever possible. So what if you’re not totally in love with your body and saying things like, “Omg, stomach you’re a rock star and I love you” aren’t up your alley?
Loving your postpartum body means accepting it
Start by accepting the body you have now. All the stretch marks, wrinkly stomach, saggy boobs, all of it. I know there’s this Mommy Makeover that some mothers have gotten to give their postpartum body a facelift, so to speak. But that’s just it. Your body doesn’t need the make over. Your mind does. Accepting who you are and what your body looks like because of it has to happen. Well, I mean, unless you plan to spend well over $5k to change that.
For anyone who doesn’t, start by saying things like, “My body is okay the way it is.” This simple thought said out loud change seriously change how you view your postpartum body. And again, that’s the key. Changing how you view your body.
Stop wishing you had your old body back
It’s over mama. I’m sorry to break it to you. But you’ve had a baby, maybe more than one. Your body has seen some ish. It’s been through some ish and what you see when you look in the mirror is what it is now. Come to grips with that. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I’ll admit I’m still a little shaky about wearing a bikini with no cover up, but I have moved past trying to look like the old Jazmyne. I’ve found a new confidence in who I am today. Don’t dwell on the past, it’s only good when it comes to learning from your mistakes. Period.
My final piece of advice for learning to love your postpartum body…
Ask your husband / significant other. If they are worth anything I’m sure they see way more then what us moms ever do. Seriously, ask them.
I asked my husband this exact question:
“Babe, what do you like about my body? As in, since we’ve had children and my body has changed from when we met to now, what do you like physically about my postpartum body?”
His response; “Your butt.” He’s such a lame. But then he went on to say “I admired your body’s strength and resilience. Even after four children, and 40 months of growing, building, stretching, tearing, your body continues to push forward. Wearing its scares as badges and continues to evolve.”
If that doesn’t make you look at your postpartum body any different then I don’t know what would.
Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves we can’t see what’s right in front of us. And it takes what others see to help us correct our own vision.
P.S bonus tip, learning to love your body post pregnancy also means learning to love your motherhood. It’ll look different for everyone and the sooner you accept that the better. Do what works for you and your family.