Your body has done something amazing. From conception, it created a place for your baby. It provided security, nutrition, and comfort. After birth, it nourished, cared for, and raised your baby(ies). No matter the stretch marks, c-section scar, extra weight, flabby belly, or dark under-eyes, your body is phenomenal. Despite the wondrous things it’s done, the changes that take place during and post-pregnancy can make it hard for you to love your body after pregnancy.
I remember when I first found out I was pregnant, I was scared and terrified of the unknown. I never expected to be a mom, let alone a single mom to twins. In the beginning, my body did not change as much and I didn’t experience too much morning sickness. However, as my pregnancy progressed, my body began to change. From larger breasts to swollen feet, it was clear that my body was changing to accommodate the lives that were forming inside me.
During my pregnancy, I was in awe of the changes that were taking place. I was mesmerized at how incredible the human body is and how pliable it was. When I gave birth to my twins, I fell more in love with the way my body adjusted from carrying them to now nourishing them. Every time my twins suckled at my breasts, I felt proud that my body could produce what they needed to survive and thrive.
However, I struggled with postpartum depression during my first few months and I relied on junk food to keep me going because caring for twins alone was really stressful and demanding. It took me a while to realize just how much my body had changed. The lack of sleep, too much sugar, and lack of exercise were evident throughout my whole body.
Despite posting YouTube videos where I get on camera, I was ashamed of what my body had become. I felt embarrassed that I allowed myself to get to this stage. I had allowed other things, including my children, to come before my wellbeing. Furthermore, I was afraid of how my body would look like if and when I finally lost the baby weight.
Granted, I am still working on my weight loss, but I have learned to love and appreciate my body despite the changes that have taken place. I realize that the changes came as a result of giving life to two beautiful boys and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
In this post, I hope to share with you some of the things you can do to love your body after pregnancy and exercise grace for the moments you have not cherished your body as you should.
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Learn To Love Your Body After Pregnancy
1. Embrace Your New Body
You won’t get back the body you used to have before you became pregnant. There is no way to reverse the changes that have taken place to create the human(s) you brought into this world. So instead of focusing on “getting my body back” why not focus on taking care of the one you have?
I know it may seem unfair because there are women who go through pregnancy and emerge with their bodies seeming unchanged. Apparently they were able to maintain their shape during the pregnancy and didn’t gain that much weight. Lucky them, haha.
Despite the outside appearance of things, our bodies do go through a significant change during pregnancy and whether or not some show it is irrelevant. Embrace the body you currently have and learn to love the changes that have taken place.
2. Practice Self Care and Treat Your Body Right"Self-care is doing what makes you happy and human so you don't get lost in your role as a mother." Click To Tweet
This is an area that I still struggle with. As a single mom, it’s hard to carve out time for self-care. There are so many demands on our time that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. We make sure everyone else is good while neglecting ourselves.
However, it’s important that you make yourself a priority. Find ways to prioritize self-care in your life. Whether it be reading your favorite book, taking a stroll, indulging in a glass of wine, or locking yourself in the bathroom for 10 minutes. Do what it takes to make you happy.
Self-care is doing what makes you happy and human so you don’t get lost in your role as a mother. Your kids will gain more from you when you are better-taken care of that when you are burnt out, overwhelmed, and exhausted all the time.
One of the best ways to start loving your body is by treating it right. Start working out and as you do, you’re body will change, you’ll lose extra pounds and begin to tone up. Stop feeding your body junk that it doesn’t need and start filling it with nutritious foods that will promote better skin and give you more energy.
If you struggle with depression, take care of your mental health. Whether it’s journaling or talking to a counselor, take the necessary steps to ensure you are okay.
Get enough sleep, drink your water, take your vitamins. Your kids will learn to take care of themselves as they see you taking care of yourself. So make sure you are treating YOU right.
3. Laugh About It
I always joke to myself that after pregnancy and breastfeeding, my boobs said “bye-bye” and my stomach said “hello there”. This is one of those moments where you laugh at yourself inlue of crying, haha. Because if you spend too much time thinking about what you’ve lost, you won’t want to get out of the house or get naked in front of another man again.
So what if your once perky breasts are now deflated balloons that sit on your chest (or stomach)? Actually, this one is too close to home.
Laugh about it and accept it for what it is. And I don’t mean make fun of yourself or allow others to make fun of you. Rather, there are some changes that take place that you either laugh at or cry about. Like the fact that some women pee a little when they sneeze now because their pelvis expanded to produce a baby… these moments are worth laughing about, not crying over.
4. Appreciate What It’s Done
Your body has done something amazing! In 9 months, it has formed and nurtured a cell into a little human! Your body created a home for this baby and nurtured it to birth and during birth, it opened up and produced a baby. That is pretty dope!
So instead of comparing your amazing mom bod that has done wonders to a supermodels’ body that may not have accomplished what yours has, learn to appreciate what it’s done. Look at your kids and realize that you gave them a chance at life and your body was the vessel through which they found life.
Look at all the moments your body carried you through. All the sleepless nights that you still functioned because your body knew what to do. The days when you didn’t have any energy but you still got things done! That was you and your body bossing it! And that is something to appreciate!
Instead of criticizing yourself or body or feeling sorry for yourself, feel proud and embrace everything about you. Including the scars and cellulite.
5. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others"Comparison is the thief of joy." – Theodore Roosevelt Click To Tweet
Stop comparing yourself to other moms or other women. Sure there are some moms who managed to work out throughout their whole pregnancy and so they had an easier time losing the baby weight than you did. Yes, some moms bounce back faster than others.
However, realize that we are not all the same. Just because someone else was able to recover quickly doesn’t mean that you should too. Take the time to heal and get yourself to a better state. It doesn’t matter if it takes you a year or two months.
What are some of the steps you’ve taken to ensure you are loving your post-baby bod? Let me know in the comments!
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