“You Still Look Pregnant!”
Childbirth and motherhood are experiences that words really can’t describe well enough. It’s something you have to be apart of and see to really grasp how monumental it is. Housing a human is one of the most craziest things to go through from the moment conception happens. The changes a woman goes through emotionally, mentally, and physically are life changing.
Some pregnancies are harder and easier than others and I’m not just talking physically. I think we forget that many things impact experiences like support, current life circumstances, and so much more. My pregnancy was in the middle. not too bad, not all good. My ‘morning sickness’ was any time of the day sickness up until about 13 weeks, I was working retail in my early pregnancy and standing on my feet all day did not mix well with growing a baby. The back pain was unmatched, my hormones had me emotional 90% of the time, and things were taking place in my life that added on to the physical and mental pressures I was already feeling.
I went into labor at 38 weeks and 6 days on May 13th, Mother’s Day 2018, the best day ever. After 18 hours of labor I cried tears of joy and relief to hear the sounds of my son crying. When everything began to die down and those who supported me through labor started to leave for the night I was left with my newborn, my child’s father, and my thoughts. Even through all the excitement I was experiencing I couldn’t help but to notice my stomach as I stood for the first time. I’m a fairly positive person who practices self-love and care daily but the many changes my body went through still threw me off and caused me to observe myself under a microscope. It looked like this foreign object that just drooped away from my body. It was darker than any other part of my body, wrinkled, and reminded me of free form jello just hanging out on my midsection. I tried not to think about it much but it was just there, I felt it, I could see it. When I showered for the first time in the hospital and got to look at my body naked for the first time it was strange. I now had this flabby little pouch that I could hold in my hands. I wasn’t used to having extra skin or extra weight in my stomach area without a baby taking residence. It didn’t help that people around me were going “mine didn’t look like that” and then the dreadful, “You still look pregnant.” So now not only was I effected physically, but mentally.
Some women also experience ‘diastasis recti’ which isn’t talked about as often as it should be. Women don’t know that it can be an outcome of childbirth, there’s no warning sign to prepare yourself for the possibility. In short, it’s a gap in between your right and left abdominal wall muscles that can result in a rounded, protruding belly. There are slight and severe cases where some can be fixed by exercising and some not at all. You can read more about it here.
There aren’t any set rules on how to lose baby weight or postpartum stomachs, yes, breastfeeding helps but not everyone can or chooses to breastfeed. Working out sounds great but you can’t jump right into working out after giving birth. There are tons of products geared towards helping you lose weight but ultimately what works for you may not work for someone else. Don’t compare, do your research and see what works best for you.
Loving and accepting your body is a process even when you aren’t pregnant or have gone through the experience of childbirth. If you’re dealing with accepting your postpartum body or body in general, and scrolling through social media comparing how you look to others, stop right now. A lot of people only show the good, or their body after they’ve gotten work done or put the work in to change it. No one wants to show themselves at a vulnerable state but the real, and the normal should be talked about. Give your body time, space, and extra love and care to heal. Stomach muscles need time to recover, your body needs time to recover, regain strength, and restore energy. Try looking at the reality of things and not your emotions so much. You housed a human you bad ass. Erase those negative thoughts and turn them positive. Find beauty in what you may call your ugly, even if means you only find beauty in the experience. Give your body and yourself credit where credit is due. Focus on your transition into motherhood and not the number on the scale or your outer appearance those things can be worked on, comparison is a thief of happiness and joy.
Ways To Fall in Love With Your Postpartum Body:
- Give it time.
- Don’t hold yourself to your pre-pregnancy weight and physical appearance.
- Get active and set new goals.
- Do not compare your postpartum body with any other moms’ postpartum bodies (especially celebrities). Do not measure the speed at which other moms are losing their “baby weight” against your progression and timeline.
- Talk about the feelings you have about your body with your partner or a trusted friend/family member who will remind you to be kind and gentle with yourself, and remind you of your inner and outer beauty.
- Accept that your body may never be the same after giving birth as it was before you gave birth, just like your outlook on life and the love you have in your heart.
- Journal and self-reflect.
- Admire your body for its strength, power, and grace.
- Before you think about talking down on yourself look at your baby and how amazing you are for sheltering, nurturing, and paving the way for them.
- The Real World Of Breastfeeding
- Inform Yourself – Vaccines & Motherhood
- Don’t Tell Me How I Should Feel While Growing A Human!
- Birthing Makai
Aside from the latest blog post that are waiting to be read, I have published my third book! If you’ve kept up with the blog then you’ve probably read the snippets. The Key To My Brother’s Heart – Kennedy’s Reign is now available in electronic and paperback editions. It’s available electronically on Barnes & Noble and Amazon Kindle as well as paperback on Amazon. All 3 of my books and $elf products and apparel are available on my website. For easier access, simply click “Shop” on the blog’s homepage.
Be on the look out for The Key To My Brother’s Heart 2 and my newest book The Girl Next Door – the stories that bind us.
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Thanks for reading, Be Blessed & Stay Humble. As always Choose You Always!
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