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The postpartum body dilemma

What should my body look like at four months postpartum? The question had been looming in my mind well throughout my pregnancy, but this was the first time I found myself actually Googling it. My search returned pages and pages of articles about the postpartum body, including images of women; some with abs and others...

photo-oct-08-10-21-15-amWhat should my body look like at four months postpartum?
The question had been looming in my mind well throughout my pregnancy, but this was the first time I found myself actually Googling it. My search returned pages and pages of articles about the postpartum body, including images of women; some with abs and others with varying amounts of tummy pudge.
Of course, this wasn’t the first time I would compare my body to another woman’s. As someone who has had issues with disordered eating in the past, I am far too familiar with the subject (and detriment) of body comparison.
I don’t think it’s uncommon for moms to be curious about what other women’s bodies look like at X number of days, weeks, or months postpartum.
For some women, accepting their new body might not be an issue. The female body is, for lack of a better term, bad ass. It can carry and nourish a child from conception to birth, so yeah, it’s going to look different after that tiny human comes out. But for me, I struggle with accepting the fact that my body doesn’t look the way I want it to.
If we were to have this conversation in-person, you might say something like:
Well, your body has gone through so many changes in the past year.

Or…

It took nine months to get there, so give yourself nine months to get back in-shape.

Or…

Everyone woman’s body is different.
And all of these statements would be true.
Do I appreciate all of the changes my body went through? Of course. Am I blessed to have had a complication-free pregnancy? Absolutely. Did I get an adorable baby girl out of all of this? I most certainly did! And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Does this mean I have to love the stretch marks or the way my hips jiggle or how my once defined thighs now touch? If I say I’m not thrilled with how certain parts of my body look, does that somehow negate all of the magnificence associated with, and appreciation I have for the female body? I don’t think so.
My point is, it’s OK to not love your postpartum body. It’s OK to feel uncomfortable. It’s not OK to degrade yourself or base your self-worth on your appearance. And it’s certainly not OK to partake in unhealthy behaviors just to attain your prebaby standards.

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