The postpartum body dilemma
What should my body look like at four months postpartum? […]
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 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.
It took nine months to get there, so give yourself nine months to get back in-shape.
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.