Respecting our post-baby bodies
“My body is full of life.
My body is powerful.
My body made me a mother.”
I’ve been wanting to post something about accepting our post-baby bodies for a while now, but I couldn’t find the words to express my feelings about it. Recently, however, I stumbled upon this post from a blog called “We seek joy” that words it perfectly. The author writes about how people say that women’s bodies are “ruined” by having babies, but that she can’t possibly be ashamed of how her body has changed after witnessing the miraculous thing that it was able to do…create and sustain a LIFE!
I feel exactly the same way. As a new member of this community of moms, I now regularly hear my peers talk about losing that post-baby weight, and lamenting the changes they’ve seen in their bodies since being pregnant. First of all, taking care of a new baby takes unbelievable amounts of time and energy, so dedicating oneself to an intense exercise regime or perfect eating plan is next to impossible (if you’ve read my blog, you know that I believe neither of these two things is easy to achieve or maintain in the long term anyway, much less with a new child!).
Like the author of that blog entry, I feel that the conversation needs to change from, “What can I do to get my pre-pregnancy body back?” to “How can I learn to accept and respect this new body I am in?” Because the truth is that our bodies are not and should not be the same as before…they have just undergone the incredible process of creating life and then carrying it for 9 months…how can we expect them to be the same after doing something so unbelievably amazing?!
Don’t get me wrong…I do believe it’s important to take care of ourselves and eat balanced, nutritious food that tastes good and makes us feel good. I also think exercise can be a great way to have a little “me time” and help us to feel more energized. But instead of putting so much pressure on ourselves to do these things in order to look a certain way, I think we should instead respect our bodies and the process that led them to their current state.
Our babies are watching us, and they are learning from the things we say and do. Let’s send the message that they didn’t ruin our bodies, but rather transformed them in a way that only the incredible process of pregnancy and birth can, and we wouldn’t change that for the world.