Body after Baby: A Road to Self Acceptance
The female body. With each miracle of a child, it morphs into the most amazing vessel. A giver of life and love. A living, breathing fountain of nourishment, a valley of comfort, it is everything.
The ultimate creation.
Yet it seems far too easy to forget how incredible our bodies were, and are, once the belly that has held a life is just holding empty space. To look at ourselves in the mirror as less than what we were before because of how much more of us there is. To envision our perfect silhouette with our perfect baby in arms…and then look at the reality of the female figure after birth and be disappointed.
It is easy to turn to social media and see a new mom at 72 hours postpartum taking a selfie of her sweet babe and a stomach that looks like she must in fact be the babysitter. And it is also easy to see a mother with a 19 month old who is still holding onto some of the extra love from her pregnancy. It is all normal. Everyone is different, every body is different. One is not better than the other. But how easy it is to forget that. There is always someone else going through what we are going through. We are not alone.
I gave birth to my third baby four months ago and let me tell you, my body is not what it used to be. Yes - I have had multiple children but this is the very first time I have had this body. It is a completely new one.
A week after birth I looked in the mirror and thought….”yuck, this is not cute”, “this used to be here, those used to be there, this used to be smaller, and that definitely didn’t move like that a few months ago…”. If someone rubbed my belly while I was pregnant I would just smile, because I knew it was adorable. If someone tried to rub my postpartum belly, they would probably just get a dirty look along with a karate chop to the jugular.
Fast forward to present day. Time has given me a chance to change my perspective. Just a few months later and I feel completely different about myself. The body that I saw as giggly and soft I now look at as strong, even through some extra pounds remain. Our bodies are too easy of a target because they don’t talk back. They just are. And they are waiting for us to make change. At least I know mine is. I am now out of the newborn haze, slowly coming back into society, reality, and I am wanting to ‘move’ again.
I have found that it is important to not loose respect for our bodies when they look differently than what we think that they should. Instead let us have grace for ourselves. Let us be humble and thankful for all that they have done for us, for all that they are doing, and all that they will do. Let us take care of our bodies because we love them, because we only get one.
I wanted to get back in to working out. But didn’t want to do it alone, because…it’s just not as fun! And I figured that I am not the only one feeling all of these things. There has to be other moms out there that want to get out, meet new people and give their body a boost. So for the next six weeks The Village Magazine will be hosting a series called ‘Move’. We will be meeting at a new location each week, focusing on a different workout that you can do with your little one in tow.
If you have recently had a baby, are pregnant, or just want to start rewarding your body for all that it has given you we would love for you to join us!
The first meet-up is this Thursday at 11am, in Carlsbad CA. With classes ranging from yoga, to walks, to beach bonfires, we have something for everyone, even if its just to talk with other like minded mamas who need some support. Head on over to our Dinners and Events to grab your spot today!
PS, I just saw a friend of mine post a picture wearing a shirt that said: I don’t work out because I hate my body. I workout because I love it. And to that I say “Amen!”
Written By- Rachel Harris