I have a couple of websites I want you to go check out before you read the rest of this.
A complete visual guide of mothers and their body-battles
BabyCenter polls 7,000 who "tell it like it is"...the truth about the postpartum body
Check out this comment from a body image expert about what women think about themselves postpartum:
Joan Chrisler, a body image expert who teaches at Connecticut College, isn't surprised. "Lots of studies have shown that women think men want them to be thinner than men really want them to be," she says. "Researchers will show women sketches of female figures and ask, which do you think men believe is the ideal? Men always pick significantly bigger sizes than women think they want." So if your mate says you look great, believe it.
Check out this comment from the BabyCenter article about what OTHER people think about women postpartum:
On the other hand, plenty of other people seem to feel free to offer their critiques of your postpartum body. Nearly half of our survey moms said they got negative comments from their parents, and a quarter got them from an in-law. Even strangers seem to feel entitled to put in their two cents, with 18 percent of moms saying they got hurtful comments from people they didn't even know.And now take a peek at this slideshow:
Post-Baby Bellies :)
This is what the media should be glorifying. The women who are "everyday" heroes, not the women who do "everyday" feats (like having babies) and then manage to whittle away their size so you can never tell! Having children is part of those glorious feats that only women can accomplish (giving all due sensitivities to those who need IVF help or use surrogacy). I have said time and time again, that women need to be supportive to one another, especially surrounding something as life and body-changing as pregnancy and childbirth.
After my second:
And this is what it looked like when I finally stabilized my thyroid hormone production and started a healthy living regimen:
And then got pregnant for the third time (before and afters):
|No sucking in! Normal standing.|
|With proper posture and muscular flexation :)|
|Having again started to work towards more healthy living|
I started following inspiring people on Twitter, and reading a book called "Believing in Myself" (Larsen and Hegarty) as well as going to therapy. When got my mind, body, and spirit (and thyroid!) in sync, and started loving myself and treating myself with respect and kindness regardless of what the media told me or pressure from celebs or awesome-gened moms, I noticed changes. I developed more mental strength and character than I had ever had, and my body started to respond.
America and other woman who are capable of giving life, stop hating on the beauty that is your body and focus on being present with what your body is doing for you RIGHT NOW. It is sustaining you, carrying you, holding in your organs, nursing your baby, allocating nourishment to the proper places, and is housing the whole system that keeps you working. It's a marvelous thing. And it's made for wear and tear. You're going to have it for the rest of your life. So make peace with it, and love yourself better from here on out.
Monica, fellow body-lover-who-sometimes-forgets-these-things-too.