Loving Your Body Postpartum: Part Two

Three moms sitting in a row nursing their babiesLast year, a parent reached out to the LLL USA Facebook community with concerns about her postpartum body. April M. wrote: “I’m having trouble coming to terms with my postpartum body. The stretch marks on my breasts are especially upsetting to me. I don’t want to chase special creams or ointments, but I WOULD love some tips or mantras on how to love my new skin.”

There were so many encouraging and affirming responses that we wanted to share initially, but we ran out of room! In today’s blog post, we share several more responses that we hope will strike a chord with our readers.

How have you felt about your body in the postpartum weeks and months? We’d love to hear your experiences. The initial blog post can be viewed at lllusa.org/how-did-you-grow-to-love-your-body-postpartum/.

“All throughout my first pregnancy I told myself if things didn’t snap back to cut myself and (my) body some slack. It (my body) has done a lot of work to help bring our baby into this world. I reminded myself almost each day, ‘You are beautiful, you are strong, and your body may not be as it was and that is okay.’” – Vanessa A.

“I kept reminding myself that what I see in ‘beauty’ campaigns and magazines is not real. I kept saying to myself to enjoy the ‘baby’ years and once he started school I would gradually get my fitness back. It’s all about being healthy now. I want to be healthy for them, for me. It’s been 3.5 years and only now do I have the time and stamina to focus a bit more on my body and accept it for what it is.” – Yorleny L.

“Your body is an expression of your soul. You have the soul of a mother now.” – Emily C.

 “All bodies are good bodies, and yours just did an amazing thing.” – Kalee R.

 “I look at my babe and am thankful and in awe for this body that developed, grew, birthed, nourishes, and comforts life. Give yourself grace and recognize and appreciate your strength!” – Abby C.

“You learn to look at your child and think, ‘Without my body doing everything it could, he/she wouldn’t be here. I created my greatest achievement from this body.’ Then, some day when they’re toddlers, they’ll lie on you and hug you and love on you and not care about your stretch marks and it’s glorious. You’re a miracle maker.” – Bonnie Z.

“I think it’s okay to not love your postpartum body. I don’t. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not in awe of its strength and power, and of the beautiful little life that it’s created. I think that we are flooded with messages about how important it is to love our bodies no matter what they look like, but what about telling women that you don’t HAVE to love it? That it’s okay to not be happy with how you look now? That you aren’t broken if, when you look at your stretch marks, floppy boobs, and flabby tummy, you don’t automatically think ‘Wow, look at my gorgeous body.’ Love yourself – yes. Love your baby – yes. Love your new body? Optional. Are you too exhausted and/or unmotivated, and/or just can’t carve out the time to make it to the gym, do a home workout, or even to do a few kegels every day? That’s okay, too. Just do the best you can and know that that’s okay. You are enough, and you don’t have to love your new body.” – Katrina V.

Please send your story ideas to Amy at [email protected].

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