Embracing my postpartum body!
It’s been 6.5 months since our little Hadley joined us and I know everyone says it, but I honestly cannot fathom where the time has gone. In the last month she’s changed so much too, she’s eating solids, she’s saying mama, she’s waving and so much more! It’s so incredible to watch out little baby grow in front of our eyes.
Where I am 6 months on…
Today I want to talk about where I am 6 months on from giving birth, and while I am very aware I never sat down here to do my birth story, you can catch it in brief on my IGTV. I touched on my feelings about my body post-baby on my Instagram this week and I was overwhelmed by the number of women that reached out to me with their stories of how they feel about their bodies since becoming a mum.
When I was pregnant with Hadley I was honestly so nervous about getting stretch marks; I would ask my own mum constantly whether she got stretch marks throughout her pregnancy with me (hoping to sidestep them simply through genetics), I would keep my bump moisturised constantly with a super hydrating moisturiser and I would on occasion have a look at the parts of me that I could still see and see if any had popped up. I never found anything, except maybe a few at the top of my legs in very late pregnancy, but honestly, by that point, I’d even lost the will to care.
After fussing about stretch marks for the longest time and never getting any of note, they all appeared after as my body shrunk back down (or what I affectionally call “the deflate”). At first they were red and purple although now they have already faded massively and are barely visible, except to me of course 😉 (I am still human after all). As well as the stretch marks on my stomach, the thigh ones remained and I also gained a fair few on my boobs too, although that might very well be from breastfeeding.
How do I feel about my body now?
I have always felt fairly lucky because I have never really had any hang-ups about my body, I have always been confident in how I look and equally grateful that I have this mindset because I know so many don’t. Like I said, before Hadley was born I was nervous about what my body would look like post-pregnancy; Would I still love it? How would I feel about the changes it had gone through that were still visible? Would I still feel confident in my own skin? Would I still be able to maintain that strong mindset when everything looked and felt different? Would I still be able to look at myself in the mirror in the same way I had done before?
I do see a different body staring back, but it’s a body that is strong and a body that, no matter what, I should be proud of. This body has stretch marks where they never used to be, I still see my Linea Negra and maybe I always will, I have looser skin and my body shape has changed. But I don’t hate what I see.
When I look in the mirror now I definitely see a different body staring back, not bad different, just different. I see a body that carried a nourished a baby for 40 weeks and 2 days. I see a body that endured spd, heart palpitations and pre-eclampsia to bring my baby into the world. I see a body that endured induced labour, an epidural, a forceps delivery and an episiotomy. I see a body that took so many weeks to recover from the physical aspects of birth. I see a body that helped nourish my baby on the inside for over 40 weeks and on the outside for 6 weeks. I can’t hate that.
Postpartum bodies all look different; different to the way they used to and different to each other but they are all unique in their own special way. Loving yourself in a world that doesn’t want you to is not easy, but please be kind to yourself mama’s, your body has performed miracles.