8 Reasons to Love Your Body Postpartum

8 Reasons to Love Your Body Postpartum

It might be hard to even feel comfortable in your body, let alone love your body, when you’ve had kids.

I remember being afraid to even touch my vagina for a while after my births because I was worried about what I would find, let alone how I cringed at my stretch marks and extra skin. But over time, I did learn to love my body.

Here are eight reasons to embrace and love your body postpartum, even if you don’t have that lovin’ feeling right now

It created, grew, and birthed your babies

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first, ok?

We know our bodies created our babies, was there home for around nine months, and then gave birth to them… but how often do you really think about how much of a miracle that is?

So often we are caught up in getting our pre-baby bodies back, as if we somehow misplaced it, that we don’t properly honor the magic created.

The next time you feel a little down on yourself and the way your body looks or feels now, take a minute to just let it sink in how amazing you and your body really are for what you went through.

Your postpartum body is the perfect comfort for your babies (or older children too!)

Squishy postpartum bodies are the best places to nap and cuddle according to every baby I’ve ever surveyed.

And even if you’re skinny, your baby knows your smell. The feel of your skin. The way you move.

Your body didn’t stop being home to them the second they popped out of the womb. It is still home to them.

It’s sexy AF

The results are in, and even though WE might be super self-conscious about our postpartum bodies, our partners LOVE them.

As a bit of anecdotal evidence, I asked my husband what he thinks about my body since having kids and he simply replied: “It’s fucking hot.”

It’s not just him either, though I do think he’s *quite* special in his own way, he is absolutely not on this one. Pretty much all dudes surveyed said the still find their wives super hot, and many even more than before!

Your body is a walking history of your growth as a person

I can still look at my knee and see the scar from a bike accident I had in middle school.

I don’t judge myself for that mark of perfect imperfection that carries with it memories of times otherwise forgotten. So why would I judge myself for some extra squishiness and stretch marks from having babies? Certainly having kids is a much more rewarding piece of my history than a silly bike mishap.

Our body carries our history. The transformation that has taken place in our body is just a physical manifestation of the deeper transformations that happened to our souls when we became moms.

It’s the only one you get

Just go ahead and love your body because the truth is, it’s the only one you get.

No matter how you feel about the way your body functions or looks now, there isn’t some standby waiting in the wings. You can trade this body in. Even with plastic surgery, there are limits to how much you can change your body.

This isn’t to say you can’t make changes to it, or that it’s wrong to desire to look differently. We all wish we could change something about ourselves. We aren’t perfect. No one is.

But I’d suggest figuring out how to make peace and love your body because it’s what you have. The other option is to live the rest of your life hating yourself.

Sex is better after having kids

Yeah it’s true you might not feel like having sex for a while after having a baby, and most couples have less sex after kids… but the sex you DO have is awesome.

Hard to believe, but most people surveyed said sex was just as good or even better after having kids.

I was surprised to find that this is true in my life too! Maybe it’s because having less sex makes you appreciate what you DO have, but it definitely improves.

Superhuman mom strength

Mom muscles are legit.

Lifting those babies and kids around all day means that you start to get really strong.

I don’t work out on a regular basis, but I’m in better shape than I was in my 20’s! Mostly it’s just from chasing after these wildlings and carrying them around from dawn to dusk and sometimes all damn night too.

It’s so normal to feel uncomfortable with your new postpartum body whether it’s been hours or years since you gave birth. But it is possible to love your body after having babies, and I hope these are great reminders on why.

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My Jeans Don’t Fit, I Didn’t Lose the Baby Weight… and That’s OK

My Jeans Don’t Fit, I Didn’t Lose the Baby Weight… and That’s OK

My internal battle over learning to accept and love my body rages on each day. Today I was reminded of how I never did lose the baby weight, and my jeans don’t fit.

My jeans don’t fit because my body just keeps wanting to hold onto weight even though I exercise and eat pretty damn well. I’ve been dealing with it well. I’ve been accepting and loving myself even though I didn’t lose the baby weight… then this morning happened.

My good morning was ended by the sound of a “riiiiiipppppp.”

As I knelt down to play with one of my twins, my favorite pair of jeans ripped right up the inside of my right leg.

I had noticed as I put them on this morning that they were just a smidge too tight. They weren’t quite as comfy as I remember them being even just a month or two ago.

Bummed, I threw the old jeans out after briefly considering and discarding the idea of repairing them. That’s when things just got even worse.

Pair after pair of jeans got tossed to the side as I realized it wasn’t just the one pair that was a problem. When I say my jeans don’t fit I mean jeans as in like… all of my jeans.

Not a single pair felt right. They all dug in at uncomfortable or unflattering angles. I guess I just didn’t notice so much until recently because well, I live in yoga pants like any self-respecting mom.

Right now I weigh more than I ever have in my life, besides when I was pregnant. Not only do I have “baby weight,” but I have some extra I’ve put on over the last year as well.

It’s one thing to know you’ve gained some weight. It’s another for an overstuffed pair of jeans ripping up the crotch to give you a news flash about it.

This sent me into quite a tailspin first thing in the morning. I did find a pair of jeans that somewhat fit after digging through all the clean laundry baskets for a stray pair of leggings or yoga pants to no avail.

But even that one pair that kind of fit still made me feel like I had to really squeeze in and suck in just about all day.

Did I mention this all happened before a single sip of coffee had hit my lips?

Look, first world problems, I know. No coffee and no clothes that are 100% comfy. There are so many people out there who have it way worse than my chubby butt does, but once acknowledging that, it still doesn’t erase the real pain that hits me when body image issues arise within me.

Since my early teen years, I’ve struggled with body image and disordered eating.

I remember being a varsity athlete in High School and still shoveling down diet pills and restricting my food because I didn’t look like Britney Spears. Literally.

Thinking about it now, it sounds absurd. But the shame over what I perceived to be a terrible and ugly body was real, and it’s still real to this day.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen a mom in a group ask how to lose the baby weight when she literally just had a baby drop out of her vagina a week ago… I’d be able to at least buy a few salted caramel mocha fraps.

Seriously though, the expectations on us to try to morph a body that went through an enormous transformation back into some semblance of what it was before another human inhabited it is ludicrous. Yet it is still real.

When I was pregnant with my first I just couldn’t fathom how I would deal with getting stretch marks. Like my brain couldn’t handle that possibility because NO ONE in my life or in the media ever made it seem normal to have stretch marks. The only thing I ever saw were women decrying their lost bodies and the baby weight and belly pudge that wouldn’t budge.

There isn’t a single time I can remember a single person praising a woman’s body except for its power to be a sexual object. And look, I love being and feeling sexy. That’s awesome too. But it is only ONE of the powers of a woman’s body.

I have times when I can look at my postpartum mombod in the mirror and appreciate it, even love it, even find it sexy. Then there are days when my jeans rip and I feel like a total failure at life.

Because for me, it isn’t just that I feel a little bad because I don’t have a perfect body. No. I am hit with a feeling of complete unworthiness. Like I am a terrible human being.

This part of me that will always and only see myself as disgusting no matter what size I am isn’t something I can easily reason with.

I know that I’m worthy. I know that I’m a good person and a good mom. But the poison that causes me to think otherwise is deep. So deep it’s hard to even access or understand how much it pervades my view of myself.

There is one thing I DIDN’T want to do when this mountain of shame landed on me this morning… I didn’t want to ignore it. Yet, I didn’t want to get sucked under by it or use it as a means to punish myself for my perceived flaws.

What did I do? I tried to do the most love thing I could muster for myself in the moment.

I went online and I ordered two new pairs of jeans in a size up.

In January, I’ll be 33. While I haven’t had depression, anxiety, body image issues, and who knows what else literally my entire life, but it feels like it sometimes. Plus, I’ve certainly dealt with them my entire adult life.

The one trick that I’ve found to be able to live with it is total acceptance.

So today I didn’t even try to convince myself that I was hot. I didn’t try to convince myself that I deserved to feel sexy even though I’m not what my brains says I should be all the time.

Instead, I just said to myself, “I deserve to be cared for no matter what.”

I wasn’t arguing with the voice in my head about whether I’m good enough or not. What I did was sidestep this internal dialogue and decide that it doesn’t matter if I’m good enough. I deserve love and care whether the judge in my head says I’m good enough or not.

That means on Wednesday, I’ll be looking for a package with some new skinny and boyfriend jeans in them that will actually fit and feel totally comfortable on my cellulite covered ass.

Being a mom is hard. Adjusting to a new body and realizing “my jeans don’t fit” is hard. Loving your body every day when you still have the baby weight is hard.

But whatever happens, you deserve care, you deserve love, and you deserve to be your own ally no matter what that little voice in your head says.

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Being Fat and Loving it Instead of Judging Myself

Being Fat and Loving it Instead of Judging Myself

I decided it’s time to embrace being fat. I’ve tried accepting my new mombod. I’ve tried changing it. I’ve tried to love it for giving me babies and nourishing them.

But what if I try something new and lean into being fat?

What if instead of loving myself and my body even though I’m fat, what if I can rewire my brain to actually see the beauty in my chubby little body?

Maybe I can find a way to embrace my fatness. Can I start seeing my body in the way classical painters saw the curves and dimples of the women they put on the canvas? Can I finally banish those images of Playboy bunnies and 90’s Britney as the ONLY ideals for women?

This is my challenge now. Not to love my body and embrace it for its utility, but to actually see the beauty in cellulite and stomach rolls, stretch marks and thighs with no gap.

I have spent the last 5.5 years either pregnant or breastfeeding. To say my body has gone through some changes would be an understatement. And did I mention that one of those pregnancies was twins?!

I’ve always been a bit chubby. Even when I was at my most fit I still had some cushion for the pushin’ because of how I’m built.

That’s right, even when I literally worked out 5-7 days a week as a high school athlete I had some cellulite on my thighs and my belly wasn’t flat.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve hated my body. Ever since I can remember having an opinion about the way I looked, I hated the way I looked because I was not perfect.

It seems silly to expect perfection of yourself, but perfectionism is something I struggle with. The worst part is that there was never any chance of me having a perfect body just by my genetics. I’m too short and too curvy and too muscular. I do have some big boobs, but they aren’t the perfectly round and perky ones everyone pays for.

And even now at 32 years old, I have been battling this perfectionism, or at least “good enough”-ism. There’s some mystical bar inside of my mind of what I should weigh and how I should look. If I don’t cross that threshold then I’m just not attractive enough or worthy enough.

Worthy… worthy of what? Love? Happiness? Life itself? All of it?

Ugh.

Guess what. I AM worthy of everything and anything. My worthiness, and frankly my sexiness, is NOT dependent on some ideal dress size.

I beautiful and hot just as I am.

Not only that, but I’m actually healthier being fatter.

You this story has a before and after that seems a little backwards at first glance. My “before” from 2018 is a thinner me, and my “after” from the other day is a more chubby and fat version of me.

Why is that a good thing to be thinner? How can that be a good thing if I am healthier now?

For most of 2018, I was separated from my husband while we worked on ourselves and I had an existential crisis while caring for twin babies and a 3-year-old.

The stress led me to start smoking again, drinking a little more than I’d like to admit in the evenings once the kids were in bed, and not eating most of the time. (And not eating in a bad neglectful way, not a healthy intermittent fasting way.)

I wasn’t getting exercise besides chasing the kids around and was overall just neglecting my own physical needs.

Then last fall, my husband and I decided to give it another shot thankfully. I quit smoking, drink much less, and I eat a healthy diet.

Sure there are donuts that slip in there, but for the most part, I eat salads, home-cooked meals, smoothies, fresh juices, and lots of water. I also do intermittent fasting (the 16:8 method) mostly to help ease some issues like psoriasis, which has been super helpful in diminishing.

I also exercise nearly every single day by going on walks and making sure I get over 10k steps in.

But I have STILL gained about 20 lbs.

So you know what that says to me? That being fatter is actually healthier for me!

No matter how much I try to shake the feeling of inadequacy over this fat, the less happy I am. I don’t want to be worried about eating one of the chocolate chip pancakes I make for my kids. I want to eat the damn pancake and enjoy my life.

And if my family genetics are any clue, I’m probably just going to get fatter as I get older. Oh well. As long as I can keep up with my kids (and hopefully someday grandkids), and I FEEL good, then that’s more important than anything else.

For me, enjoying my life means embracing being fat. Not just accepting it, but learning to see myself as actually sexy, beautiful, and totally worthy because my value as a person isn’t based on a few extra pounds.

PS – I love following Meg Boggs for all things body positivity and mommyhood.

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Want more breastfeeding tips? Find us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.facebookinstagrampinterest Got a stage 5 clinger who won't let go of your boob? Like your nipple feels like it's now permanently attached to your little squish? You've got a cluster feeder....

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