*2 Days Postpartum
Wait . . . Why Do I Still Look Pregnant?
My siblings are 10, 12, and 14 years younger than me. With having such a large age difference between us, I was very involved in my mother’s pregnancy. I saw her body change during the nine months of pregnancy, and I saw her body change after pregnancy. I never judged my mother for what she looked like postpartum. She just had a baby!!!
I never saw her through eyes of disgust. I never questioned her “post-baby bod”. Yeah, her tummy was stretched out; sure, she had gotten stretch marks; but . . . she just had a baby!
In my mind, it made total sense.
So why was it that when I had my first child, I was in total shock over the state of my own body?!
* 1 Week Postpartum
The Initial Shock
Not only did I still look pregnant, but I still had contractions! (SAY WHAT!?)
My boobs were gigantic! They leaked with every movement I made!
I literally felt like a cow . . .
What had happened? Where was the normalcy I experienced when my mother went through this? Why wasn’t I thinking to myself, “You just had a baby!”? I knew what to expect, thanks to my mother being so open about her body during pregnancy, yet I had forgotten everything when my turn came.
I hated seeing my own reflection. I constantly compared my body to other friends and Instagram stars who gave birth and looked fabulous.
*2 Weeks Postpartum
Over time, I began to learn about my new mom bod. I learned the mistakes I made during my pregnancy (hello, flaming hot Cheetos and comfy couch). I promised myself I wouldn’t fall back into despair with my next pregnancy and I gave myself much needed grace.
I’m happy to say that I kept my promise to myself this pregnancy. All the things my young heart gave my mother when she was postpartum, I happily gave myself the second time around.
*3 Weeks Postpartum
The Postpartum Mom Mantras
When you’re feeling low about your postpartum mom bod, repeat these mantras to yourself:
- “I just had a baby!”- This one seems obvious, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves the pure MIRACLE of giving birth. You BIRTHED a human. Your body did that. You are AMAZING! Give your body the time and space it *NEEDS* to recover.
- “I am not ____.” – It is so hard not to compare ourselves to others (or to our past selves). Maybe with your first pregnancy you bounced back almost immediately after giving birth. Maybe your girlfriend or favorite celebrity is sporting a bikini a mere week after giving birth. Just as each pregnancy is different, each postpartum body is different. Stop comparing yourself!
- “Change is constant.” – The good thing about the postpartum body is that it doesn’t last forever. Your uterus will shrink, your milk will dry up, and your stretch marks will fade. Just like pregnancy, this part of your life will be over before you know it. Hang in there, Mama!
- “I am Mom! Hear me roar!” – You are POWERFUL! You are Mom! You have a literal God-given gift! God bestowed the miracle of creation on women! You are more than a soft tummy! You can create and sustain life! Let me hear you roar, Girl!
Moms: What was the most shocking part of your postpartum journey?