Ask any pregnant woman what her number one complaint is besides the obvious discomfort and inevitable pain? Odds are it's the unsolicited advice or comments on the appearance of her ever changing pregnant body.
"Are you having twins?"
"Umm, no...no I'm not."
You get the picture...
With my first child, I started hearing more and more women say things to me like, "Your body will never, ever be the same again," "You're going to want a tummy tuck and a boob job after you're done having kids," "My kids wrecked my body," and "Babies will steal your beauty." Those are just some of the ridiculously false things that I heard. Fear of a mangled vagina and droopy boobs plagued me while I was pregnant. It added so much unnecessary fear and stress during what should be a happy and normal part of life.
Given, your body DOES in fact, change during & after pregnancy, but it doesn't have to be for the worse. Pregnancy does not make you fat. Let's get that clear. Unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise, chemical imbalances can add those annoying numbers to scale.
Just the fact that you can physically carry a human being inside of your body for 9 months and actually survive it coming out of you, should absolutely remove any doubt of your bodies amazing capabilities, strength, and ability to recover.
\\ SNAPPING BACK.
There's this underlying urgency to "snap back" after you have a baby to whatever weight you were before getting pregnant. There are countless fitness apps targeting new and vulnerable mothers who are wrestling with the fact that her body is simply...
After a long grueling pregnancy, finally birthing a baby, sleep deprived, healing from stitches, engorged breasts, regulating hormones, and tending to a child, the list goes on...women still feel the need to get herself "together," almost immediately postpartum.
Listen, I get it. I understand the joy of having my body back to myself after being pregnant and being so anxious to start working out again and wearing normal clothes. Of course, you shouldn't just let "yourself go" on the account of having children. BUT your sexuality is not tied to some pre-pregnacy body that you lose when you become a mother. In fact, wider hips, larger breasts, softer skin, silky and fuller hair...seems like the essence of feminine beauty, at least to me.
\\ FINDING YOUR NEW RHYTHM.
The best practical rule of thumb for a new mother struggling with her body image is; nine months in and nine months out. I didn't feel like myself physically, mentally, and emotionally for about 9 months to a year postpartum. It can take time! So relax.
The world is already unforgiving, so please give yourself grace to focus on loving your newborn, sleeping when you can, and eating healthyish. That in of itself is a lot to ask in the early days of having a baby. Your body didn't grow a eight pound baby in 2 months, don't expect things to just go back that quickly either.
If you are one of the lucky women who can pop out a baby and look like Chrissy Tiegen leaving the hospital, then this obviously doesn't apply to you. You're blessed and highly favored! But if you're anything like me and you're itching to hit the gym but just aren't able, due to whatever circumstances....go for daily walks. It's the best way to steadily drop the baby weight, gain some energy, and it gets you and baby out of the house for some much needed fresh air. Win-win!
Develop a small exercise routine at home. It doesn't need to be complex and ridiculous. Just work up a little sweat everyday. Incorporate your baby in your workout as weight & resistance.... who really wants to work out during nap time?
No thanks. Naps are absolutely sacred.
\\ ASSAULT ON LIFE.
There is an attack on true femininity, and motherhood. The enemy knows exactly what tactics to use and to do whatever he can to prevent life. He preys on our insecurities and knows the vulnerabilities of women and that bottomless pit of the desire for beauty that we all yearn to fill. He comes in and plants thoughts of fear, and doubt in your identity. He spreads poisonous lies that your beauty & worth will somehow will be tossed aside after having children.
He uses the tounges of people to do it.
In a society where life is already so easily thrown away, let's not discourage women from pregnancy, by casting unnecessary fear and anxiety about their looks postpartum. Women don't need to hear pregnancy horror stories & be scared out of their mind of getting pregnant. Women don't need to hear how "big" they are getting. They definitely don't need to take on anybody else's insecurity.
Everything is so upside down and backwards in our culture. Don't adopt a negative mindset about motherhood. It's exactly what the enemy counts on.
Whether you are a mother in waiting, single mama, adoptive mother, mom of ten, or a spiritual mama...
Motherhood is beautiful.