What does social media make a post partum body look like to a new mum?
Well of course it has minimal flaws, it may have a small scar from a cesarean section or some stretch marks but all of these post partum bodies you see on social media have minimal flaws, they have flat stomachs , tiny legs, round perfect breasts and dare I even say some have a thigh gap? Why is that? Is it because society doesn’t want to see anything less than perfection?
I’m writing this blog 5 months post partum and do not have a single thing going on from the above list and do you know what, that’s ok. It doesn’t mean I like it or that I am happy with what I see in the mirror but it is reality.
I’m sure many mothers post birth are reading this and thinking they don’t look good enough, they haven’t ‘bounced back’ or that they need to diet drastically to get back to their ‘pre baby’ shape. I too was one of those woman however it is easier said than done, your tired, running on only a few hours sleep, rushing about to different baby classes and in a fog of milk, nappy changes and naps on repeat! I was a Slimming World Consultant up until last year, I know what to do, I know what eating healthy is and I love to cook but time is of the essence when you have a newborn and quite honestly I’d rather play with Erica than spend hours prepping food!
I decided to google ‘post partum body’ and the first article I read used the words ‘flabby, weak, out of shape, ill equipped arms to hold a child, sagging and fat’. Wow what a way to make a new mum feel good, right? Why aren’t these articles using words like ‘strong, incredible, tough, empowering, and most of all, awesome! That was the very first article that came up and it quite honestly disgusted me. Why is society so judgemental, why is social media so judgmental, why are we all so judgemental? I’m one of those girls who sees women on social media and think “wow they look great”,and that can be thin girls, curvy girls, girls with long hair, short hair, full make up or minimum make up. I don’t believe a body is what makes someone beautiful but it’s what they do in life, who they become, who they influence and how they treat others that makes them beautiful.
I follow a lot of mums on social media and quite a few of those have had babies around the same time as I had Erica and do you know what, not one of us looks the same and that’s ok. Some are thinner than others, some are breastfeeding and some are bottle feeding, some are exercising and some are not, we are all different. It’s about time that society stop making new mums feel bad about themselves. They have just single-handedly grew, nurtured and birthed a whole new person and for that they deserve some respect and quite honestly a medal! It’s not an easy 10 months, harder for some more than others, can be traumatic and be medically very dangerous.
I still have two stone to loose to get back to my pre baby weight however I know my body shape has changed and therefore I probably still won’t fit in my pre baby clothes and that’s ok! The purpose of this blog is to encourage other woman to feel ok about their bodies after a baby, your body done the most amazing thing and it is incredible. I’m not forcing you to feel good, I don’t feel good about my body but it doesn’t mean I’m not proud of it and what it has achieved. It’s about time we normalise post partum bodies of all shapes and sizes and stop shaming woman into feeling like they need to loose weight so quickly.
Did you feel the pressure to bounce back and loose weight?
It’s a hot topic for debate as many people will say you should for health reasons and to have a ‘strong body for raising your kids’, that’s what a local ‘mummy fitness’ class said when I emailed them asking about their classes. I just pushed a 9 pound baby out. I’ve probably got more strength than you, plus it was a man who emailed me back, would love to have seen him in labour! I read recently that labour is like fracturing 20 bones all at once, Jay said he’s fractured one bone and it was agony so I can only imagine what a man would be like in labour!
Anyway that’s off topic, all I’m saying is go rock your post partum body whether its big, small, thin, wobbly, stretched or perfect. Your amazing no matter what others say!