Channel Mum’s topic this week is all about Body Positivity, this is a subject that I feel quite strongly about so I wanted to get involved and tell my story. Did you know that 71% of women have received negative comments about their post baby bodies? With family members and strangers being the most common culprits.
When I was pregnant, It took me a while to get used to my ‘new body’. I did definitely struggle at first to accept the changes, I felt like I had no control over my weight gain and I actually put on 2 stone when I was pregnant with my daughter. Before I fell pregnant, I hated my body – I was very underweight, I thought I was fat, I felt ugly.. I was receiving help for my mental health issues when I found out I was pregnant, and after I had gotten round to the idea of having a baby, I started to fall in love with my body. I felt like I finally had a purpose in life and the horrible thoughts of ‘not eating’ and ‘not looking after myself’ slowly went away. Being pregnant helped me immensely, it helped me feel more confident about my body and a lot more positive about my future.
Despite suffering with a severe anxiety disorder and feeling like “everybody was staring at me” when I walked through the street, I felt more confident in myself. Being a young mum and having my baby at just aged 17, I felt like people would judge me and I’m sure they did.. At first, my dad and my brother both resented me, I didn’t have much contact with either of them for a while and I felt like this was maybe the worst decision I had ever made. However, they soon came round to the idea and realised just how much of a different person I had become since falling pregnant and now I am closer than ever with both my dad and my brother, which is amazing.
Becoming a young mum made me feel like it was ‘wrong’ to enjoy my pregnancy and because of this I feel like I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I should have done. I was constantly worrying about what other people thought instead of thinking about what was best for me. Next time around, I really hope to enjoy my pregnancy a lot more, take more pictures and document it on the blog. I am looking forward to falling pregnant again with baby number 2.
Since having my daughter in February last year, I feel like I have lost confidence again. I wasn’t mentally prepared for the amount of changes that would be happening to my body. When I was pregnant I actually got rid of all of my old clothes, pre-pregnancy I was a very small size 6, whilst I was pregnant I put on 2 stone and shot up to a size 12/14. I was convinced that I would be this size forever, however after giving birth I instantly went back to a size 10. Standing in front of the mirror for the first time after giving birth is scary, I felt so different and not like myself. It was almost as if I was looking at a completely different person. It took me a long time to adjust to my new figure and it took me a fair few months to get back into my size 8 body and after feeling crap about my body for months on end, I finally went out and bought myself some clothes that fit.
It has now been nearly 16 months since I gave birth to my daughter, the time has absolutely flown by and I am still not overly confident about my body, however I am learning to love it a little bit more. My post baby body is completely different to my pre-baby body but I am slowly learning to accept that. So, what has changed? Everything has changed and I feel like there are a lot of things that you don’t get warned about. I now have a ‘mum tum’ which I’m not a fan of, before having a baby I had quite a tight stomach.. there was no ‘flab’ on me and I had what I now see as a flat stomach. Now I have a mum tum, a tummy with excess skin. My boobs have changed, when I was pregnant and after having my little girl – they were huge & that is one thing I actually liked about myself, although they were uncomfortable at times, I felt like my clothing looked nicer and my body looked more even. I stopped breastfeeding after just 2 weeks and since my milk dried up, my boobs are now non-existent. Pancakes. Again, not a fan of those either. Although I only managed to feed my baby myself for a short 2 weeks, I still managed it and I am proud of that.
My body is a completely different shape to what it used to be, I’m not as skinny looking.. I feel better about that however I feel more chunky now. My legs are bigger and my hips are wider, I gained lots of stretch marks towards the end of my pregnancy, around my boobs, my tummy and on the insides of my legs. Postpartum hair loss has been a big problem for me too, before having a baby I could wash my hair and not batter an eye lid but now at 16 months postpartum, I wash my hair and half of it falls out. I am actually starting to go bald in some places which is quite embarrassing but I am doing the best I can to keep my hair in good condition and prevent it from falling out, although I am aware that this isn’t really something you can stop completely. Unfortunately I have suffered / am still suffering with postnatal depression, which is something that a lot of mums go through and this has had a huge impact on my confidence.
“Stretchmarks are the markings of a mother”
Don’t get me wrong, I am so so grateful for my body and I love that my body has housed my baby, I still can’t quite believe that I gave birth to a baby but the transition between body changes is something that a lot of us struggle with especially first time mums. As you can tell, I’m quite self conscious about my Mama Figure post baby and overall I have found the transitions extremely hard to deal with but I am slowly learning to love my postpartum body. Finally! As I said at the start of this post, Channel Mum’s topic this week is all about body positivity and they have encouraged mums (like myself) to get involved. Research shows that 85% of mums want their postpartum bodies to be celebrated. 62% of women want celebrities like Kim Kardashian to be more honest.
There is no shame in being confident & proud of your body, your body grew an actual human being, how amazing is that! You should be proud! You are amazing, you look amazing and you have done an amazing thing.
I am passing this message onto all of you lovely mums out there today so that we can start feeling a little bit better about ourselves. These are not photo’s that I ever thought I would share on the internet but I wanted to show you all that its okay to not be body confident, it’s okay to have stretchmarks and a saggy tummy.. it’s okay to be honest.
Do you feel confident in your body after having a baby?
Thanks for reading,