Before I became a Mama I never gave thought to what my body would look like post-partum. I guess I just presumed it would ping straight back into shape – the media aways showed us these perfect looking celebrities who had given birth and looked like they’d never even been pregnant.
So when I gave birth for the first time, and found that, even though the baby was out… my tummy was far from flat. Well, I was a little shocked to say the least. I kind of felt ashamed of this belly, ashamed of the extra weight that didn’t fall off the second I gave birth. Ashamed of the stretch marks and extra skin.
My first three babies arrived whilst I was in my twenties, and in all fairness, my body did ping back fairly well. I lost the ‘baby weight’ though my belly was never the same again and as for my belly button… The stretch marks faded but still lined my thighs, belly and boobs.
With my last two babies, my body found it harder to ping back into shape. Age is against me, but also I took the pressure off myself to look as I did pre-pregnancy. I remember when my eldest was a few weeks old, and my then-husband tried on the jeans that I couldn’t get past my thighs to show they fitted him… how bad I felt about my body. Of feeding my fourth baby at a few weeks old, and being told ‘my boobs will never be the same again’
Our bodies expand, our skin stretches, bones move and our insides get moved all around. We grow a whole new person inside of us, then push that person out of our bodies.
Yet we expect this amazing process to leave no visible marks.
We marvel at how amazing our bodies are whilst they are growing a human, yet the second we give birth we act as though our bodies are no longer worthy of love or appreciation.
The extra pounds, soft, wrinkly belly, and stretch marks become something we are ashamed of, something we feel we should hide away from the world – instead of something we should be [roud of.
My body is not what it was, but it has given me five amazing children. It was their first home, nurtured them for nine months, and then fed them once they were earthside.
My jiggly belly is a wonderful reminder of the babies who once lived there. The stretch marks remind me how amazing my body is in being able to stretch to accommodate a growing human – and then shrink back again.
We should be showing off our bodies, giving them love and praise for the amazing task they have completed. Feeling unashamed of the soft belly and wobbly thighs. Give them love, nurture them, treat them with love.
Our bodies are a road map of our lives, and every little mark is just a reminder of what we have been through.
Let’s change the narrative, stop giving a damn about societal beliefs and show our bodies the love that they deserve.