Do the three words above make you cringe like it makes me? Post baby body.
Here’s the drill. You get pregnant. Your body has 9 whole months to transform into a perfect home, a cocoon for your precious baby. It takes that long to to develop proof that you are indeed becoming a mother.
Thankfully your hormones begin the transformation process- and I don’t mean the expanding waistline- that will come later. Your uterus expands before you are even aware it is expanding, the only evidence in the early stages are changes to your sense of taste or smell, you are tired and need the loo more frequently. You have this miracle growing inside of you. You produce some fat which also protects baby. Your breasts become fuller and bigger as it prepares to be the source of food and comfort for your little one
Time slowly passes and you produce even more fat, which make you glow. The world soon gets to know. Your body changes into the universal shape of all earth mothers- you grow a bump. You love your bump, you caress, cradle and touch it proudly at every opportunity- especially when your baby gently reminds you she’s there. Everyone loves your bump, strangers smile at you and want to touch it. But you’re extra protective and won’t let them. You buy special clothing to accommodate it- or hire some gorgeous dresses from Hire Expectations. Terms like glowing, pregnant, radiant, beautiful are now used to describe you. You develop roadmarks of life- some people call them stretch marks. Your partner finds you even more attractive. Some joints loosen, your poor back aches and you may even get sciatica.
Finally labour day arrives, blessing day really as you get to hold your precious bundle in your arms. Every muscle in your body gets into gear and works in harmony with your baby to get her out- and safely too. Somehow your body knows when it is time and how much energy is required and it is prepared when the moment comes. Family and friends share in the pure joy that your tiny baby gives out. She has the power to infuse hope and life wherever she is taken. Through it all you remain amazed at how things start to change again, like how your sense of taste quickly reappears. Yes you’re leaking from well, just about everywhere but you don’t mind. Your body has been through a lot and has done very well. See what it produced? You also now have a post-baby body!
It is absolutely fine if it never goes back to how it used to be- nothing ever will. You are no longer just Emma, you are also now Charlotte’s mum. You’ll always be from this moment on. You feel exhilarated. Your body did this!!!
So why do we then try to hide the evidence of a beautiful miracle by striving to return to ‘pre-baby weight’ after only a few weeks or in some cases, days? Why do we feel ashamed that our post-baby body has gained significant weight or that we now have a pouch- the evidence of our baby’s’ first home? Why do the roadmarks irritate us when we once proudly showed off our bump? Why do the media lift up and celebrate women who’ve lost the weight, but mock those who haven’t?
How about we do two things?
1) Celebrate each others’ post-baby bodies- exactly how it is?
2) Not gloat if the weight happened to fall of naturally?
Now I can breathe easy, having let out some steam, LOL!
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