This Postpartum Body Post is the Best One Yet
Is it just me or are we being inundated with postpartum selfies lately? It seems like everyone, from celebrities to your average, everyday soccer moms, have shared postpartum selfies on social media.
And in some ways, I've been grateful to see all of the postpartum images pop up because they give us a more broad perspective of how different pregnancy and childbearing can look on women. There simply is no “right” or “wrong” to look when you become a mom and if anything, I feel like motherhood can be a very freeing experience when you no longer have to feel pressured to look “sexy” in a conventional way to be valued in society.
But in other ways, the selfies can be dangerous too, because seeing women who may be naturally inclined to have flat stomachs or no stretch marks after having babies makes those of us who have stretched to the end of the world and have the marks to prove it, feel a little bad about ourselves. It can be so, so difficult to overcome the feeling that looking attractive means looking slim and that being slim and “sexy” = healthy.
Which is why I absolutely love the postpartum selfie that a blogger called “Mum on the Run” posted last month.
Her post depicts a before and after shot, but it's not your typical “fitspo” post about weight loss. Instead, it's actually about weight gain and how gaining weight actually made her healthier.
The picture on the left, Laura Mazza, a 30-year-old mom of two, explained, was snapped at a time in her life when she was very proud of how she looked. She celebrated her “progress” with pictures and new clothes and sexy underwear. People praised her for being fit and asked her for exercise and nutrition advice. The only problem? She was deeply unhappy and unhealthy. She survived on only meat in order to maintain her lean frame, was constantly dieting, and even developed heartburn from a lack of variety in her diet.
But hey, she looked good, right?
The picture on the right, however, Mazza snapped seven months after giving birth to her youngest and the difference is clear in how she looks, but the more important difference, she went on to explain is in how she feels.
Although she admits that, of course, a part of her would love to look like her original picture, she knows now that true health can not be measured by how small you are or how much you weigh or how “sexy” you look in your underwear.
“The scars and stretch marks and jiggly tummy is because I made humans,” Mazza wrote. “I ate a little more cake, I drank a little more wine. I made mug cakes at 9pm and snuggled on the couch with my husband.
I have achieved more with this body, then I have with my old body. I've eaten more good foods. I've lived more, I've given more, I've enjoyed more. I've made life. This body, THIS body should be celebrated and admired.
I should admire myself. I should love myself.
I get it now. Celebrating all body types. All body types and the stories that go with that body. Above all, THE person should be celebrated. Healthy bodies should be celebrated. Healthy should be what we strive for. Healthy minds, healthy journey's and however that reflects on to our bodies, we should admire it.
I still want to look like the first photo, no doubt. I miss that body, it makes me sad. But I want to get there in a healthy way, mentally and physically. I want to be proud and at peace with this body. And I want to like what I've got now.
No … I want to love what I've got now.
No matter what size you are, a size 6 or size 60. You deserve to celebrate it. Sexy underwear AND a new wardrobe.”
Amen, sister, amen. And just for the record? You are rocking it in both pictures.
Do you feel like you are healthier after having kids?