Postpartum Body Image

Honestly, I think this is the toughest thing I’ve had to deal with as a first-time mom, being new to this whole postpartum journey!

When I got home from the hospital, post-c-section, I wasn’t really concerned about it – honestly I didn’t have the time to analyze myself in the mirror anyway.  However, after a few weeks when Kenna and I had somewhat figured out breastfeeding, I eventually started seeing someone in the mirror who I didn’t recognize.

She was a mom, still 30 pounds heavier than the Rachel I remembered (and felt like inside), she was tired and had bags under her eyes, her hair was a mess and hadn’t been cut in ages, and the acne she’d been struggling with before pregnancy was returning.  I didn’t feel like myself when I looked in the mirror; surely that was someone else on the other side!  I still struggle with this almost a year later.  The difference is, now I have the foresight to redirect my negative outlook.

When I’m having a tough day, I try to remember the following things.

  1. This is the only face my daughter remembers on me: round cheeks, double chin, acne, tired eyes.  And guess what?  This postpartum face makes her smile every. single. time.
  2. Stretch marks and incision scars are my battle scars.  I had a difficult pregnancy; surgery at 27 weeks for an ovarian torsion, high blood pressure, extra amniotic fluid, and uncomfortable edema.  I successfully carried an 8 lb 3.5 oz, 21.5″ long baby to full term.  We endured a long labor with failure to progress, then a traumatic c-section, and eventually arrived home safely, where my husband was blessed enough to be able to take care of us for two full weeks.  I remember those things when I see all of my stretch marks and scars.
  3. I have a husband who loves me for me.  He sees past my flaws (he might not even see them altogether) and compliments me every day.  What more could you ask for?

Here’s the thing:

It’s an ongoing struggle.  I could lose the weight if I applied myself, and I plan on doing so when the time is right (probably after we’re done having kids).  Every day I have to remind myself of these three things, and almost every day I succeed.

What helps you love and rock your postpartum mom body?  Drop some comments below; I’ll take all the tips I can get!

Until next time,
Rachel

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rpow3llJane TthevintagegypsygirlQuitterstrip Recent comment authors
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Quitterstrip
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I think every mom can relate to this post. I still struggle with image and my kids are 9 and 8. The points you make though are head on. All in all, we are too hard on ourselves and always seem to look at the negative instead of the positive. Thanks for the advice!

thevintagegypsygirl
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I’m so proud of you and happy for you that you have learned to love yourself for who you are today. You are so right, you’re daughter loves your face, your husband loves your face and body. Those are battle wounds that show us what warrior women can endure during pregnancy!

Jane T
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I totally empathize with you. I wanted to quickly bring “myself’ back to who I remembered myself as pre-baby. But you know what, it doesn’t matter, right? To this baby, you are their entire world. And that love and complete trust in you is so amazing and beautiful. Happy mommyhood!