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Between facing a whirlwind of hormones, schedule changes and sleepless nights, new moms go through one heck of a transition when entering the wild world of parenthood. Though the adventure is an exciting one, it can also be one filled with many insecurities surrounding postpartum body positivity. Women’s bodies stretch and scar and sag during (and beyond) the early weeks of motherhood, often making new moms feel defeated.
Though the transition can definitely be rocky, it is crucial to remember one very important fact: Your body grew a living, breathing, tiny human and that makes it extraordinary.
A Mama’s Body Tells a Story of Strength
During my pregnancy, I did everything in my power to avoid getting stretch marks and when I hit 31 weeks – the stretch marks made their official debut. Even though I was able to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight rather quickly, I have continued to struggle seeing those dreaded stretch marks and the extra skin on my belly that I refer to as ‘Pizza Dough Pudge’. Even after adjusting my eating habits and incorporating more exercise into my weekly routine, I am still incredibly tough on myself – as many new moms tend to be.
During moments of extreme frustration, I stop and look at my babies. Every time I look at my girls – I am incredibly thankful for that c-section scar and that annoying ‘Pizza Dough Pudge’ and every single stretch mark. Why? Because it was all for my girls.
These little ladies have written stories on my skin that I will never stop reading. My belly-pudge and all of those marks will continually remind me of all the remarkable things my body was doing while preparing for the arrival of my daughters. Sure, there may be moments when I look at my new body and grimace, but then I remember why the saggy skin and scars and stretch marks are all there – and that’s what matters.
The Mom-Bod is Not Flawed
It is important to remind yourself daily of your strength, beauty and courage. Too many new moms don’t step back and focus on their own self-worth because they are so focused on caring for their little one. Your body went through one hell of a transformation – and so did your mental state. By taking the time to remind yourself (out loud, even) of all the positives you have going on in your life, your mind will sculpt itself for the rest of the day.
Here are some ways that may help you remain body-positive throughout the day:
- On every mirror in your house or apartment, write “You Are Beautiful” or “Your Body Is Powerful” or “You Are Worth It” to remind yourself of the incredible transformation you and your body went through.
- Adjust your social media accounts – this one is more important than you may think! Stop following the celebrities (or acquaintances) who give you unneeded stress because their postpartum bodies look “perfect” in your eyes. For the record – no new mama of twins looks the way Beyoncé did one month later.
- Put time aside every day to focus on your health and fitness. Whether that is pushing the stroller around the block or doing crunches and squats while holding your baby (working out with your little one makes it even more worth it). This is not about hating and getting rid of the Pizza Dough Pudge. This is about getting a healthy rush of endorphins, and feeling good about that the fact that you took the time for self care and building and maintaining confidence.
Jennifer Aline is a coffee addict, new mom of twins and a passionate freelance writer and author. She has had articles in publications such as the NY Daily News, NY Post, Rochester Magazine and In Good Health Magazine as well as others. Aline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Keuka College and worked in the Human Services field before her two little girls entered her life. Aline now focuses primarily on writing, teaching aerial arts classes in the evenings and, of course, caring for her twin daughters – all while continuously chugging coffee, of course.