Our bodies go through so many major changes during pregnancy and birth. They grow, stretch, and just change in various ways- some of which are permanent. One of the most common postpartum topics that I hear is about pre-pregnancy weight. A lot of us are worried about getting back to the weight we were at before pregnancy or trying to hide the physical marks of pregnancy. In most cases, these thoughts or feelings create or worsen a negative image of ourselves.
I recently heard a piece of advice that forced a light bulb to go off in my head about my own postpartum body. It was a response to a comment about keeping clothes that will fit again once getting back to that pre-pregnancy weight. It was “give away the clothes that do not fit and buy clothes that make you feel good in your current body”. This really hit home for me.
A little bit of back story on me, I am 1 year postpartum. I carried my daughter to 38 weeks and gave birth to her by a cesarean delivery after a couple days of labor. I gained about 60 pounds during pregnancy and my body grew all over. I did get back to my pre-pregnancy weight around 6 months postpartum, but I still found that I wasn’t fitting in some of my old clothes. This was really sad for me because some of these were my favorite pieces, so I decided to hold on to them until I fit into them again. I thought it was a great goal!
What I found instead is that I just felt like I had nothing to wear because my clothes weren’t comfortable or they didn’t fit me correctly. Even at my pre-pregnancy weight, my post-pregnancy body was still different. When I heard to give those clothes away, my first reaction was “I love them too much!” then as I gave it some more thought I realized that those clothes were no longer bringing me joy, but instead they encouraging me to have negative feelings about my body. I was already struggling with negative feelings about my body after my birth experience and my feelings towards these clothes were just added fuel to the fire.
So I broke down and decided to go for it, I cleaned out my closet. I left only clothes that fit me and that I felt comfortable in both of which made me feel good about myself. The emotional difference since making this change has been incredible. I feel good about getting dressed again! I don’t feel as if the clothes that fit me are second best and I don’t feel like I have absolutely nothing to wear.
All in all, give this some good thought. Think about what makes you happy and most comfortable with the body you are living in. Remember that bodies are amazing and that no two are exactly alike. I hope this helps someone embrace their individual beauty and thus helps them foster positive feelings about themselves.
Each and every person is different; there are no two people that are exactly the same. This is why people do not fit into a "one size fits all" mold. In all aspects of my life, but especially in my doula work, I strive to keep an open mind in order to learn more about other's views on various topics. I believe in the right to one's opinion and believe that even with opposing views, people can live cohesively. I value the ability to form my own opinions. I encourage people to develop their own views and support them in their choices, regardless if they are the same as mine.
All of this brings me to a topic that is currently on my mind: breastfeeding. With world breastfeeding week in full force, it is important to remember that breastfeeding is not for everyone. There are some people that choose not to breastfeed and there are others that are unable to regardless of how much they try. Breastfeeding is also not always easy, it can be tiresome, painful, and binding. Breastfeeding is not the only way for a child to be fed, there are other wonderful options available. The most important thing is that babies are fed.
I am currently a breastfeeding mother and I value that I am able to share this journey with my daughter. Today I participated in my local community's "Big Latch On" and the reason behind my decision to do this was to bring awareness to public breastfeeding. There have been numerous times when I have needed to breastfeed in public. My daughter has never been one that would stand to be covered up; she will cry, not eat, and struggle to remove the cover. I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by people who are supportive or unconcerned about my public nursing and just hope that every other person breastfeeding receives the same.
Thanks for reading,