So let’s get a few things straight before we even get started: After this whole pregnancy thing blows over (hahahaha), will my body be the exactly same as it was before? No. Will my body still be awesome? Yes.
I’ve actually been quite lucky throughout this pregnancy – I haven’t received a lot of unwanted comments about my body from strangers. Cashiers or waiters have made lighthearted comments but everything has been in good taste and nothing has offended me. Interestingly enough, it’s mostly been people close to me (and surprise surprise: men) who have made the comments that have bothered me throughout this experience. Someone told me that my boobs will never be the same (well, duh). Several people have laughed at my desire to have as natural of a child birth as possible (I got pretty snappy in response to that one, considering it was two humans with penises making the comments). But the worst thing I’ve heard, even though I’d like to believe it was said in a joking manner:
Your body will be RUINED after this.
I can’t speak much about the post-baby body experience, because I am obviously not post-baby yet. However, that statement really got to me. Maybe I’m a little more sensitive than usual because of the hormones or the harsh reality of the situation, but it really got me down. In the last eight months, my body has undergone an astounding amount of changes, and I’m proud of what it’s done. Of course my body will be different after this life changing experience, but ruined?! Hell no.
I’m not talking about anything new here. Women have been feeling post-pregnancy body insecurities forever. And there are plenty of ways to move forward with the relationship you have with your body – all of which are valid. Embrace the changes. Make choices through diet and exercise to treat your body well. Dress and accessorize yourself to present a picture to the world you love (we all know the power of a manicure or cut and color!!). Or even treatments or surgery to change or “correct” (isn’t there a better word for this?!) things to make you feel your best. I never thought I would be into that kind of decision, but now that I’m in the trenches, I’m already dreaming about a post-breastfeeding reduction.
Moral of the story: celebrate your body! Celebrate what your body is doing or has done as a mother. Celebrate yourself separately from what you’ve done as a mother – you are still YOU. Celebrate the changes you’ve experienced and the the changes you want to make. Most importantly, celebrate exactly who you are right now. And don’t let anyone – no man, no woman – make you feel like you and your body are not worthy of celebrating. Because you are!
Maternity & Breastfeeding Hoodie from Bun Maternity.