The Beauty of The Post Pregnancy Body
I came across this photo on the net, and it instantly warmed my heart, I just fell in love with it ❤️! Strange reaction, some might think….but I think it’s because I simply just understood the message the photo was communicating…..or maybe because it’s so relevant to my life.
This is a body of a woman who has given birth (and this is still quite pretty), and it’s just beautiful! The saggy/stretchy/loose skin, the belly pouch, the stretch marks….all too familiar :). Having kids really changes your body. Nobody warned me, now I’m in too deep!!
I honestly really love my body. Being pregnant has certainly changed the way it looks, but that’s what makes it even more beautiful. It has carried our three beautiful kids, and will hopefully carry more (UPDATE: it’s currently carrying our fourth)
I didn’t have too many stretch marks before I had kids but when I look at my stretch marks now, they are a fond reminder of my kids. Like, I remember that with Kumi, my tummy was very round and I got stretch marks on my sides ….a few cute ones, nothing to write home about. But with Hubo, my tummy was growing pointy like Pinocchio’s nose ?…..and the stretch marks ?…I looked like I had been fighting with an angry multi-clawed animal.
Granted, the first few weeks/months after birth, when my tummy was super wrinkly and dark and my stretch marks looked like they’d been painted with silver glitter, I didn’t find them cute at all! But now, their appearance is not as hectic …..I don’t mind them….and only one person sees them anyway….. and he’s already made the commitment to love me through thick and thin stretchmarks….lol!
Anyway, it’s good to think of pregnancy stretch marks as victory scars. My body has gone through something so significant, bringing humans onto this earth! Nurturing them and providing them with a home, nutrition, comfort and all they need for the 9 months before they stepped onto this earth…..and still providing comfort, nutrition, support, love, etc after they are born…..now that’s something!
Look, I realise it can be hard for mothers to love their bodies after babies because it’s not the kind of body you dream of having…..and you don’t find magazine pictures of real life post-pregnant women. We usually see the stories of the Beyonces and Kim Kardashians who seem to just bounce back from pregnancy within hours…..but we don’t even know what it took for them to get there.
Let’s not forget that these are celebrities and their job requires them to seem perfect, so if they have to spend the whole day in a gym, they will. If they have to nip and tuck, they will….so let’s not put ourselves in the same basket as the Beyonces of this world….unless of course, that’s what you aspire to.
I’m not saying that we should just accept ‘our fate’ and be forever frumpy. On the one hand, I’m actually quite the activist for healthy eating and exercise. I refuse to be overweight just because I’ve had babies. In my perfect world, we would all just eat well and exercise, and be healthy and happy with our bodies because we did.
But as well, I’ve grown past exercising and eating well just to ‘look good’, I really want to have a strong body that will fight disease and carry me through the years until I see my great grandchildren, God-willing.
So, yes, exercise does help the body get back into shape…..infact it makes quite a difference. Some people are fortunate enough not to put on much weight during pregnancy, and seem to just bounce back after giving birth. I’m not one of those….I have to sweat it out….but I’m grateful, because it’s actually made me more health-conscious. Ok, so that’s the one hand.
On the other hand, I’m under no illusion that my body will be like it was when I was 21 with no babies. How could it when it has gone through so much?
I’m absolutely happy and ok with my body and its changes.
- My skin is more saggy because it has amazingly stretched so much.
- My boobs sag because they’ve carried hundreds if not thousands of litres of milk and have nursed my babies with good nutrition.
- My tummy is far from being flat.
- My abs are weaker.
- My core muscles need to be restrengthened.
- I hardly had stretch marks before babies.
- My body is generally less toned (I guess that’s post-pregnancy coupled with age though).But my favourite body change is that I’m now more curvy!!! I’ve lost the weight but my body shape has changed.
Anyway, my body will never be the same…..why would it? I’m not the same.
I can sit and moan about that fact all day every day or I can choose to embrace it…..I choose the latter…..but fortunately for me, I’m very active and I try to eat well so my body actually looks great for a mother of 3, if I should say so myself ..haha! But my point is that mommies, don’t despise the after-baby body ❤️.
Mommies, I would love to hear your thoughts on this, so please feel free to share on the comments section.
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I’m a mother of a 15month old and I’m struggling to get back to my pre pregnancy weight and I’m just very unhappy with what has happened to my body. I’m working on it and hope I’ll love my body again soon!! I enjoyed reading your blog
Thanks so much Phindile:)
It does take quite a bit of work hey….and with the demands of a new little person, it doesn’t make it any easier….but all the best with getting there and most importantly embracing the ‘new you’
I’m a mother of two, the second pregnancy was quite hectic and left me with very bad stretch marks. It is not easy accepting this new image especially since now i am single. When it comes to dating, i struggle a lot and would rather stay single as this new image is something i still need to accept and get used to. I feel and look horrible and i am struggling to accept that. The saggy skin makes me feel even worse and i don’t know how to accept it. I have started exercising however that has not hepled much as the stretch marks are very visible still. Reading this somehow made me feel normal and i want to change my mindset as far as post birth body is concerned and hopefully i will succeed one day.
Hey girl. I can only imagine the challenges you’re going through. Self image is a tough thing and quite an important part of our being….especially as it pertains to relating with other people.
All the best with the journey…..exercising has helped a lot with saggy skin.
And just to encourage you, when you find a guy who wants to love you for the rest of your life, your stretch marks will not be a major factor…infact, we pay more attention to that stuff than men do.
But it is still important to improve your body for your own self…and to learn to accept the things that won’t change.
Thank you for sharing your story ❤
I’ve been going through blog & just 😍 it…. this read in particular 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾 Because it’s so personal… it’s taken me years to get to my ideal body weight & shape and it’s taken me longer to embrace my post baby tum & boobs (10 years later still WIP ….)
I’m also health & wellness conscious not only to look good but to maintain a lifestlye that will carry my active & adventurous mind…. while I’m still working on getting into the mental bikini👙 I’m grateful to have come across this…. Project love all sags & stretches is in full swing 🥰🥰🥰