Let’s Talk about the Postpartum Body
How did you feel about your body when you looked in the mirror after giving birth?
Did you feel strong and empowered? Did you rejoice in the goodness of what your body had done (regardless of how you gave birth)? Did you feel disappointed? Did you feel shocked by what you saw?
I think we do a really poor job of preparing moms for the postpartum body. We go from this round, firm belly holding a human inside of it to a soft, squishy belly that still looks 6 months pregnant but without life inside. Suddenly the belly that carried life is empty and *sometimes* this image can carry shame. Isn’t it so interesting that a moment that is meant to be filled with joy can be stolen by the Enemy who tells us that this image is no longer good?
So what makes us think that our postpartum bodies are not good? Let’s get curious about it. What makes us feel shame over them? What makes us feel like we need to hide the fact that we literally just gave birth to a full-term person? That this very belly that nourished a child for 9 months is now something that should be looked upon as ugly? That in one moment, what was seen as a thing of beauty, is in the next moment seen as something to look on with disdain?
Mommas, I do not care if you are 1 day postpartum or 10 years postpartum…your body is good, regardless of how soft and squishy your abdomen still is. I’m not giving us an excuse, but we need to stop the shaming. When you think about the miracle of carrying life, growing a human from nothing to full-term…when you think about how all the organs got shoved around by your growing uterus, and how all the muscles and ligaments and tendons and skin and fascia had to stretch to accommodate that growing uterus…it’s a legit miracle that our bodies can change so much to make room for a child, and it’s an awful thing to place expectations on it of what we think it should be postpartum, which is primarily based on comparison to someone else. Stop comparing your body to someone on IG, someone trying to sell you something, a picture that is photoshopped, or really ANYONE who is not YOU! (PS: it’s also wrong to compare to your former self!) They carry a different story – different genetics, different hormone levels, different sleeping patterns, different habits and schedules, and life situations and circumstances. It just isn’t a fair playing field.
BE KIND TO YOU. It’s some of the best advice I can give (though I could talk your ear off about this all day, and wouldn’t I just love to pray it over you!). Be kind to you. You have a good body – right now. Exactly how it is. It’s not an excuse. It’s a banner. Live under it each day. And your decisions and views will be based on God’s incredible gift to you rather than a lie from an Enemy who only wants to steal from you.