Struggling With Body Image Before & After Baby
Body image is something I have always had a hard time with. I am going to start out this post by saying I know my body is beautiful and amazing. It created the most precious thing on this planet, that I love more than life itself. It is understandable it changed and I know that. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m entirely happy with my body. In fact, I’m not happy with it at all.
I’ve always struggled with body image. I was never skinny, always curvy, and my boobs were way too big. Ever since I can remember I have dreamed about losing weight and having perfect smaller boobs. Guess what? That dream is far from reality today.
Within one week of being home from the hospital after Sasha was born, I weighed 19 pounds less than on the day I was induced. I only gained 27 pounds during my entire pregnancy. Today, I weigh less than I did when I got pregnant. I do not weigh less than I did during some points of my pregnancy though. Fun fact: I lost weight until I was about 15 weeks pregnant. My body today is completely different. My leggings are loose, my jeans are tight. I don’t fit into most of my clothes because even though my body weighs less, it’s taken on a completely different shape.
The media and their portrayal of celebrities is the reasoning behind women trying to “bounce back.” Some bodies really do “bounce back”, they return close to a pre-baby shape instantly. However, bouncing back is so subjective. So many people have told me I look great. People have told me that I need to give myself grace because I only had a baby a few months ago. Well, let me tell you, it’s easy to say that to someone, but it’s hard to actually do.
A few weeks ago, I was picking out my outfit for a bridal shower. I have always hated summer dresses and how they look on my body. I tried on everything and nothing fit. While trying on options, I was yelling at my mom because everything she suggested, dresses, pants, rompers, SHOES, nothing was going to fit me. I even considered not going to the shower because I am currently so uncomfortable in my own body.
This spiral made me consider why I haven’t started working out. Prior to the pandemic, working out was the only time I could really disconnect from the world. It’s my “me-time”. The days I work out, I’m happier and calmer. I think I’m a better version of myself.
I walk with Sasha almost every day, but going to the gym has not been on my radar. My membership is paused due to COVID and pregnancy, and I know need to start going. Is it fair for me to complain when I’m not doing much about it? I’m tired and exhausted every day, and working out will only take more energy. Also, I haven’t been going to the gym because I’ve been scared of my milk supply dropping. This makes me think about what breastfeeding is doing to my body. I know that for some women, breastfeeding helps them lose weight, but I really don’t know if it’s helping me. This body image issue I have been experiencing is causing me to consider stopping breastfeeding (or exclusively pumping technically).
You might be thinking, so what? Your body created a baby, get over your body image issues. But I can’t… To me, a huge part of being a mom is still being my own person. If I’m not happy with my own body and I’m not confident with how I look, I know I need to do something about it. Being unhappy in my own skin doesn’t mean I love my daughter any less. It doesn’t make me a bad mom. Carrying about my appearance doesn’t make me a bad mother either. Being uncomfortable in my own body just means I need to take better care of myself, practice self-care, and find who I am as an individual. If I don’t know how to be happy, how can I make sure she is happy?
Caring About Your Body Image Does NOT Make You a Bad Mom
Let me repeat myself… Caring about your body image and how you look doesn’t make you a bad mom! For a minute there, I let myself believe it did. If you’re not happy in your own body, just know it’s normal to feel this way. It’s important for you to feel like yourself. Doing so doesn’t mean you love your child any less and it doesn’t make you a bad mother. We mamas have to do whatever we need to, to make sure we are happy too!As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This includes sales through affiliate links on this page.