Grief can occur whenever and wherever there is loss or change. It is not uncommon for women to grieve because they miss their pre-pregnancy body. After having a baby, they look in the mirror and do not recognize their new shape, new scars, new look. If you can relate to this experience, know you are not alone. However, your grief does not have to last forever. Read on to learn about 9 ways you can honor and connect with your postpartum body.
1. Thank your body. For some, this might seem a bit too out there to embrace at first. But don’t knock it until you at least try it. As you thank your body, try to use specifics. For example you could say something like, “Thank you for being strong throughout my pregnancy” or “Thank you for your ability to heal” or “Thank you for creating, growing, and nurturing my baby.” Try out this exercise and observe how you feel over time.
2. Ditch the scale. We used to not own a scale, and I absolutely loved it. I never felt compelled to hop on and check in to see where my weight was at. There was no keeping track of how much weight I lost or gained that day, week, or month. Our society spends waaaay too much time obsessing over numbers. You can decrease the pressure by leaning towards the unknown when it comes to your weight. Measure your health and well-being in other terms (i.e. how well you feel.) If you find that a scale is doing more harm than good, get rid of it.
3. Take care of your body. Shower. Move it. Eat nourishing foods. As you care for your body, you show that you care. You show that you honor it as something worth maintaining. Something of great value and worth.
4. Reprogram your thoughts. Watch the story that you are telling yourself in your head. Why do you believe that way? How do you feel when you believe that way? Do you want to feel that way? Replace negative beliefs about your body with positive beliefs. Remind yourself that your worth has absolutely NOTHING to do with your weight. Your worth comes from your existence. You matter because you are you. Not because of your appearance.
5. Remove pre-pregnancy clothes that no longer fit from your closet. Replace with comfortable, flattering pieces. For too long, I left clothes in my closet that did not fit me. They hung in there as a constant reminder of the way my body used to look. It wasn’t until I Marie Kondoed the heck out of those clothes that I realized how they were holding me back. Once I got rid of them, I felt free. I felt like I could better embrace my new size and my new look. I now have articles of clothing in my closet that I can feel beautiful and confident in.
6. Learn about your body. Even if you’re not that into biology and anatomy, take some time to learn about the human body. It is absolutely incredible what it can do and how it functions! We are no mistake. We are no accident. The way that the different parts of our body all work together to be able to do all that it does, is completely mind-blowing. Our bodies are so intricate and so detailed. Learning about your body, and what it can do, can increase your appreciation and gratitude for it.
7. Avoid the comparison trap. You probably hear this tip regularly, and yet it is still such an easy trap to fall into. So how can you avoid it? One method is to watch what you watch. If you spend a lot of time on social media looking at other people’s feeds that influence you to feel less-than, then stop. Choose uplifting activities/hobbies that can aid you in living YOUR best life in YOUR body, rather than longing for someone else’s.
8. Surround yourself with positive influences. One gift my mother gave me is that she never talked about weight while I was growing up. It wasn’t something she obsessed over. Surround yourself with people and influences like that...People that recognize that there is far more to life than what pant size you wear.
9. Lastly, congratulate yourself mama. Your body accomplished something absolutely incredible...Truly miraculous if you think about it. Though you may see those stretch marks and curves as something you wish you could change, have them serve as a reminder of the life that you are living. As well as the life you brought into the world. Be kind to yourself. You matter just as you are.
-Michelle White, Founder of Rest Dress
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