Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Postpartum Body Image

The first time I saw my body in the mirror after giving birth to my first daughter, I was shocked.
It was not what I was expecting.
I don't know what I was expecting,
but it wasn't that.

When I got home from the hospital, I did my best to tuck my emotions away on the subject and just take care of my daughter.
I loved her!
I would have done it all again in a heartbeat.

But I was trying my hardest to avoid mirrors as much as possible for quite some time.

I think some people might have told me not to do that,
telling me something about learning to love myself no matter what, or something.

But I don't think there was anything wrong with my mirror avoidance.
It actually helped.
I was less frustrated when I wasn't looking.

And after a while it got better.
And mirrors were ok again.

Its just part of life,
things don't happen over night,
no matter what TV, Movies and Magazines say.

Having lived all that I have, since that day back in June 2010,
makes my current postpartum body experience much less emotional this time.

But the time between then and now has been a big journey.

One of the huge helps to me during that time was running across a website.

Its called Shape of a Mother.
And its a website where women can send in images of their bodies after giving birth (at any point after) and share whatever is on their heart along with the photos.
If you have ever had even a moment of disappointment with your after-baby-body I think you will find much comfort in looking through some of this site.
*Its a very open and real site, so there is nudity. Please take that into account when viewing.

I think there is a lot of power in not feeling alone, in places that seem lonely.
This website is a place to find solace in the midst of a strange emotional place.

*If you are currently pregnant (or hope to have your first pregnancy in the future), I'm not sure if this site is quite for you yet. (It might scare you unnecessarily.) But if you know yourself, and think it might be good for you before you give birth go for it! If you have any doubts, hold off, and check it out later, if you feel strange about your body after your baby is born.

Click here for more of my healthy pregnancy posts -- stuff I wish I had known the first time I was pregnant! 

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