This Mother’s Day, Let’s Embrace Our Post Partum Bodies
The new mum in news, Meghan Markle was recently seen is royal baby photos, quite comfortable with her body, which maybe be permanent or transitional. She wore a fitted dress, and not a drape or a curtain which would hide her baby bump as if it were some hideous monster whose mere sight would turn people into stones. Markle has embraced her post partum body and so should all women. There is no need to feel ashamed or conscious about your bulging belly. Or have nightmares that your body will never go back to being what it was before you conceived. So what if it doesn’t?
- New mothers are under immense pressure to get rid of their post partum bodies instantly.
- They feel ashamed of their sagging bellies and wide hips.
- The desperation and shame they feel may cause depression and anxiety.
- If anything women should be proud of their bodies for withstanding the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth.
The body which nurtured a baby for nine long months takes its own sweet time to shrink and squeeze and tighten up at the places that we want it to. However, in most cases it never goes back to its former glory.
Giving birth to a baby doesn’t mean that a woman’s body will go back to its pre-pregnancy shape instantly. The body which nurtured a baby for nine long months takes its own sweet time to shrink and squeeze and tighten up at the places that we want it to. However, in most cases it never goes back to its former glory. Most mommies put up with a sagging belly, wider hips or heavy breasts for a lifetime. This is why people say that pregnancy alters your life forever. However, that doesn’t stop people from expecting that women resume their ideal shape and weight as soon as the baby vacates its accommodation. Someone needs to tell them that this is nearly impossible and that women shouldn’t feel ashamed of their post-partum body.
Who made these rules that it is unacceptable for women to have a baby bump after giving birth? Or that they should be ashamed if their belly refuses to shrink and tighten up? Pregnancy and child birth are glorious and as Prince Harry said after the birth of his son, “How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension.” We mothers ought to be proud of all the aspects of this amazing journey that we embarked on, including our post partum body.
Markle has embraced her post partum body and so should all women. There is no need to feel ashamed or conscious about your bulging belly.
The problem is that while we prepare expecting mothers for sleepless nights, endless feeding sessions and backaches, we do not talk enough about their own bodies, or how the pregnancy would end for them appearance-wise. The result is that most mothers are left in shock, when the baby bump doesn’t go away instantly. This leads to desperation and panic, which is only made worse by people around them who keep “suggesting” that it is time they, started shedding the extra kilos they piled up during pregnancy, or wore suffocating belts and straps which would help to tuck their belly in.
New mothers begin to feel the pressure of getting back into shape and when that doesn’t work out as they want it to, it leads may lead to depression. I suffered from post partum depression and I loathed my post pregnancy body for a long time, because people around me said it to my face that I had grown too fat and shapeless. This started just hours after I gave birth to my daughter and the comment hurt so much that I remember it through the grogginess induced by sleep medications. I was subtly reprimanded for piling on kilos during my pregnancy as if I did it deliberately. Years of self-loathing, led me to a cycle of failed diets and exercise regimes, and while I lost a little post partum bulge, I gradually developed a thick skin.
New mothers begin to feel the pressure of getting back into shape and when that doesn’t work out as they want it to, it leads may lead to depression.
Human bodies are different and everybody reacts differently to a stimulus. Everyone looks different, has different threshold for pain, emotions and has varying rate of metabolism. Then why do we have same fitness or beauty standards for everyone? Why do we expect all moms to return to their shapely former selves immediately after pregnancy? The lack of awareness and sensitivity keep new moms from enjoying motherhood because they are occupied fretting over how they can quickly gets back into shape. So this Mother’s Day, let us also talk about these unnatural expectations we have from new moms and tell them that their baby bump is natural. That it is normal to not get back into shape immediately after child birth. The only thing they should feel about their post partum bodies is pride, for withstanding the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth.
Picture Credit: E! Online
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.