The act of giving birth is far from easy, especially for a first-time mom. You’ve spent 9 months watching your body go through changes, some of which you probably never anticipated! All leading you to the one BIG day, the day you give birth to your beautiful baby. If there’s one thing I learned through the act of birth, it showed me a new appreciation and love for my body.
Birth and pregnancy made my body BETTER!
You might not believe it. In fact, according to a study done by the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands showed that “even after THREE years of giving birth, moms were still struggling to regain their confidence“.1
After giving birth, there might be plenty of changes that just “aren’t the same” anymore. You might struggle to lose or maintain your weight more now than before. And truthfully, I can relate to the struggles of regaining confidence after birth.
I was so anxious to get my “pre-baby” body back that I failed to see all the other amazing things my body just did for me. The same things your body is doing or has done for you.
Giving birth highlights your strengths, both mentally AND physically!
When our son was born, I remember feeling so nervous. We had a unique situation where my water never entirely broke but leaked in tiny amounts over a few days. This led to me developing a bacterial infection often called Chorioamnionitis (Chorio for short). Simply put, it’s when bacteria ascend into the uterus, where the baby is located, causing an infection. Because we had this unique situation, our doctors acted quickly with induction and tried to get my body to speed up the birth process.
I remember feeling so physically sick, hot and sweaty within minutes. I developed an onset of a fever pretty soon after being admitted and started to doubt my ability to bring our baby into this world. After two long days of being induced in the hospital, my body FINALLY decided it was ready to give birth to our boy.
By this time, I was exhausted and weak. I remember at times feeling like I was going to pass out, but I kept telling myself I needed to stay strong for our baby. I needed to get through this no matter what happened. So I fought with everything in me to keep pushing and breathing until, finally, our little boy was here.
I think back to that day all the time and remember how hard it was. And how, at times, I thought I couldn’t do it. But the will to make sure my little boy got into this world safely kept me going. My body kept me going. As much as I was fighting mentally, my body was fighting alongside me. We gave everything we had that day, and I could never thank my body enough for getting me through one of the toughest days of my life.
Think back to your birth. Think back to the days you wanted to give up, but your body kept fighting for you. That’s a unique strength worth appreciating. Even more so, that’s a great reason to love your body, if you ask me.
The act of birth changes you.
There’s something about giving birth to a life that will forever change you. Maybe it’s the fact that our bodies were made for this. Or perhaps it’s the fact that you literally just created life. Maybe there’s no real defined reason, but it embarks you through this inevitable journey of self-appreciation. Appreciating that you made, carried and birthed a baby into the world!
What’s even more incredible? Your body will continue to change and adjust after birth to keep up with your and your baby’s needs! If you’re a breastfeeding mom, it’ll continue to create nutrients for your baby as long as you elect to breastfeed. And can we please acknowledge that AFTER birth, your days are soon filled with sleep deprivation, trying to recover from childbirth, fluctuating hormones, and lots of overwhelming feelings?! That alone is enough to make you feel a bit different.
So yes, even though you’re technically the same person, you might find yourself changed through this major life event as I did.
Your size does NOT equal your worth.
Your body is SO much more than just an image. It’s more than a size. More than a number on the scale. Many women (myself included) tend to get caught up on these things. We’re only human.
Think of it this way: your body CREATED A LIFE. That’s something to be proud of! It should be celebrated, not mourned. Sure, you might not look the same as before birth or pregnancy, but I like to think we actually look better!
Our loose skin is a reflection of the home that once belonged to your baby. The stretch marks show the journey in which your body sacrificed to carry your baby. Embrace it, appreciate your body, and use those things to build yourself up, not down.
As time passes and the timing is right, you can embark on your physical appearance if you’d like but don’t rush into something because you feel pressured to do so. You’re beautiful as you are and as you choose to be.
How Giving Birth Made Me Love My Body
As you can see, I’ve learned to appreciate my body through all its stages. I admire its strengths in times I felt I couldn’t be strong. I value it more than a number on the scale or a clothing size. Most importantly, I feel confident and proud of all my body has done for me through pregnancy, birth, and beyond!
So next time you find yourself filling up with self-doubts about your body, I challenge you to celebrate all your body has done for you instead! Choose to remember how giving birth can help you love your body, too!