Dear Mothers, Your Belly is Beautiful!
BY FATIMA DEDRICKSON
As far as I can remember, I have always wanted to become a mother. Never once did I think about the fact about my body changing. Growing up, I watched a whole bunch of women including my mother and sisters give birth. Never once did I look at them and think about their postpartum bodies. Maybe I was too little to understand, maybe I didn’t get it because I wasn’t a mother, maybe I didn’t notice or maybe I was too busy snuggling babies. Either way, it was never about their bodies.
Fast forward to when I had Noah. One of the first comments I got, mind you I just birthed a baby, was “wow fatty, let me see your belly.” At the time I didn’t think much about it, but looking back that bothered me so much. All of a sudden I started stressing. I needed to be back to my fit self instantly! All of a sudden my thoughts shifted and for a time I wasn’t myself. My thoughts were consumed with “how can I get my pre-baby belly back?” I remember poking my belly and I am pretty sure my finger touched my back. After a good meltdown, or several, I thought, “forget about that comment Fatty, you just had a baby…that is freaking amazing.”
We live in a world where we are being told to be perfect. To look flawless during and after delivery, to have a videographer and capture every moment of that day, to have Pinterest worthy photos. Because if we don’t, we “missed” the point or we aren’t keeping up with the Jones’.
Why why why?
Instead of women being hopeful of one day being able to carry a child, some are too scared to give up their bodies. Scared because they have heard horror stories. “You will never be able to hold your pee again. You will never have abs again. Your boobs will hit the floor, etc.”
Let me tell you something, forget about all the horror stories you’ve heard! There’s nothing more incredible than holding your baby in your arms. The moment you have longed for, for 9 months, enjoy it to the fullest. There’s nothing more special than watching your spouse become a parent. Let that be your focus, not what your body looks like the day after.
Your body may not look the exact same, it will be even better! You carried one/multiple children and that is freaking amazing. You discovered strengths you had no idea even existed. You can now carry a carseat, grocery bags and talk on the phone at the same time. Skills! You can change a diaper in record time with no skid marks down your finger. You can sleep with one eye open, literally. You can prepare a bottle in the dark. You can read a bedtime story by heart. You get countless amounts of kisses and hugs every day. Each day you keep your kids fed, happy and safe.
I can go on and on… because you my dear, YOU ARE AMAZING!
Your belly is beautiful because it created life. That is hard work. If you are worrying about getting “back” or you’re currently in that phase, my advice to you is, enjoy the journey, and know that your fit self will be back. Be patient with yourself, a lot happens with our bodies during pregnancy, so let your body take the time it needs to adjust back.
Learn to love yourself in every stage, and you will learn to appreciate what you’ve done so much more.
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Being a mother of three, I have learned a lot about my own body. Truthfully, I am amazed by the human body and think women are absolutely amazing. Getting back in “shape” after birth is no easy task. No matter who you are, it takes a lot of work. Don’t get discouraged because you may not be where you wanted to be right at this moment. Don’t you quit because you are too impatient or because someone else has already reached their goals.