Jediael Carter Stewart
Postpartum & Your Body Image: Will You Ever Feel Beautiful Again?
Many people believe that the happiest, most joyous moments in a woman’s life are the few days and months after giving birth. But that is far from the truth for some women.
Postpartum is tough.
It’s a complex space where you experience a mix of emotions that can be confusing and enjoyable all at the same time. You experience loneliness, frustration, exhaustion, fear and today’s focus, self-loathing.
In my first few days of motherhood, I was numb. While my relatives doted on our angel, I felt I was on autopilot. Something else had taken over and there was no getting hold of the reins.
This was survival mode. Keep your head down, put in the work and everything will be alright. I threw myself into caring for this tiny human and neglected my mental wellbeing.
At least two months after I gave birth my husband and I were to celebrate our wedding anniversary, and I felt ugly. My clothes didn’t fit, my tummy, though receding “quickly” still bulged, my face was breaking out with pimples and liver spots, my hairline was receding, my double chin was seemingly bigger, thighs thicker, I had a muffin top and so many things were just not right.
I hated my body. I was ugly. My self-esteem was shot, and in my eyes, my beauty was gone. I hadn’t snapped back and I failed as a millennial mother.
Though bigger physically, I felt incredibly small in spirit. I stopped taking pictures, wore baggy clothes,
I was hyper-conscious of my many flaws and wrestled with these thoughts on my own. I felt I was alone, that nobody would understand.
Where was my slim frame? Why wasn’t I looking and feeling the same in a size small anymore? Who would find this body attractive?
It has been two years since our angel graced us with her presence and I am still not completely comfortable with the changes my body experienced.
So, will you ever feel beautiful again?
Certainly. Be patient with yourself (after all you brought life into this world) and know that you are not alone. A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, which followed 85,000 mothers before, during, and after pregnancy found that most moms experienced a significant dip in self-esteem after having a baby and that dip lasted up to three years. This was true regardless of the mother’s relationship status, job situation, and level of education.
I hope you’re inspired to share your story as I have today. If you wish to share it with us, shoot us an email or DM me on Instagram… that’s what this community is all about.
Let’s start the conversation.
#BodyImage #Selfesteem #Postpartum #Motherhood #Mom #MillennialParenting #BodyPositivity