Embracing Your Postpartum Body

As I headed to the hospital for my induction, I made a quick pitstop at my parents house—where I dropped off my dog and some of my moms oversized clothes that I had been wearing throughout my pregnancy. I figured that after I gave birth, I wouldn’t need those clothes anymore, and that I’d immediately go back to my pre-pregnancy wardrobe.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

After giving birth, it quickly became apparent that I was not all belly, and that I had actually gained quite a bit of fat during my pregnancy. At a few weeks postpartum, I was still far from being able to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothing. I begrudgingly asked my mom to borrow her clothes again, and my confidence hit an all time low. I felt miserable in my skin for the weeks to follow.

After a few months of self-pity, I started to accept that this was my new body, and I wouldn’t ever be a size 0 again. At first, this was a hard pill to swallow. However, I eventually learned to embrace my postpartum body.

Today I am nearly 6 months postpartum, and I am still hanging onto THIRTY pounds! Yet, I love my new body. Sure, there are times I’m uncomfortable in my skin. However, for the most part, I am more confident in myself than I have ever been before. If I could regain my confidence, you can too. Here’s how.

Donate ALL clothing that doesn’t fit.

And I really mean all of it! Don’t hang onto that old pair of jeans that you love, or the shirt that is just a few pounds away from fitting. If it doesn’t fit you, get rid of it.

Hanging onto my old clothes killed my confidence. Looking in my closet was a constant reminder that I was once much smaller. I would often try on pieces that used to be big on me, thinking they would have to fit. When they didn’t, my confidence would plummet.

Finally, I spent an entire day sorting through my clothes. I filled boxes upon boxes with different types of clothing that no longer fit me. All of my “casual” clothes were donated to teenagers in foster care, and my “professional” clothes were donated to a women’s shelter.

I felt an overwhelming sense of relief after I dropped the clothing off. I no longer felt this pressure to fit into those clothes, and I therefore no longer felt like I needed to lose weight. Donating my old wardrobe was truly the most freeing feeling.

Pack up your maternity wardrobe.

When my pre-pregnancy clothing didn’t fit, I decided to continue wearing my maternity clothes. However, my big ol’ belly was gone, so those pieces didn’t fit me right. The shirts were baggy in weird places, and the pants were constantly falling down. I was always uncomfortable because I was always adjusting my clothing.

While it was hard for me to pack up my comfy maternity clothes, I’m so glad I did it. Once I stopped wearing clothes that were made for pregnant women, I was forced to wear clothes made for *non* pregnant women. While this meant I had to size up, I was so much more comfortable throughout the day—my pants were staying put, and my shirts were fittng more comfortably.

It can be a sad day when you pack up those maternity clothes, but once your belly is gone, it’s time. Trust me, you will be happy you did it.

Spend some money on yourself!

I know this can be hard, and I know that you may not be in a place where you can do this. However, if you have the extra funds, then buy yourself some new clothes!

I was so hesitant to buy myself new clothing at first. I wanted to spend that extra money on the baby (because that’s more fun, right?), and I had convinced myself that it was unnecessary. However, after donating all of my clothes, and packing up my maternity wardrobe, I was left with only my moms old clothes, and my husbands oversized T-shirts. While I was grateful I had something to wear, I didn’t exactly feel confident in those pieces. I didn’t like how I looked, so I never wanted to leave the house. That’s when I realized something needed to change.

Slowly, but surely, I began to build up my new wardrobe. I didn’t go on some massive shopping spree—although that would’ve been fun! Instead, I would grab a new piece here & there. Overtime my wardrobe grew, and I started to feel better about myself. I stopped reaching for those old, oversized pieces, and I started reaching for my new, fitted pieces. For the first time—ever—I began to wear clothing that made me feel good.

Acknowledge what your body has been through.

Last, but certainly not least, you need to give yourself grace. Your body must adapt in order to bring your child into this world. The extra fat and wider hips are necessary to grow and birth a human. Your ‘girls’ are saggy because they filled with milk—even if you didn’t breastfeed! All of the changes that you notice in yourself had a purpose, and your baby wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for those changes.

Rather than hating the new aspects of your body, try to remember what the changes gave you. Whenever I feel uncomfortable with my body, I look at my baby boy. Every roll, scar, and jiggle is worth it for that kid. I am proud of my body for creating him, which means I need to be proud of the changes my body endured to make this all possible.

At the end of the day, it can be hard to accept your postpartum body. I struggled with the changes and the weight gain, however I am now more confident (and bigger!) than ever. With intention and gratitude, it is possible to love yourself again.

I would love for you to share any tips you may have for regaining your confidence postpartum. I’m sure other mamas could use the information!

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