If there’s one thing I could not keep track of, that would be the times I hurt my self-esteem by searching “Postpartum Body Slim” in Pinterest. Day after day, photos of kids with their model-thin moms would appear on my Pinterest feed, fuelling the frustration I couldn’t voice out — I just can’t be at peace with my postpartum body.
Before giving birth, I would search for Pinterest items that talked about losing the baby weight — getting back in shape through breastfeeding, diet ideas, exercises that involved the baby, and all kinds of smoothies that promise to help you lose 15 pounds in 15 days! My pre-baby fantasy believed that yes, I could get my body back to its 50-kg pre-baby weight in a heartbeat.
However, reality struck me hard like a sales assistant asking “Are you sure you’re a medium? How about we try a large?” Despite my breastfeeding efforts, I was one of the unlucky ones who just can’t lose weight. And since I’m breastfeeding, I couldn’t start any diet, let alone live on those magical, weight-busting smoothies! Oh, and did I mention that with all the exhaustion that comes with caring for a child, all the motivation to finish a 30-minute exercise just gets lost?
Needless to say, the months that followed made me more and more frustrated. Still donning the chubby cheeks and the major pooch that came after my C-Section, I looked in front of the mirror and asked myself “Are you never going to get your pre-baby body ever again?” Then, it hit me. What if this is meant to be this way? What if this time, I have to relish and enjoy the new body that I have right now? After all, this is the new body that gave me my greatest joy in life — my child.
With that realization, I tried my very best to look at my body in a different, more positive way. I held my arms and saw how much they’ve expanded — a perfect way to help me care for and carry an ever-growing baby. I looked at my fluffy cheeks — they’re big recipients of kisses. I turned my gaze over my breasts — these grew bigger than everything else — and realized how they helped a lot in sustaining my child until now. And then, I tapped my pooch — way to go, pooch, thanks for being so gracious enough to be the home of my unborn love.
I still compare my pre-baby physique to my current body, and although I can see a lot of differences, they’re now great for-the-better differences.
Of course, I am not saying that we should not work for the body we want — it’s something we deserve, too. I realized that loving my postpartum body does not mean simply settling for what I have right now. It also means that I am going to work for the health this body also deserves. So whenever I can, I try to work out and still try to eat healthier.
But, when workouts, diets, and everything you do to lose weight isn’t working for now, relax mama. Listen to the assuring voices that tell you your worth as a mother isn’t defined by your waistline or your weight on the scale. This body has helped us grow, sustain our most beloved child — and we know it’s great tedious work. This rounder, fluffier body has shown us the wonders of childbirth, breastfeeding, and life. So, let’s give it the love and patience it deserves. Let’s give it time to heal. Let’s love every single bit of it.