We have been blessed with 2 ickles in quick succession. Lyra was born in May 2013 and 6 months later we were suddenly aware of Phoenix’s imminent arrival in Oct 2014. With just shy of 16 months between them, my body took a bit of a beasting to say the least! They were both big babies, Lyra 9 lb 4 and Phoenix 2 weeks early at 8lb 11! Thank the lord they insisted on a C section! I am not the kind of girl to care so much what other people think about my body confidence or appearance but after having my 2 blessings, my Body confidence did sure take an unexpected knock!
No – one can truly explain the changes that happen to your body throughout pregnancy and the effect this may have on your Body Confidence. Even if you are laid back about your appearance, in the privacy of your own space, your body often looks and feels so incredibly different that this may make you aware of your lack of body confidence for the very first time.
I am fortunate that I have always been a healthy, active creature. Some say like a springer spaniel.. in the nicest way possible I am sure..! I found it extremely difficult to take things slowly and allow my body to recover. I had to train myself to gradually rebuild my muscles’ pathways and core strength as with both my little ones, I had a severe diastis recti (separation of abdominals) through carrying big babies. My split was so severe after Phoenix that my GP referred me pronto to a specialist in fear that my stomach may herniate. This split of my tummy muscles had a huge effect on my body confidence and mentally affected my self esteem also. My tummy had in effect collapsed and it did not look pretty. I struggled with frustration as I undertook simple and effective exercises to re-strengthen those pathways to the lower transverse and oblique muscles to entice my rectus abdominals to rejoin. Undertaking exercises repeatedly every day, morning and night, definitely made me frustrated and I began to feel my body confidence at an all time low.
I had to learn to be happy in my own skin and that this plays such an important role in self esteem and body confidence post-natally. Your body has created and carried a human being for 9 months! It is truly incredible and an immense achievement to embrace. Body confidence should grow as your body changes and adapts if we embrace these changes for the beauty of what is being undertaken. A growing tummy is a growing life and unlike many of the magic celebrity fixes, takes time to adjust back. Internal organs have moved and can’t just catch a quick Uber… ! I say, enjoy your wobbly bits, scars and bumps. We as Mamas get to fulfil the most life changing, soul fulfilling job in the world. If our body confidence has taken a hit, it will grow back in time as our bodies gradually recover and we get to watch our ickle blessing grow and develop to remind us of what an awesome job our bodies fulfilled!