How To Boost Body Confidence After Birth

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You may have adored your baby bump, but postpartum when you’re tired, vulnerable, and left with an empty (but perhaps not flat) belly, body confidence can take a nosedive.   

Things are different

While it takes up to eight weeks for your uterus to shrink back to its normal size, don’t expect to squeeze back into your size 10 jeans quite as quickly.  

Realistically, the skin on your tummy might look dramatically different after pregnancy. You could have a new network of silvery stretchmarks, or your skin may appear loose, squishy, and even wrinkly.  

If you had a C-section, you’ll have a scar and you may also have tummy overhang caused by the procedure. 

If these and other body changes are making you feel blue, it’s important to remember why you look different. Okay, so you might no longer boast a beach-ready body, but you’ve built a baby. What could be more beautiful?   

Celebrate imperfection 

2019 saw a slew of campaigns such as #bodyafterbaby, a tag with nearly half a million Instagram posts, which celebrated real mums and their struggles and triumphs after birth. 

Celeb mums are also becoming more candid about their efforts to get back in shape after pregnancy. Stacey Solomon was praised for being “real” when she happily showed off her post-baby belly in a bikini last year. In the photos, her genuine joy at being a mum eclipsed any so-called body faults.   

Focus on health 

Your midwife or GP will advise when it’s fine to start exercising safely after pregnancy. If it is safe for you, swimming, walking, yoga and exercise especially designed for new mums will help you build up your fitness and offer a great way to make new friends. If you focus on your health and vitality, without too much pressure to look a certain way, the physical effects of a fitness routine will be a welcome side-effect.    

Change in perspective 

To end on a truly positive note, some mums find they are less concerned about obtaining the perfect figure than they were pre-pregnancy. 

Journalist Shelina Begum, a mother of two from Greater Manchester, told Pura: “Before baby number one I was at the gym four times a week and I went running most weekends to both stay slim and to be able to eat what I wanted.

“But that didn't mean I was always happy about how I looked. Pregnancy changed that mindset, it made me appreciate my body and what it can do.

“What I do care about is staying fit and healthy, and with a two-year-old daughter it's all about positive body image now more than ever.  

“I turned 40 in December and lost the last bit of baby weight after baby number two. But my tummy is not flat like it used to be and I have the odd stretch mark on my bottom - but I have grown to love my body in a way that I never did in my 20s and for me, that's a winner!”  

 

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