Ever Searched on YouTube for water birth videos?Reading Time: 8 minutes
It’s not easy for me to admit this, but when I became pregnant last year my biggest fear was how carrying a child would change my body. As a teenager I struggled with my weight emotionally and physically for years, and after discovering yoga in my early 20’s I learned how to accept my body and to love the parts of me I once hated.
It’s fair to say I was in a good “bodyspace” before I found out I was pregnant, but the moment I saw that positive test, past anxieties about body image started to resurface.
On a deep level I was terrified of being judged about my body after giving birth. I was horrified by the thought of gaining weight that I wouldn’t be able to lose. Of getting stretch marks, of having excess skin and of my breast sagging.
I fully embraced that after having a baby my life would change and I would change, but I couldn’t bring myself to welcome a change in my body.
I would love to say that after I had my baby these thoughts went away. They didn’t. I felt pressure to get back to my pre-baby weight. It wasn’t until one day when I was looking at my body in the mirror that I noticed my daughter looking at me. In that moment I realized how my anxieties around body image could not only affect me, but also my daughter.
When this new insight dawned on me I started to think more about how as women we never assume that we will be the same person after we give birth, so why should we assume that our bodies will be the same?
97% percent of women will have a negative thought about their body today.
Pretty shocking, huh? When I read this statistic I was surprised but also relieved. We spend so much time thinking we are the only ones with all these negative thoughts rolling around in our heads when it comes to our bodies, only to realize it’s an extremely common practice for most of us.
Knowing how common this issue is for pregnant women and new moms, I wanted to share 4 ways to start loving your prenatal and postnatal body. I hope they make you feel empowered, beautiful, confident and most importantly, loved.