The M Word: Post-Baby Bodies
In the grand scheme of things, we know the “post-baby body” rhetoric is very unimportant, but even so, how we feel about ourselves is important, and how we view ourselves shapes that.
Here’s a newsflash: women’s bodies change after the oh-so-simple act of growing an entire new human (or multiples thereof). We know that, the advertising industry knows that, the media knows that etc etc….it gets so dull. I honestly believe that women are more accepting of their post-baby tums than the world would have us believe. I certainly am – I’m amazed at what my body did, and I’m way too tired to worry about cellulite anymore.
However, I have noticed amongst my Mum-pals that there comes a time when you have to accept that certain changes you thought might be temporary are in fact, not. Most of us have a wardrobe full of clothes that we hope we will be able to get back into eventually after having a baby (for economical reasons as much as anything else), but every woman usually has at least one physical change that she must eventually accept.
For one of my friends it was that her feet went up a size. She assumed they would revert to their usual size 5’s, but alas, four years after having her last baby she has finally accepted that she needs to bin her old shoes.
For another, it was accepting that even though she weighs the same as she did pre-babies, she is now a different shape. She used to be an hour glass and now she’s “more of a pint glass” (her words).
Another still was left with a post c-section “shelf” (an area of overhang above the scar) which no amount of magical creams or exercise has shifted. She can no longer comfortably wear tight jeans (but has a newfound love of gorgeous dresses).
My moment of fact-facing came last week when I looked at all the pretty bras in my drawers that I can no longer fill. I finally accepted that I may, just may, have gone down a size permanently (not a great thing when you were hardly in mountainous territory to begin with) and went to M&S to get re-measured. 34A came the reply. I’d be happy for that to be my bus route, but now have to accept that the B’s are gone for good. It’s actually something of a relief as it was like trying to transport quails’ eggs in a regular egg box, so at least now everything fits and I can just get on with it.
As I said, these little permanent changes really aren’t important. They are not part of the constant onslaught of “post-baby body perfection”, and not about putting yourself under pressure. Be they stretch marks, giant feet, tummy shelves, a dress size or shape you weren’t before, or someone else’s boobs; accepting the new you and moving on is just one less thing to worry about. And do yourself a favour and get rid of any clothes that don’t do you any favours anymore– it’s just another stage in life, like when you grew out of your school uniform. And if you still have that in your wardrobe, we need to talk.