After having a baby you might not love your body as much as you did prior to being pregnant. Some women tend to be hypercritical of their body after having a baby. However during this time is when you will need to to practice self love. Here are 8 tips on how to have a positive body image after baby.
1. Be Proud that You Made it Through Labor & Delivery
Having a baby is an amazing feat. A woman experiences tremendous pain during labor and delivery even if she has been giving medication. Some women do not make it through childbirth due to complications or their body not being strong enough. Your body has went through significant changes to cater to your baby. You will still look pregnant after you have delivered. This is perfectly okay. Your breast might sag due to breastfeeding. This is okay too. Appreciate yourself and your body for everything that you have accomplished.
2.Give Yourself Time to Heal
After delivery, you will need time to let your body heal. Do not put yourself down if you are not able to work out or you are not eating as healthy as you should. Everything will fall into place in due time. Taking care of a newborn baby is hard. Give yourself time to heal mentally and physically. If you were under tremendous stress while you were pregnant, that stress could turn into postpartum depression and can cause weight gain. Postpartum body image struggles can be hard to overcome. Do not be in a rush to get in shape or fit in your before pregnancy clothes. Do not compare your body to others. Every body is different but everyone is beautiful. Accept your body. If you want to make improvements wait until you are completely healed. The last thing you want to do is cause a major setback in your recovery.
3. Embrace Your Stretch Marks
You want to know how to have a positive body image after baby? Embrace your stretch marks. Some women will go through pregnancy and not get one stretch mark. Others will develop them as soon as they get a small baby bump. It is perfectly fine to have stretch marks. Your body was able to accommodate your growing baby by stretching beyond its means. Stretch marks are natural tattoos of childbirth. Learning to accept flaws such as stretch marks will help you to love your body.
4.Change Your Thought Process
Sometimes we are our own worse critic. When you are working towards a positive body image you need to have a positive mind set. Putting yourself down and constantly criticizing yourself is mentally detrimental. Try uplifting yourself and celebrating your big and small wins. If you were able to work out or passed on carbs, celebrate it. Motivating yourself by speaking negatively can lead you towards a downward spiral. Positive self talk increases your confidence and boosts your self esteem. When you practice positive self talking, you are giving yourself lasting motivation to reach your goals.
I know that after having a baby you find your self on auto pilot. You are eating just to maintain and to produce enough milk to feed your baby. However it is important that you try to stick to a healthy meal plan. There are benefits of eating healthy such as boosting your energy, increasing breast milk supply, and weight loss. Eating healthy can also help with your mental health by decreasing mood swings and having a positive view on life.
If you are having issues with keeping a positive body image after baby, try adding exercise to your daily routine. Being a parent is hard and time consuming. However there are ways to exercise throughout the day. When you go to the store pick a parking spot that is not too close to the door but still populated. This will help you get your steps in. There are plenty of YouTube exercising videos that can help you stay active. There are so many option such as yoga, cardio, and Pilates. Knowing that you are doing something to improve your physical health will help you to have and maintain a positive body image.
7. Have a Support System
Having a good support system can help you improve your body image. You want to surround yourself with people that are going to uplift you. While you are working on your confidence and self-esteem, you want people around you to support you in this endeavor. However you do not want your confidence to based of their views or opinions. Self confidence comes from within. Even if no one is there to cheer you on, you should be your own hype woman.
If you have tried everything and your are unable to improve how you feel about yourself, it may be time to ask for help. Sometimes people struggle and need help to overcome certain obstacles and that is okay. Never deny yourself help because you feel like it makes you look weak. It takes a strong person to admit that they are struggling and need help.