I see many women in counselling who feel disappointed that their bodies don’t bounce back to bikini ready in just a few weeks post-baby.This is such a common topic that I was recently interviewed for Kinderling radio on exactly this issue (click here to listen). Unfortunately our expectations may not be realistic in this area and may be influenced by celebrities that we see featured in the media. The reality is that post pregnancy your body won’t be the same. You just don’t look the same anymore. You’re sagging in places or stretched in others. Your belly isn’t as flat as it once was, and your boobs just aren’t what they used to be. You may even have moments of feeling fat or ugly, which is very common post pregnancy.
Accepting you and your body right now and acknowledging the incredible journey your body has been on in producing life is a good place to start! Your life is no longer the same and you no longer have the time or maybe the interest in being a gym bunny. Negative self-talk and obsession with losing weight is not how you want to spend those precious early months with your baby. Learning to love your body at each stage of your life and giving it adequate rest, sleep, nutrition and physical activity that feels good is important.
Some ways to learn to love your body post-baby:
- Address any physical issues, like a weakened pelvic floor and continence issues. There are physiotherapists who can help you get your pelvic floor back in shape which will improve your confidence, and urinary control. Working on your pelvic floor will also enhance your feeling and sensation during sex.
- Sometimes we focus on changing our body as a method of control, when we feel our life may be out of our control. Certainly when we have a baby, schedules and predictability can be a challenge. Notice if your pre-occupation with your body is something that you are doing to manage your own anxiety or have control over something in your external world. If you suspect that it is, then look at strategies to manage your stress and reduce anxiety.
- Stop reading magazines or articles that tell you how you should look. Studies have shown that reading magazine articles of this type make readers feel worse about themselves. Be discerning about the things you read, watch on TV and online, and listen to. Feed your mind with positive, nourishing, uplifting messages.
- Dress to feel beautiful and sexy! Wear clothes that feel comfortable and that you look great in. Forget about what size it is on the label. Regardless of what size you are right now – cherish yourself. You deserve to wear something that fits well and that you feel good in.
- Move your body. Moving your body in activities that you enjoy every day makes you feel sexier and happier, in fact, it helps you be the best version of yourself. Zumba, yoga, swimming, gardening, bushwalking, tai chi, horse-riding, having sex, dancing, boxing, running, surfing are just a few ideas.
Is your changed body becoming a barrier in the sexual intimacy with your partner? Maybe you don’t feel sexy or attractive and this is now becoming an issue with your relationship. This is something that I can support you with. Contact me now to find out out to feel good about yourself, your body post baby and your relationship. Let’s talk before it breaks.