As any mother can tell you; pregnancy can create some serious changes in your body, and not just during those nine-months before delivery. The postpartum period can be tough for some mums, even for reasons besides the lack of sleep and the arrival of a little human who relies on you completely, 24-7. For most of us, our bodies don’t just suddenly snap back into the shape they were before pregnancy. If you’re dealing with the common post-baby body look, sporting stretch marks, loose skin, and more weight on your body than you’re used to, it can be tough to feel confident and maintain positive body image. However, your body just did something amazing, so now is the time to celebrate it. Use these tips to make this stage as easy as possible.
- Seek out flattering styles. Many mums spend most of those first few months post-birth on the couch or in bed with their baby feeling slightly dazed, but when you do decide to get out of those joggers and into something a little more stylish, find a few outfits that flatter the body you have right now, rather than the body you had pre-pregnancy. Slimming underwear is great for pulling in your tummy and can be especially comfortable for supporting the lower stomach if you’ve had a c-section while trimming your figure down. If you want to hit the beach or go for a swim with your little one but feel self-conscious, look for swimwear that’s designed to draw attention to those amazing breastfeeding boobs rather than your still-sagging stomach.
- Avoid harsh diets. With our weight-obsessed society and tabloids that celebrate celebrities who have miraculous transformations a week after giving birth, it can be tempting to fall into the trap of cutting down your food intake during this stage in an attempt to shed the baby weight and feel more confident. Try to remember that it took 9 months to gain the weight, and it shouldn’t take much more or less to lose it. Crash diets that promise fast results are rarely sustainable and, if you’re breastfeeding, could actually have a negative impact on your milk supply, as well as your energy levels.
- Focus on stylish comfort. Dressing fashionably can definitely make you feel more body-confident and like your ‘real self’, something many new mums crave, and it’s absolutely possible to look stylish without sacrificing that all-important comfort. Choose pretty tops that are easy to quickly work with while breastfeeding and find nursing bras that are comfortable and supportive but also pretty and feminine. Chic, well-fitted flat pumps will be your best friend for those long walks with the pram, and high waisted, stretchy jeans can be ideal for feeling comfortable while looking cool.
- Be amazed by your body. There’s plenty of advice out there about postpartum fitness programs and what to eat to shed baby weight, but what’s most important when it comes to your self-image is to realise just how incredible your body is. No matter what it may look like, your body just grew and gave birth to a beautiful, miraculous little human life. Choose to feel empowered by the changes that this process has brought rather than letting the idea of an ‘ideal’ body drag your confidence down. You’ve got this.