Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Your Body IS A Wonderland

The months after giving birth should be magical, relatively speaking—bonding with your new baby, a little time away from work, reveling in the wonders of your body (look at what I just made!). But C., the wife of a dear friend, is now four months postpartum and hating her body. She’s managed to lose her baby weight, but she’s amazed that her pre-pregnancy pants no longer fit. “My hips just aren’t the same,” she says.

Of course they’re not—they’ve just widened enough to allow her darling son to come into this world with the greatest possible amount of ease. But staring at the tabloids at how celebrities magically return to pre-pregnancy form in what seems like a weekend is a taunt to postpartum women everywhere. Many of us are probably conflicted about celebrity-watching in general—“why should we care about these people?!?” vs. “what will she wear/date/look like next?!?” And watching famous bodies around pregnancy—from the first bump to the postpartum runway strut—is even more fascinating. It’s a reminder that these women are mortal, and are “just like us” reproductively-speaking.

You CAN get your body back closer to what it was in healthy ways (and cheaper ones than hiring a chef, a trainer, and a nanny). But the bottom line is that some changes to your bottom half may be there to stay. Even if you lose all of your pregnancy weight—good for you!—pregnancy leaves a mark, in the form of changes to your boobs, belly and hips. I tell my postpartum patients (and friends...and even myself) to wear them proudly, as a badge of honor. You're a goddess for being able to grow and give birth to a complete little person.

Do you know any women saddened by their body's changes after pregnancy?

Photo credit: Shaun Johnston

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