How To Regain Your Self Esteem After Pregnancy
I was always a petite lady when I was growing up and rarely ever gained weight. Apart from once and it was all distributed to my thighs and hips, which are good ‘assets’ to have as an African daughter of the soil. Although this weight gain made me self aware, I was appreciative that the weight did not settle in my tummy.
If you’re like me, who never struggled with belly fat until later in life, you can agree to the fact that losing belly fat can take a while.
Fast forward to a few years and one child late, my now flat tummy had morphed into a mummy pouch, frequently hindering my dressing choice.
After birth, people are keen to see how you bounce back. Bounce back to work, bounce back to your body weight, bounce back to going out and bounce back some more. We often forget the emotional, physical and mentall fallout pregnancy can bring not to mention postpartum depression.
Bounding back to anything took time, but I did it.
Lean On Your Partner’s Support Or Your Support Network
You birthed a human being and it’s totally unfair to expect your body to remain the same. It’s also unfair to push away support, whether from your partner or support system. Instead of brushing off the compliments, accept them and stop trying to compare your present body with your past body.
I found myself deflating compliments on how good I looked, just because I felt that my present body did not measure up. In hindsight, I discouraged my partner and family from complimenting me when I should have gloried in the compliments.
Accept the compliments, support and your self esteem will thank you for it.
Join a Community of Mums
It’s very easy to get up in this-is-happening-to-me-only rut but chances are many mums are having the same concerns you have at that very moment. There are many WhatsApp, Facebook and Online groups where mums encourage each other and share tips on parenting. Join one.
Love Your Post-baby Body
Did you know that scientists can tell if a woman had children in her lifetime by looking at her pelvic bones?
This is to tell you change occurs beyond the skin. Try styling your new baby-bod with clothes that compliment it and you’ll find yourself loving it more. Take stock of your new assets, dress them accordingly and flaunt them.
Change Your Mindset and Perspective
Our mindset and our perspective really influence how we see ourselves and the messages we tell ourselves daily. I love listening to Terry Savelle Foy and in one of her podcasts she tells a story of how these group of people, I think they were tourists walk in a tattoo parlour. In the parlour, one of the tattoos read, ‘born to fail’ Or something downright negative like that.
Why would anyone get a tattoo like that?
The Chinese tattoo artist replies, ‘Before tattooed on body, tattooed on mind.’
Any negative body image you have right now is affecting how you love and treat your body and it’s lowering your postpartum self esteem.
Practice Self Care To Boost Your Esteem
One of the things that helped me bring back my self esteem was rewarding my body for bringing life without having to shame it or make it feel less than. I found self care activities that worked for me and I have been practicing them ever since.
I often change these self care activities depending on which season I’m in or what kind of boost my self esteem requires.
It’s very easy to lose your confidence, feel like a shell of your normal self or not recognize ourselves. Luckily for us, our body changes many times in life and we get to discover and fall in love with it every single time.
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