It’s no secret that body image can be an issue after pregnancy. In the United States, 40% of mothers reported weight dissatisfaction (Walker 1998). I wasn’t entirely surprised to read this, particularly when I consider the number of physical changes a woman goes through during and after a pregnancy. Couple that with new responsibilities, and it is truly no wonder that the postpartum period is such a challenging time.
For me, the beauty of body image after pregnancy is having a daughter that doesn’t care one bit about whether I’ve lost the baby weight. She doesn’t care about the scar from the c-section, except in that it was the way she came into this world. She doesn’t care about the stretch marks, or “tiger stripes” as some say. She cares that you find the time to read to her in the evening. She cares that you make her laugh.
Growing up, I remember my Mom being desperate to lose weight. But I don’t remember ever thinking that she needed to. I remember her wearing a green dress with polka dots and laughing with her because we thought the dots looked like frog’s eyes. I remember how she took us to the library at least once a week, no matter how busy things got. I remember her teaching me to be kind, and to stand up for myself. And I’m lucky enough to still have her with me.
So today I challenge myself and I challenge you to see yourself through your daughter’s eyes. She thinks you’re amazing. And she’s right.
Kate Dansie, LCSW-CN – Psychotherapist at The Body Image Therapy Center. If you would like to get in touch with Kate please call 443-602-6515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.