I know (from personal experience) that hearing anything reassuring when facing negative body image struggles can ring hollow. Those moments are hard.
I don’t say this to try to cheer anyone up. I say it for two reasons: 1. to plant or fertilize a seed in your subconscious and 2. because it’s true.
4 things I’ve said to new mamas struggling with body image (most of which applies to all humans):
1. This makes sense: Body image struggles in new motherhood are common and understandable! Sooo much about our lives has changed. In the face of unknowns, some of us turn to an old trusty habit: hating our bodies, or trying to change them. When we notice that that’s what's happening, the grip can start to release.
2. Your body is the site of a miracle: whether you grew, birthed and nursed your baby, or welcomed them into your arms, it is miraculous. If the temple needs to expand, so be it.
3. Welcome your new body: Most spiritual, religious, and therapeutic practices seem to agree: resisting change increases suffering. What if we welcomed our new bodies along with our new babies? We might not always feel 100% love for our babies, and that’s okay. It’s also okay if you don’t always feel 100% love for your new body. You can welcome it anyway.
4. Also: it both is and isn’t a new body. Our cells and skin and hair are always changing. Our blood is constantly in motion. In some ways we always have new bodies, even when they don’t look different. And also: it’s still you.
Mamas and friends of mamas: did you ever receive any good words of wisdom during challenging body image moments?