STRETCHMARKS, mum tums, love handles, saggy breasts — something to be ashamed of or a badge of honour? New research from parenting site ChannelMum.com has found 72 per cent of mums dislike their post-birth bodies and admit their new shape has hit their confidence hard. While seven in ten say they are grateful for what their body has achieved, worryingly, 71 per cent of mums have received negative comments about their new figures from family, friends and even strangers.
Siobhan Freegard, founder of ChannelMum.com said: “Bodyshaming in all forms is wrong, but criticising a woman for looking a little different when she’s grown a whole new human is ridiculous. Giving birth is the most extreme thing a woman’s body can do, so of course the shape is going to change.
“Having a post-birth body is something to be celebrated, not shamed. Of course it’s good to be fit and healthy, but we shouldn’t be so obsessed with perfection. Having a bit of a mum tum or some stretchmarks isn’t shameful, it’s a badge of honour for what your body has gone through. They are the markings of a mother.”
Here are some tips to loving the body you’re in.
Having babies does strange things to our bodies. Straight hair turns curly, our feet can go up a size, our body shape can change and our skin and hair can be very different post birth. Learn to love the new you rather than thinking about the old you. Without these changes your son or daughter wouldn’t be here. Our bodies are amazing.
Stop looking at size labels on clothes and start looking at the fit. Research has shown clothes sizes are different in every shop and added to that, often 3 tops of the same size in the same shop will all be different cuts and fit differently! Choose what feels comfortable and fits well, not things that are the ‘right’ size.
Throw out your old pre-baby bras as your boob shape changes completely after having a baby — whether you breastfed or not. Get measured by a professional and buy a bra that has good support. You don’t need to spend a fortune, supermarkets and places like Primark have a good selection of bra and knicker sets that will make you feel good in your own skin.
Too tight knickers aren’t great. Buy the next size up if you need to and you’ll be happier with your outline.
Don’t keep things ‘for best’ if you have something in your wardrobe that you love, it looks good on you and makes you feel great….wear it! What’s the worst that could happen? You’ll feel good, you’ll feel confident about your body and hey, it’ll go in the wash…
Think about the message you’re passing on to your children about their own body positivity. Show them you’re body positive and they’ll grow up being proud of their bodies too. Giving our children the confidence to grow up loving the skin they’re in is a great gift we can give to them.
Think about the bits of your body you love. Do you have amazing eyes? Do people compliment you on your hair or the way you apply your make-up? Focus on the positives not the negatives.
Remember stretch marks are always tiger stripes — wear them with pride that your body did an incredible thing.
You grew an actual human in your body — be proud. Your body did the things it needed to do to create life.