Society puts a lot of pressure on women to ‘bounce back’ after giving birth. As one woman told us, “I was surrounded by diet advice and workout tips, it felt as though I had all these expectations for my body”.
But, as any new parent will tell you, ‘bouncing back’ is a ridiculous expectation. Your body has done an incredible job of carrying and birthing your baby, and now it needs time to heal.
“After my pregnancy I had a protruding stomach – somebody actually asked me if I was pregnant, which was obviously upsetting.”
Over time, your body will recover and change again. Not back to exactly how it was pre-baby, but to a new-normal for you. This might mean your vulva looks different. Or your vagina feels different. Or something else entirely. All of these changes are part of giving birth, which after all, can also change who you are and how you see the world at the deepest level.
So although you might be feeling pressured to look a certain way after birth, remember that you made a baby. This is your time to look after yourself and nurture your body, embracing all the changes that are a result of the little life you created.
As one mother told us, “Being a mother is a beautiful thing, we shouldn’t look at our stretch marks as something we’re ‘left with’, but something that we have earned.”
We couldn’t have put it better!
If you have birth story you’d like to share, help us break the stigma around childbirth by sharing your experience using #wombstories.