Thoughts about "Body after Baby"
Every Thursday I take Ezra to Baby Time at the local library. It's a great place for him to explore and meet new babies, but it's also a time I use to connect with other moms. Today the topic of conversation drifted towards the "Body after Baby" movement. (Not sure what that is? Check these articles out.) After a few shared stories about stretch marks and bloated feet, someone brought up Instagram model Hannah Polites. She's a 24 year old mom who created quite a stir back in May when she posted pictures of herself 6 months pregnant with only a tiny little bump in her belly to prove it. The young Aussie fought negative claims that she was "too fit" while pregnant, but the media was skeptical.
Stories similar to Hannah's aren't new. Most recently there was also this article about Hilaria Baldwin, who is being shammed for "exercising too soon" after having her third child. Back when I was pregnant with Ezra, I used to come across articles like this one about model Sarah Stage, who was celebrated for having abs while 9 months pregnant. I have to admit, seeing images of those women looking young and elegant while pregnant stings a little. It's a far cry from the acne, bloated feet, and stretch marks I developed while growing my baby boy. But I also feel like that resentment/expectation to be like those women might be somewhat misplaced. Instead of focusing on attributes I either couldn't or did not obtain, I should have instead been focusing on the qualities I admired about myself during those precious months before and after becoming a mom.
The truth is, every mother's journey is different. Some women are better at bouncing back to their pre baby body than others. Personally, I love this blogger's take on the whole issue - we can find beauty in our presumed flaws, because through the eyes of our young children there is unconditional love, no judgement.
As we neared the end of our library Baby Time session, we all agreed that we are happy with our "bodies after baby." Stretched out tummies and all. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what you look like before, during, or after pregnancy. What matters is being happy and healthy so that we may be the best parents for our children.