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8 Ways to Love Your Body After Having a Baby

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Being pregnant and giving birth change your body in ways that can be surprising, strange, and downright upsetting. Yet when you have that baby in your arms you're amazed that he came from YOU, and suddenly the tummy pooch and the boob rearrangement are less important. But still, being the womenfolk of this century, we worry. Here are some ways to dispel the worry and self-judging and love that powerful body of yours after all those miracles and changes.

Ignore the Media

a woman putting her hands up in disgust

Mamas get weird media messages that we're supposed to have our bodies "back" by a certain time (can we all agree that 4-days-after-birth-abs lady needs to seriously keep it down?!). Celebrities, whose JOB it is to be skinny, immediately get obsessive coverage for dropping the weight instantly. Your job, though, is to take care of yourself and your baby and you can't do that as well with mean voices blaring in your head. So skip the Us Weekly for now.

Say Thanks

a thank you message

Your body just did you a MAJOR heavy. What are you most grateful for? Your placenta, maybe? You just GREW not only a person, but a new organ! What? Or are you grateful for your breasts that give milk? Or your arms that are strong from carrying that baby around? List three things you love about your body right now.

Choose Your Words

some stripes on a material

One woman calls her pregnancy stretch marks "tiger stripes"—this not only sounds cool, but it rewires how you think about your body. Instead of lamenting, you can think, "I'm a bad mama jama!" Rowr! Also, that phrase "get your body back"? It's not coming back exactly how it was. And you don't want it to! It just made LIFE. Think about getting your body onward! How do you want that to feel? Imagine it and nurture it with kind words.

Make Some Body Time

a woman looking very happy while lying in a bed

This is not, "Get to the gym!" This is just—make time for a little physical self-care. Maybe it's a hot bath after baby is asleep (the laundry will deal). Maybe it's having your honey take the kid so you can get a pediatric. Or simply rolling around with your baby on the floor while you stretch and twist and gently rock on your back. Grab a foam roller or a tennis ball and roll it on your tender shoulders. Make some time every day, and while you're doing it, take a few nice, deep breaths.

Find Clothes That Fit

two women shopping together

Clothes that are enormous or skintight are demoralizing—you feel either sloppy or fat. Though you may not be your final, resting, pre-baby weight yet, get some clothes that fit, are cute, and make you feel good. Maybe a clothing swap? Or a dig deep in your drawers? Or a trip with the baby to a consignment shop or Target. You'll need a couple of tops, a pair of jeans, two dresses, and a pair of leggings to get you from here to there. And it will be worth it.

Take Selfies

a woman talking a selfie in a park

The way you look right now—you'll never look this way again. Fresh from baby! Your boobs are probably juicier than they've ever been, your hips maybe curvier. Enjoy this! Take some selfies that capture this fleeting moment of extra curves, maybe your linea nigra before it fades, the happiness in your eyes if you notice it glowing brightly. It will help you love that lady who just did this amazing thing.

Get Physical

a man leaning in to kiss a women's neck

You may not want to jump fully back into full sex yet, but it might be lovely to be cuddled and admired by your partner, receive pleasure, and give pleasure—even if it's just a massage exchange. Be clear up from about what you're up for and enjoy feeling caressed and delicious in your body.

Hang with Cool Women

a group of friends talking over some lunch

The LAST thing you need right now is to be with obsessive calorie-counters or anyone saying regular bad stuff about their bodies or food intake. (And if they say anything even half-bad about yours, they are SO fired.) Find ladies who know this is a process, love you no matter what, and support you to feel good, be healthy, and take care of yourself in mind, body, and spirit.

 
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