As always, I shared much of my pregnancy journey on Instagram for the world to see. The good, bad, happy, sad, tough and sometimes TMI moments. I like to think I keep it real and would rather portray motherhood and pregnancy for what it really is: amazing and fulfilling, but not without it's tough moments. So many times throughout, I would be spammed whenever I would use certain tags, most specifically: #pregnancy, #momlife, #newmom. I'd be spammed by many different health, beauty and lose-weight-quick promoters during this time when many already have varied and sometimes negative feelings toward all the changes going on with their body.
It would infuriate me seeing this because I felt like it was preying on those that already may have doubts during a time in which they should feel like superwomen. I mean, you're building a baby. How much more bad ass and strong can you be? Your body created, sustains and births a baby and then continues to nurture and support it via breastfeeding and on little to no sleep as well. The last thing you should immediately worried about is losing weight, stretch marks, baggy eyes, and the host of other things that society deems as wrong. Instead woman (and the men in their lives), should be empowering each other, letting bodies heal, somehow finding a new normal when your life gets twisted and turned around by that squirming, beautiful baby/babies that you just birthed.
So when I saw that January Harshe, the mom blogger and creator of Birth Without Fear movement posted and started the trend I couldn't be happier. By putting a new spin on #Takebackpostpartum (also #takingbackpostpartum ), it took away that power from those that try to push the notion that a postpartum body is a bad thing. It's not. Not at all. Is it different than before? Possibly, and most likely. Own those changes for they are part of the journey. Also, if you don't like them, that's okay too, but society needs to back off and take the pressure off women to immediately worry about getting back to their "pre-baby body" and stop with the insinuating that if you don't return to "pre-baby" that you're not good enough or that it's not ideal.
Just stop already.
How about we just start supporting each other instead of tearing each other down? Let's create that tribe; that space in which we can be who we are and comfortable with it. Motherhood can be isolating enough without the body shame so let's put a stop to it.
Seeing all those posts on Instagram tagged #takebackpostpartum made my heart swell. Witnessing all these mama's embracing and loving themselves is a powerful thing. It helps others develop those feelings, build their confidence and allows them revel in the amazing changes that their bodies have went through. I know it helped me. It normalizes it and blocks out all the "not good enough" feelings and the pressure from society to conform to a norm or expectation that's just not reasonable or attainable for most.
My Instagram post: "On the left is three hours before Brielle was born while in the midst of contractions every 4 minutes. The right is 12 hours post all natural, med-free delivery. The body is truly an amazing thing: 10 months of growing and sustaining a baby, 40 pounds gained and uterus growing and shrinking, breasts growing and producing milk to continue to sustain this new life, producing a new organ for pregnancy (placenta), contractions that allow the beautiful, tough and amazing process of labor, and so much more.
Treat yourself well, mamas. Be kind to yourself, nourish your body & mind and all that it is able to do."
So thank you strong mamas! Keep on being your amazing, powerful, smart, beautiful selves!
If you've participated in the #takebackpostpartum movement, I'd love to know.
Share your link below in the comments or find me on Instagram.