A new respect

In my line of work, I hurt people. You got it. I hurt them.  I have to! No I’m not some sick sadist, but sometimes, in order for their body to work in the right way after a procedure, we have to push their body beyond it’s limits to gain range of motion or strength. Now, there are a lot of instances where I do the exact opposite and make the person feel all nice, comfortable, warm and fuzzy inside.  I have a great respect for the human body in it’s ability to heal, shape, re-form, change and grow. I see this in my patients daily, and have gained a great deal of respect for it.  And since baby #3, I think I have the greatest respect for a mother’s body.

postpartum belly tiger stripes

There is some truth in the phrase of ‘new normal’ that is uttered frequently in OB/midwife offices. Anyone who has had a baby knows that their body will never quite be the same as it was pre-baby. You will never look the same. Even after that baby weight is gone, your body has new and different proportions.  You will never look the same.

But so what?

A mother’s body may never be quite the same shape as it was pre-baby, but it has a story to tell.

That pelvis may never shrink back down to a size 2 (or 4 or 6 or whatever), but it has earned its new size. It carried 3 babies to term and moved and shaped in a way to let them enter the world in a healthy way. Those larger hips are required to perch babies on, sometimes 2 at a time. And you can’t give piggyback rides if you are lacking hips to hold the kid up there!

Those thighs may always touch in the middle, but they earned it through 100’s of squats performed in preparation for childbirth. A larger lap is needed to cuddle 3 at a time anyways!

And of course, that belly may never be a washboard of muscle, ripped with lines. But why would a child want to hug a washboard? That’s not comfortable to nap next to 😉

::::Step on soapbox::::

I cannot stand all this pressure on mom’s these days. It is everywhere.  Your kids have to be clean–all the time. Your house has to be spotless. Your body needs to be ripped within 3 months of baby’s birth.  You have to volunteer for everything….. The postpartum body is only one of the many pressures out there for today’s moms.

Working in healthcare, I wish people would focus more on being healthy rather than numbers and sizes. Not the same size you used to be? SO WHAT!!!!?? Are you healthy? Can you do what you want? Does your family love you? Then you are good, in my mind. Carry on, friend, and stop getting so caught up in the number on the scale or the size in the tag.

Maybe your body needs those 5 extra pounds in order to feed or nourish that tiny baby that is depending on you for life. Maybe that time you spend each night playing with your kids is more important than gym time. Maybe your body has earned your respect.

::::Step off soapbox::::
So mamas, embrace it. Love that ‘new normal’ body and all it has done for you, your family. Forget about the numbers and focus on being healthy and strong. And for goodness sake, put away the airbrushed celebrity pictures that make us all feel bad about ourselves!!!

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Ok, I’m done with my rant now.  🙂

Have a great week!

-The {growing} Costellos

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3 thoughts on “A new respect

  1. Needed this one this week, Sarah. Its been a big struggle after this one…because who has time to worry about hip size when there is ALWAYS a kid needing something much more important. Thanks!

  2. This is beautiful Sarah! I’m not a mother yet, but I can’t wait to be one. I have so much respect for any woman who has brought a child into this world…I would never look at them and think that their bodies are not beautiful. A woman who has the strength the carry a child and the love to be a mother is a damn super model in my eyes!

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