Our Beautiful Postpartum Bodies Are Powerful, Just Like Us
Our Postpartum bodies, more often then not, tend to be a subject of scrutiny and hatred in society and the media.
Our bodies after pregnancy and birth have been through ALOT like ALOT, ALOT, and it only makes sense that we have physical remanences of that.
I was finding that around 4 months postpartum after being diagnosed with PPD , my self confidence and feelings towards my body was staring to take a turn for the worst.
I wanted to try to take some pro active steps in trying to change that because it was VERY much weighing on me mentally in a very negative way.
I have some things stacked against me at the moment in regards to me working out as most of us do after the physical trauma our bodies can go through after birth, and I’m not cleared to make any drastic changes at the moment.
So I had some choices to make that all basically lead to acceptance and learning to love my body in the state that it is in currently after pregnancy and birth.
I turned and looked to this amazing mama blogger Instagram community that I have had such amazing positive experiences with on so many subjects regarding motherhood and I stumbled upon this amazing woman and mothers account @mrsdingman.mama , Krystin. She inspires me every single day to love my body for what it is, what it’s been able to do, and the beauty in all of that put together.
I started saying daily mantras to my naked body in the mirror:
* My body is healthy
* My body is beautiful
* My body is enough
* My body is strong
* My body has shown me how capable it is
* My bodies loose skin is the reminder of where my son was created
* My body deserves respect
* My body deserves kindness
* My body deserves grace
* I will be patient with my body
Sarah and I from Creations Behind the Lens we’re brainstorming of ways that we could showcase how beautiful a postpartum body truly is and it turned into one of the best days in My motherhood journey as of yet!
We did a photo shoot with a group of AMAZING women from the Ottawa Mom Bloggers group and what the day brought to all of us was a step in the direction of self love and acceptance.
Before the shoot took place we all gave quotes on how we felt before the day started and then how we felt after experiencing the day and seeing the photos from the shoot.
Sarah from @simplysarah
Before the shoot:
” I haven’t been super thrilled about my postpartum body. I saw this opportunity and said F it, I need to do this. I signed up but pushed it out of my head.
The date grew closer and I was procrastinating because the thought of trying to find something “sexy” got me anxious.
After much searching on the last night possible to shop I got an outfit I felt comfortable in.
The day of the shoot came and Vanessa and Sarah were so welcoming and warm. The other ladies I think were feeling the same way as me which I felt comfort in.
We eventually got dressed in our sexy undies and everyone looked amazing. Each woman had such a different body and they were all beautiful. I felt like I fit in rather than stick out like I thought my baby pooch did before.
Not every body is the same and there is beauty in that. I came out of this shoot realizing that the society’s pressure to get back to pre preggo shape is bogus. We just grew humans so why can’t we just be able to celebrate that. ”
After the shoot and Sarah saw her photos:
“My initial thoughts were to break apart all the details in the photos of myself. It’s interesting that most of us did this when looking at the pictures. I think we need to be less critical of ourselves because when you stop looking at all the silly little details the over all view is of beauty and strength. ”
Kaityln from @mrmrandmama
Before the shoot:
“I was so nervous, anxious, & uncomfortable. Worried that I would do all of this, and end up with no good photo of myself because of how insecure I was. Like I wouldn’t be able to relax and smile and have a good time. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into but I knew I would be more upset with myself if I backed out. I haven’t been happy with my postpartum body in 2 years. It was time to try something and maybe gain some sort of confidence out of this.”
After the shoot and Kaityln saw her photos:
” I was so excited to see the pictures but in the back of mind I already told myself mine wouldn’t be that good. After spending a few times going through them and really looking at why I did this. I fell in love with them more & more. It’s been a long time I’ve felt this confident, especially in my bra & underwear! To top it all off,
I was the last one to get dressed!😂 just didn’t want to change out of something I felt so sexy in! This was the best experience & i am so happy I did it. ”
Laura from @makeitlaura
Before the shoot:
” I was so nervous and unsure about doing this photo shoot. After having 2 kids my body is completely different than it once was, and my confidence has been long gone. It’s hard to come to terms with how you remember yourself and the reality when you look in the mirror. ”
After the shoot and Laura saw her photos:
” I was so surprised seeing the photos. My first reaction was that I don’t look that bad, but then I quickly started analyzing each photo looking at my biggest flaws. I am still struggling feeling a disconnect between my old body and how I look now, but this photoshoot is helping me to realize I am still myself and still beautiful.”
Katie from @mom.shares
Before the shoot:
” I felt nervous and excited! Spending time to get myself ready and do something solely for me filled my heart. After the shoot I felt sexy and beautiful. Well worth it 🥰 ”
After the shoot and Katie saw her photos:
” When I first saw my photos I felt happy with my hair and makeup, but less so for how my body looked, I starred long and hard at all the things I didn’t like, the rolls on my tummy when sitting, the cellulite under my legs… but the longer I starred the more I realized that I just look like everyone else who has a normal human body. I am not 100% there in fully loving myself, but I am closer than before. ”
Bekah from @mama.in.a.mad.house
Before the shoot:
” This shoot was the best thing I have done for myself since becoming a mother. For the first time in almost 5 years I felt beautiful, relaxed. I felt like a woman first and a mother was a part of my identify but not my whole identity!! ”
After the shoot and Bekah saw her photos:
” I had no idea what to expect. I was super excited to see my photos and I thought I looked kinda stiff in my headshot so I was worried I was going to carry that through the other shots too and I was so wrong.
Apparently the more exposed I am the more relaxed I was able to feel and that really surprised me. I love being able to see the confidence and happiness I felt being mostly naked in a room full of women. I never would have expected it and it is so wonderfully empowering! ”
Emily ( currently pregnant with her second child ) from @millenialbossmoms
Before the shoot:
“Anxious + excited. I said yes knowing it was a fantastic opportunity, but the nerves set in when it became real. It was such an awesome experience though, I love knowing that we’re in a time when we don’t have to wear baggy clothes to hide our bodies, and can have an honest conversation about how tough it is to navigate your pregnant and post-partum body”
After the shoot and Emily saw her photos:
” My first reaction going through them was to nit-pick all the ‘flaws’ I found in myself. I was in awe of how gorgeous everyone else looked, but managed to pick apart my faces and poses. We are our own worst critics and in reality every picture turned out beyond amazing, but getting away from critiquing myself took some reminding.”
Vanessa ( me ) @mylittlelmabblog
I was so excited that I was able to get all these Beautiful women together in my home….. I had already done my boudoir shoot with Sarah and knew how amazing everyone would feel and what Sarah would be able to do for us!
I went first and you can tell by my “big smile” that I was in the environment of fun and laughter, so much so we forgot to take more pictures of me after! The experience was so wonderful and definitely added to this body positive journey I’m on!
Sarah ( our photographer ) @ottawaphotographer.creations
This mama is so fearless and gave us the most incredible gift during this shoot!
Let’s all move forward together as women and mothers to go against the grain of society and just love ourselves a little bit more!
We are stronger together in this movement then separate!