Post-Pregnancy Body Image Needs Acceptance Rather Than Disdain

I recently read an essay on the Huffington Post written by Joy Gabriel. I found this piece to be worthy of linking as well as commenting on.

Ms. Gabriel uses her own experience to explore the disgust some new mothers feel about their post-pregnancy bodies. She touches on other people’s reactions to the tummy that lingers long after the baby has arrived, and the new mom’s own feeling of being ashamed of her post-delivery shape.

Sadly, these responses are tied to our celebrity culture and to the movie stars who emerge post-pregnancy in the very same bodies prior to their nine-month journey.

I say, amen to the insightful yet humorous Ms. Gabriel who tells it like it is. We live in a society with upside down values. In my practice, I sometimes see women who spend enormous amounts of money and time with fertility treatments and painful procedures, deliver a baby, and then immediately want to look like Kate Moss or some supermodel. These celebrities may appear (but who knows) to be unaffected physically and possibly emotionally from the experience, quite different from the typical new mom.

To those superstars and their fans, I say, can’t we just value the experience and admire how the new mother has grown as a person in numerous ways? Can’t we see beyond a few extra pounds or a few dress sizes?

Often, I treat women who, following delivery, love their baby, but hate their post-pregnancy body. These women may also experience lack of libido –not only due to exhaustion– but for fear their husband, partner or significant other will be repulsed by the rolls on their bellies or their stretch marks.

In my opinion, we need a new campaign in America on accepting and loving our bodies, especially authentic post-baby bodies and not those that appear to have never experienced pregnancy. I say: champion those with the added curves and pounds, who look exactly the way they are supposed to–like they have just delivered a baby.


~ by ppdsus on August 9, 2013.

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