As a proud feminist who fights tirelessly against what our culture has attempted to convince women is "beautiful" or "attractive" or acceptable "for a woman," it's somewhat difficult for me to admit that I really disliked my postpartum body. In fact, it took me a very, very long time to come to terms with all the changes my body experienced thanks to pregnancy, labor and delivery, and how those changes have forever altered the skin I'm in. Thankfully, I know that it's perfectly OK to dislike your postpartum body, because how you feel is how you feel and there's no denying how I felt after my son was born.
I vividly remember looking down at my postpartum belly, no more than 24 hours after my son had been born, shocked and less-than-thrilled at what I was seeing. I was taking a shower, getting ready to leave the hospital, and I was sore and exhausted and unable to recognize the very same body that, less than a day prior, had accomplished something truly extraordinary. I wanted to love my body — and a very large part of me did, because it gave me my son — but I didn't like how it looked. I didn't like that I still looked pregnant; I didn't like that my skin was loose; I didn't like that my breasts were so large and had stretch marks; I didn't like that my hips were now slightly wider. I looked in the mirror and I didn't recognize the form I was starting at, and it was unsettling. I didn't feel "at home" in my own body, and that was disheartening.
While I can appreciate the movement that encourages and urges mothers to love their postpartum bodies, I think it's just as important to acknowledge how women feel regardless and even when they don't particularly like their postpartum body. We shouldn't make women feel like something is "wrong" with them if they don't have good-time feels about their body, especially when that body has gone through so much change and may be, to them, slightly unrecognizable. So, with that in mind and in the hopes that new moms can simply be supported in whatever it is they're feeling, here are just a few reasons why it's perfectly OK to not like your postpartum body.