As I mother, I've found myself pretty lucky in a number of ways. I have a support system and my son is healthy and I have health insurance, so the cost of procreation isn't debilitating. I was also endlessly supported when I was breastfeeding, and that support continued after my breastfeeding journey ended. My partner, who's incapable of breastfeeding, was completely involved in the process. He was helpful in the beginning, and he refused to say the things no grown-ass man says about a woman's body after breastfeeding ends. From start to finish, I had one hell of a breastfeeding cheerleader, and while I knew that was priceless when I was actually nursing our son, I didn't realize how vital it would be when nursing came to an end.
I had some difficulties coming to terms with all the ways pregnancy, labor, delivery and breastfeeding had changed my body. While I didn't have a substantial amount of stretch marks and felt pretty comfortable in my postpartum body, as I continued to breastfeed and, after I stopped, I couldn't help but notice how different my breasts were. They no longer held their normal form and showcased some (at times, obvious) stretch marks and, well, my confidence reflected my inability to accept this physical change. I didn't feel like I was trapped in my body anymore (a common feeling when you're pregnant and you don't necessarily enjoy it) but I didn't necessarily recognize my body, either.
Thankfully, I had a partner who listened and gave me support and refused to feed into my body issues by saying the following (horrifically hurtful and offensive) comments. Sometimes, what you say isn't as important as what you refuse to say, and if you want to assist your post-breastfeeding partner in feeling more and more like herself, this is definitely what you absolutely do not say: