We all have a personal relationship with our body image. How we see ourselves is massively influenced by friends, family, media, and our culture. This affects our self esteem and confidence. The pregnant body is very glamourized these days and rightly so, bringing a new baby into the world is worth celebrating.
So your amazing partner has just given birth to the best gift you will ever receive in your lifetime.
You have spent the last 9 months watching her beautiful body undertake a physical transformation and become emotional periodically. Her body has changed in appearance – the tum, the boobs, the waddle, the water retention not to mention the mood swings – one minute happy and the next crying because she put the milk in the oven (its called baby brain for a reason).
Now you are holding your tiny, precious child, and probably wondering what you can do to help your partner feel good about her body. Many new mums feel ashamed of their new body. They think they have a wobbly jelly belly, swollen painful leaking boobs, (worrying they will become saggy), silver stretch marks that cover the tum, boobs and bum, clumps of hair that fill her hairbrush and she is full of the emotions that can make her feel blue.
But believe it or not, the postpartum body is just as beautiful as the pregnant body.
Thanks to the media, some celebrities deem it priority to go to any lengths possible to eradicate any sign of pregnancy and the postpartum body. Some woman think that their bodies are only worth loving if they look a certain way; slim and toned.
We need to change that perception and here’s where the dads come in. Dads often report they feel pretty helpless during the pregnancy phase.
Well here is your time to shine.
How can I help my partner through this time?
- When your partner is feeling low tell her its OK, tell her that her body is beautiful and you love it.
- Touch her, cuddle her, don’t be afraid to touch the wobbly bits – just mind the boobs.
- Tell her that her body has just done something amazing. Tell her she is amazing. Keep the compliments coming she needs them now more than ever. Many women worry that their man thinks ‘This isn’t the body I fell in love with’. I know I did. In all honesty, it isn’t the body they fell in love with, but their new body has created, carried, protected, grew and birthed life, fed your baby, and comforted your baby and will continue to do so.
- Let her rest, being sleep deprived will not help her see her body in a positive light.
- Give her time to have relaxing baths, let her have a spa session- let her treat herself. If money is tight, offer her a massage, run her a bath with essential oils in etc.
- Talk to her, just be there and listen to how she feels, let her get her feelings off her chest.
Her new body is worth celebrating every day. Hearing lots of positive comments is what she needs and it is so important for her journey to self-acceptance of her postpartum body.