Before becoming pregnant with our son, I would browse the feed of my social media channels. The snapback was everywhere. I saw many women who bounced right back to their pre-pregnancy bodies soon after giving birth. I saw this often, admired these women, and told myself that would be me! I failed to realize that not everything online is as real as it may seem.
The Social Snapback Game
Social media loves to show us the beautiful celebs who snapped back right after giving birth. Scroll further to see ads for shapewear and waist trainers. All this, and you find yourself feeling the pressure to look sexy right after childbirth. Being someone who hits the gym five days a week, but I chose to cut back while pregnant. This being my first pregnancy, I wanted to be extra cautious. I figured if I at least did some light cardio, I can combat any unwanted pregnancy weight. I thought this would make it easier to snap back afterward! I envied those fit women online who were killing it at the gym throughout their entire pregnancy. I wanted to enjoy being pregnant without being consumed with weight gain.
During the doctor’s visits, I learned that I was on the higher end of pregnancy weight gain. This weight gain was unhealthy for someone of my height, and this made me feel worse. I thought about my family’s health history when it comes to the way we eat and lack of exercise. I thought about the women in my family who gained weight during pregnancy. They did not care to fit into society’s narrow standard of sexy. Why couldn’t I be this satisfied?
Looking in the Mirror
Being told stories by other moms on how they avoided mirrors postpartum and that I should do the same. I avoided looking at myself in the mirror. I had gained 30 pounds, and I became very self-conscious about my new body. I also felt bad for neglecting my husband, but the last thing I wanted to do was have sex! As the 6-week mark approached, we planned a romantic staycation. I ordered some lingerie and wanted to be sexy for my husband. Yet, instead of a night of lovemaking, it turned into a moment of me crying and breaking down. I had admitted to my husband how I did not feel sexy enough to make love. I expressed my disappointment in not being able to snap back after pregnancy. He was very understanding and encouraging.
Taking a Step Back
It took some time, but I learned to look at my new body as something powerful and not something I should be ashamed of. I had carried and birthed life into this world. Every stretchmark and the new pound was a stripe earned. I chose to see my new self in this way, and I began to feel a different kind of sexy. I am now a mother. What could be more powerful than that? This newfound confidence and the support of my husband encouraged me to get back into the gym. My body has changed, and I may or may not ever snapback to my prepregnancy body, but I feel sexier than ever.