What's the deal with postpartum body image?
Updated: Apr 29, 2019
Last night we were joined by some incredible women in DC to discuss our postpartum bodies, in a night of fun, fashion, food, new friends, and a few drinks. The event was hosted at MM LaFleur, a women owned company that embraces that women have #betterthingstodothanshop and need clothes that fit their lifestyle, and snacks were provided by MM LaFleur, Flower Child, and Arepa Zone.
So why this topic, why body image? After all DC was ranked the fittest city in the country, 3 years in a row (2014 - 2016), Arlington won in 2018, and DC lost by only 1 point to Minneapolis in 2017. Because we've been fed images our whole lives telling us that we need to 'get our body back' and quick after having a baby!
Let’s first take a moment to acknowledge all that happens to your life and your body when you become a mom.
Physically, in the course of 10 months:
You grow an entire human and a completely new organ from scratch (the placenta),
increase your blood supply by 40%, your internal organs are compressed, and your skin stretches further than you think is possible,
You gain 20 - 50 pounds on average and your breasts increase 2-3 cups sizes on average (only to shrink and grow, shrink and grow, multiple times a day later on)
Outside of that, your dominance over your schedule completely changes after becoming a mom. Morning are rushed, and evenings are cramped and if weekends used to be spent going for a run, a spin class or training for a half-marathon, they are now filled with early morning wake-ups, middle of the night feeds, and pretty soon, it’s birthday parties with pizza and cupcakes every weekend.
Given all of that… why on earth would we assume it’s easy to ‘snap back’ to our original weight, shape, and denim size? And why do we think that if we aren’t able to do it in whatever you’ve defined as a ‘timely manner’ then we are failures?
Is it the celebrities who have full time childcare, trainers, and nutritionists available if they want it? Or are we comparing ourselves to our friends, whom we don’t realize are also suffering from one of the various perinatal mood and anxiety disorders or a postpartum onset of an autoimmune disease, or a woman in our mom’s group who happens to be genetically blessed and left the hospital in her pre-pregnancy jeans?
Every woman’s story is different!
Last night, we heard how to do #MotherhoodButMakeItFashion. We heard from mom's in the crowd, from experts in fashion and body image, and from new mom's and social media influencers, their best tips and tricks.
With the clothes in our closet:
Get rid of what isn’t serving you - there is no reason to torture yourself by looking at a closet full of clothes that don’t fit
‘Marie Kondo it’ - if it gives you joy, feel free to ‘archive it’ put it in a box and put it away
Understand that by the time it fits you, it might be out of style!
When something doesn’t look good, don’t say “I’m too fat for this”, flip the script and say, “those jeans/dress/top doesn’t work for my body anymore”
When it comes to shopping:
Always keep shopping! (feel free to tell your partner Lani of RealLifeStyle said so!)
Buy cheap fashionable clothes that fit your body now so you can look and feel good in every stage
Don’t be afraid to buy jeans or clothes in the size that fits you today. It will feel better to put on clothes that fit, instead of clothes you’re bulging out of
You don't have to wear shape-wear every day, it's not comfortable! Buy clothes that don't require you to wear it. There are new fabrics like the scuba dress from MM LaFleur who's stretch and thickness of fabric keeps you tucked in
What about the thoughts in our head?!:
We are modeling behaviors for our kids, celebrate what your body has done and treat it with respect
Remind yourself of what your body went through and what it created
Remember it’s always a work in progress
Snaps to all the women that came and shared their stories last night!
What tip resonates with you the most?!