fourth trimester

Getting Your Body Back After Baby - Not What You Might Think

This is one of two guest blog posts that I recently did for Dr Gillian Sawyer for her #yourbodyafterbabyproject she is doing to support women transitioning into motherhood. It is an amazing program worth checking out. ;) I also did a video interview for her project, talking about body image & mental health in the transition into motherhood. Contact Dr Gillian to sign up for her program!

In our society, there is a lot of pressure put onto women to return to their pre-baby bodies, and this can make it difficult to accept the changes that your body has gone through. Is this something that you have encountered?

Your body goes through many changes in the post-partum period as you are healing from your birth: Changes in your body’s appearance, uses (breastfeeding/nurturing baby), energy levels, ability to function, sexuality, and more.

Women are often expected to get straight back to their pre-baby self which makes it difficult to settle into the changes that your body has experienced and impossible to give your body the time that it needs to adjust and heal.

The truth is, your body will never be the same as it was before you got pregnant. Your body has grown and birthed a human being, and your body is now caring for that human being! Your body will go through many changes as it adjusts through these monumental stages of life. Will you fit back into your old jeans? Maybe. Maybe not. But your body will definitely not be the same as it was before. This could be perceived negatively, but is it a negative thing? It is important to ask yourself why you are finding yourself focusing so much on your body image after giving birth.

What is going on beneath the surface? In my work as a counsellor, I always encourage my clients to dig deeper to identify the root causes of their presenting issues.

When body image issues are triggered for women during pregnancy and the post-partum period, it is often linked to body image issues or self-esteem issues from your past. When you become a mother, it is common for a lot of the issues from the past to come to the surface.

Pregnancy, birth, and the transition into motherhood are all-consuming experiences that impact you physically and emotionally. It can be overwhelming dealing with all of the changes and emotions that come with these life-altering experiences, and when you are overwhelmed, your body can become an easy target.

If you want to get to a place where you feel true acceptance of your body, you have to be willing to look inside and see what else is triggering these feelings of dissatisfaction in the first place.

Not the answer you were hoping for? In my work I support my clients to explore the underlying issues to their presenting problems. When you go behind-the-scenes to do the deeper work, you give yourself an opportunity for creating healthy, supportive, long-lasting changes in your life. I facilitate Body Image Group Sessions, Workshops & Individual Therapy. Learn more about my counselling style here.

Jen is a counsellor and psychotherapist in Calgary, Alberta. If you are interested in booking a session with her or attending one of her groups or workshops, visit The Essence of You website or Contact Jen directly.