Society’s standards for women, as we all know, are always fluctuating and usually need major adjusting. The messaging you hear from social media, celebrities, and magazines is usually very supportive through your pregnancy but once you give birth you are expected to have it all together and be able to accomplish everything, without any help. However, if you are part of a moms group or other supportive community, that’s not the message you should be hearing from them. You are enough and should be finding strength in your community.
Here are a few contrasting comments you might hear through your pregnancy and after.
“You should put your feet up.” Vs. “Be Supermom.”
Sit back, relax, let other people take care of you. “You’re growing a baby inside you.” That may be what you heard while you were pregnant. People are very caring and over-eager to help you with anything while you are pregnant.
Once you bring your baby earth side, you may have a couple more days of that but society encourages you more than anything to be supermom. Groups formed through birthing classes and yoga can help support a healthier mindset. This means including yourself in your priorities rather than trying to adjust to your new baby, while maintaining your home, job, and relationships at a pre-baby state.
“Gain all the weight and eat whatever.” Vs. “Get back to your pre-prego body.”
Without seeking guidance or doing any research, many think you can “eat for two” and eat whatever you want when you are pregnant. A consultation with a licensed midwife can help you determine the right diet for you and your baby.
Getting back to your pre-baby body isn’t as easy as eating right and working out, nor is it required. Your body has just birthed another human – it has gone through some changes and most likely will not react the same way to diet and exercise. Of course, taking care of your body is important, not just for you but for your baby. That said, being able to fit into your pre-baby jeans shouldn’t be an expectation.
“Show it off.” Vs. “Hide it.”
It’s gone through all of our non-pregnant brains… pregnant bellies are the cutest. But once you have the baby, you are told to hide all evidence you ever carried them. You are bombarded with recommendations of how to conceal your post-baby body, stretch marks, varicose veins, and scars. That same body that they wanted to touch and show off just weeks ago now is told it should be hidden.
Be proud of what you just accomplished. Your post-natural birth body is beautiful and so is the life you just brought into the world.
Every birth and every pregnancy is different. Hopefully your supporting community encourages you to have a happy and healthy natural childbirth instead of holding to society’s unrealistic requirements.