I recently read an article about a women who was tormented at the beach by strangers for revealing her belly at the beach. She has had 5 children, and as a result has stretch marks, and loose skin. She was brought to tears by the nasty comments 3 people made to her, and decided to do something about it. If you want to read the full article :
Anyways after reading that, it got me thinking about my body. At first I thought how lucky I am to not have any stretch marks as a result of my first pregnancy, but then instantly was brought back to my antenatal appointment I had last week. The doctor and midwife told me as a result of the traumatic previous caesarean I have had that I am probably going to have a lot of scar tissue around my uterus and especially where the incision site is. They said due to my circumstances it is not safe to have a natural labour, and that there may be complications during my elective caesarean due to the scarring.
It goes to show that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Just because someone looks all nice on the outside doesn’t mean they aren’t all messed up on the inside. Western culture is so caught up on the superficial things, and forgets that it is what’s on the inside that counts.
Having a baby is a miracle, and to give a woman a hard time because her body isn’t flawless post baby is hard to imagine. But we see it all the time. Woman have so much pressure to get their “pre-baby body” back and to lose the “baby weight”. Why are we so hard on ourselves, and fellow mothers around the world? Why are we not putting that energy and focus on the really important things regarding having a baby. How about asking how mother and baby are doing? How about asking the mother how she is coping? How about asking the mother does she need any help?
I am guilty of being caught up in the weight loss obsession, and being super critical of my post baby body, but I am coming to realise that there is no such thing as the perfect woman. Every woman has battle scars from having a baby, whether they are on the outside or the inside, having a baby has a profound impact on you whether it be mentally, physically or both. It will change you to the core and those battle scars will stay with you for life. You can have the perfect post baby body, but be suffering from terrible incontinence as a result of childbirth. You could have had a drug-free natural birth but have needed 50 stitches due to tearing during labour. You really can’t judge at first glance what a woman has had to go through to have her baby.
There are thousands of women dying everyday from childbirth, and yet there are just as many women out there beating themselves up because they have been left with stretch marks and are ashamed of this fact. If I could say one thing to these amazing women, I would say “Be proud of your battle scars, be proud of the fact that your body was able to create life, and don’t ever let yourself or anybody else for that matter make you feel ashamed of that fact. You are amazing!”.