Warning- this post contains graphic imagery, please re-direct to The Little Lord’s most recent escapade as Bond if you would rather avoid!
See Previous Post- The Transfusion of Life to understand why an emergency Cesarean was carried out.
Birth changes women, in most cases the change is both mental and physical. The motherhood switch engages and the sudden impact of becoming a mother for the first time can be overwhelming. Your body, has endured this amazing and unbelievable feat, a new life coming into this world which you are tasked to nurture, care and protect. A mixture of emotions can emerge, but whilst some of these emotions may be hidden mentally, it is often the physical repercussions of birth that are discussed.
Recently, Giovanna Fletcher brought into sharp focus the world that we now live in, a world that unpicks the post-birth body. That shames a woman in her most vulnerable time. Giovanna was ‘bodyshamed’ soon after giving birth when she was told she still ‘had her tummy,’ and that perhaps she would participate in a fan photo when her ‘face slimmed down a bit.’ Read more here. This is just one example of ridiculing comments, unsavoury remarks and sheer ignorance.
Shift the focus
The focus zooms in on the body of a woman who has endured birth- no matter the entry into this world, be it natural or cesarean, emergency or planned. Our bodies change and we are reborn. This process should not be belittled by comparing bodies to what is seen as the fashionable norm, for goodness sake, fashion changes, and often this image is unobtainable anyway. The use of filters, airbrushing and fakery damages the mindset of everyone- women, men and children.
The reality of life is getting erased by the brushstroke of computer tinkering.
Women after birth are pressured into feeling like they need to fit into their pre-pregnancy jeans, that they need to lose weight, that they have to meet expectations that are created by computer software.
Instead, women should be encouraged to assess and navigate their new roles as mothers, to understand and convey their emotions, to fill their moments with love for their children.
Mental assessment instead of physical dissection is the goal after birth.
To love or learn to love a body changed by a process that is unbelievable. A process that creates life and opens a mother’s heart to love that she never thought was possible.
After I gave birth, by emergency cesarean, my body changed. I’m not going to lie, it was a shock and it took time to accept. I had stretch marks and scars that would forever mark my body. I had bruises that hurt, that shone bright and ugly. I had a tummy- rounded and soft. I had hair, straggled and thinning. I had eyes sunken and tired. But I had a heart bursting with love and a mind bristled with new found skills and knowledge.
The Emotional versus the Physical
The reality of birth is that you aren’t only giving birth to a new life, but this process will end with the birth of a new body too, a body re-born. Dwelling on a changed body, obsessing about size or looks is not the priority. The emotions;
Among many many more far outweigh the physical;
Understand what is going on mentally with a woman after birth, before dissecting her appearance.
We should become a society that questions the mind before questioning the body.
The media focus on ‘perfect’ or ‘sudden weight loss’ post-pregnancy bodies, since when did a woman’s physique dictate a woman’s worth?
Women experience chemical, physiological, emotional, neurological and anatomical changes- be mindful of the woman behind the body, it should be the woman that comes first anyway.