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Here’s the scoop on body image, breastfeeding and seeing the beauty in your postpartum body
Our bodies are truly amazing. The changes they undergo to grow a baby, give birth and breastfeed are incredible. With all those physical changes come a lot of emotions—so, embrace the positive. Yep, that means drop the self-loathing and embrace the joy of each wrinkle, dimple and doubt, and just enjoy the moment.
The relationship between breastfeeding and your breasts
Many women struggle with varying degrees of body image concerns before and during pregnancy, so it is not unusual to have a heightened experience while breastfeeding. It is a new relationship with your body and its purpose, and that can be challenging. Fear not. Once you wean, your breasts will go back to being your greatest accessory.
While you’re breastfeeding, your milk is providing your baby with all the nutrients they need to grow and develop into the toddler you love, the child you adore and the adult you raised. Relish the time you have with them while they’re so sweet and tiny, and bond with your baby while they nurse.
The relationship between breastfeeding and your body
You may not get back to your pre-baby weight as quickly as you wanted, and your favorite good-butt jeans may never make it back in the rotation. Instead of dwelling on that, think about all your body can do—you can grow, nourish and love more than ever before. That love should also apply to yourself. Don’t rush into working out, having sex or doing anything you don’t feel ready for postpartum. During this time, you need to listen to your body and your doctor to make sure you’re doing what is right for you and your family.
Own your new curves and body, mom. You worked for that incredible body—own it and love every minute in it.
Remember, there are amazing health benefits for breastfeeding moms—there’s a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, as well as postpartum depression. If you’re struggling with pelvic floor issues, help is there. Reach out to your doctor, a physical therapist or a women’s health expert and discuss what you’re going through. Being open and honest will let the pros find the right solution for you and your body.
The relationship between breastfeeding and your mind
The mind-body connection is real, mom. Think about it, your body just went through nine months of hormonal changes as your baby grew. If you’re not feeling like yourself after giving birth (or even in the months after), you may be experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety. It is a common occurrence that happens about 10 to 20% of women. If you’re seeing a change in your eating or sleeping behavior, or you’re experiencing anxiety, intense guilt or anything out of your “normal,” find time to talk to a loved one and enlist the help of a healthcare professional. It is OK not to be OK, but know that there are people here to support and offer you the care you need to take care of you.
If you have questions or concerns about your body while breastfeeding or after weaning, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team at Ashland Breast Pumps is made up of moms, so we’ve been in your shoes and understand all the changes you’re experiencing. Your body has created and sustained life, and we hope you can see how beautiful and incredible it is.