A mum has said that women should be taught how to ‘grieve’ for the body they had before getting pregnant – but then marvel at what it created.
Parenting blogger Sarah Nicole Landry, who proudly flaunts her post-partum figure on Instagram, said women and their bodies should be celebrated – no matter what they look like.
“I was always the bigger girl in class,” Sarah told podcaster Katie Crawford. “I think everyone has that moment in their life where they were criticised for their body by somebody.”
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One particular moment in a women's life that could cause insecurity is when they give birth. Sarah, 37, explained that most of the stories about new mums’ bodies are about how they have regained their youthful figure.
And while that’s good for those women, it’s not the whole story. For many, it can be tricky to be accepting of how childbirth changes your body.
She said: “If you're proud of your postpartum body because it looks like it did before… you’re allowed to have that moment. But there's not a lot of people proud of their postpartum body.”
That can cause a bit of identity crisis, when women look in the mirror and suddenly don’t recognise themselves any more. “We're not taught to grieve properly,” Sarah continued.
“We're taught to just move forward but the move forward is all about bouncing back. It's all about going back to who you were instead of understanding that who you were is actually gone in many ways and has turned into somebody new.
“You can't just go and love your body. But look what your body did – you had four beautiful children and this is how your body looks to show for it.”
Kamie agreed, saying that the more that we “just own the weird s*** that happens with our bodies the better”, adding “we also don't acknowledge how toxic the body positivity movement can be for some people”.
Because of society’s fixation on young, perfect bodies, Sarah said, it can take us a long time to come to terms with how our looks change as we age.
She added: “The older we get, the weirder it gets and there's got to be a reason that people in their 80s have the most liberated sex lives. I think it's because they think ‘Yeah, weird happens and we're all going through it’.”
And responding to a message from a podcast listener who said she was left with an “apron” belly after having four kids, Sarah admitted to suffering the same issue.
An "apron belly" is a common condition for women who have given birth by caesarian section. She said: “When you're sewn back together it causes a fold that can actually hang over …mine is more like a half an apron. One side has the flap but the other side is a little bit smoother but it's it's an overhang of belly.
“Some people call it a FUPA: [Fatty Upper Pubic Area],” she added. “It's not actually a FUPA it's just an overhang of belly. It’s like you’ve stretched out the balloon, and now it's retracted and it hangs a little differently it's incredibly normal but it's not very much seen.”
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