New Mum, 22, How can I love my body again? (Anonymous)

I am 22 and have just had my first baby, 9 weeks ago. Ive never considered myself to be especially vain or image obsessed or that. I am so happy my baby is healthy and happy and I am happy I managed to fall pregnant to begin with (as I am challenged in the fertility department). Although Im very happy and grateful for all those things, I just dont see how I will ever accept let alone embrace or love my new body. Im not trying to insult or offend anyone by saying that. I just wish so much that I could love my body and stretchmarks and extra weight like so many other Mum’s on here seem to be able to. Im scared I will never feel confident or sexy again. I just cry and cry when I look at myself and Im trying so hard to be positive and thankful, but I just cant seem to get past it. The feelings of shame, anger and embarassment will almost consume me if I let them. Its so hard :-(

18 thoughts on “New Mum, 22, How can I love my body again? (Anonymous)

  • Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 11:19 am

    You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. You’re beautiful! I can definitely relate to what you’re going through, though. If you’re feeling like crying all the time, and even just when you think about your body, you should think about speaking to someone about ppd. I went through it, and things will get better if you seek help. Take care.

  • Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 11:20 am

    And nine weeks postpartum? You look awesome!

  • Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    WOW 9 WEEKs ago congratulations! first of all your tummy is beautiful u only have a few little marks on your tummy i have them all over my tummy and my tummy is all wrinkly. your stretch marks will fade and you wont even notice them cause u only have a few. I gained 30 kilo when i was pregnant with my first i was covered with stretchmarks, I too find it sooooo difficult looking at my tummy but what can we do just learn to Love what we have and be confident

  • Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Your stretch marks look EXACTLY like mine did. There is hope. Mine from the pregnancy are completely faded. The only remaining are at the top from gaining weight too quickly (after my pregnancy)

    I would say they faded in the first year.

  • Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Mate, I am 25yrs old and 5months PP and we could be belly twins. By the time you get this far down the track people will doubt you’ve had a baby at all! You look great :)

  • Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    I know you might get tired of hearing this and it might not help, but your body does not look terrible at all! You strechmarks are tiny and the bright red will fade! your baby is still so young, before you know it, the shape of your body will get back to normal! I have been living w/ terrible strechmarks for the last 8 years now and I still cant stand to look at them. I live on a beautiful island w/ 9 months of summer. I am in my 20’s and would do anything to get into a bikini on a beach, but that wont happen =( anyway, what im trying to say is, you look great!

  • Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    for having your baby only nine weeks ago, you look amazing – love your baby – be healthy and your body will once again be yours.

  • Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Give yourself some time. It took nine months for your body to build that baby, we shouldn’t expect to look the same so soon after that baby is out of there.

    You are a mother, and so very beautiful, like everyone on this site and in real life. Take care of yourself. Eat well, try to get some sleep, and exercise if that’s something that you like to do.

    I think that the most important thing is to find some way to believe in our own beauty so that we can teach our sons and daughters that real people are beautiful in all our colors, shapes, stripes, and sizes so that they can have healthier attitudes toward body image than maybe we do. Even if you don’t start out believing it, tell yourself every day that you are beautiful, and eventually you might find yourself agreeing in your heart, too.

    Congratulations on your new baby, and good luck!

  • Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    don’t worry; you’re not alone, sweetheart. right after my little girl, i was panicked at the sight of my body and the scars.. oh, they were so bright. fast forward a year later and they have faded so much. our bodies will never be exactly what they used to be but they will continue to improve over time. i think you’re beautiful and i hope your baby’s smile will always remind you that your body is a treasure that created a wonderful child.

  • Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    I would say to give yourself time. Nine weeks really isn’t a very long amount of time to give your body to bounce back, not to mention the fact that you probably still have lots of crazy hormones affecting your emotions. People told me that it takes your body nine months to get into that shape, so don’t expect it to take less than nine months for it to return to normal, or a “new normal”. I found that my body didn’t really feel like mine again until about 18 months after I had my daughter. That may sound like an impossibly long time, but it’s much shorter than never!

    Just breathe, give yourself time. Do what YOU need to do to start loving yourself again.

  • Monday, December 8, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Nine weeks is like no time at all, where your body is concerned! And for only nine weeks you look simply amazing, even though you don’t feel it. You are probably exhausted as well with a baby to take care of. But your body will continue to change, and almost NO body is in pre-pregnancy shape after only nine weeks. So don’t look at yourself in the mirror and say, oh, this is how it will be forever, because that is just not true.

  • Monday, December 8, 2008 at 1:34 am

    I’m 22 as well. It’s not that I love my new stretch marks and flappy skin and everything.. It’s just there is no point obsessing over something that just is. I gained too much weight, so after I lost it all. my skin just went through too much. I can’t change the way my body looks. So instead of trying to define my sex appleal by comparing myself to gorgeous flawless bodies, I compare how lucky I feel compared to all them to get what is most important in life. I realize hey this is real, and so what if some women ended up perfect looking after having babies, I would just feel sad if the only reason they are “Beautiful examples of women based on how much pregnancy shows on them. This is a horrible way to think, and we need to change how we think! I don’t have to love my flaws, I have respect for them and pride for what they represent. They represent sacrifing what is superficial and doesn’t matter in the grand sceme of things, for something that will give you so much more then the validation of what others find sexy. You lil munchkin is never going to care what your body looks like. They care that mom is healthy and that mom is smiling at them, instead of frowning in the mirror. You have to tell your mind different ways of feeling beautiful. It’s hard not to because women are pressured that the only women worth being paid attention to are the unnatainably gorgeous ones. What about all the ones who have giant hearts?It’s okay for it to take time to get used to, but you are not any less appealing! You are not alone with this either.. I look much worse then you hun, and I’m perfectly okay, and I am going to stay that way regardless as my body is healthy. You are still you, because it’s not easy, but you’ll get to a place of peace and acceptance, you just need support. I send out my mum luv and wish you well ! You look great to me so soon after having a baby!

  • Monday, December 8, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Hi everyone who has commented so far. I really appreciate all your support, it has genuinely opened my eyes and my mind and made me feel much MUCH better. So THANKYOU all!!
    Merry Christmas xox

  • Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    doesn’t it make you wonder? what are we ashamed OF exactly? why are we embarrassed, what have we done to be embarrassed of? who is our anger directed toward?

    i finally realized something. the longer i act ashamed of and embarrassed by my body, the longer i hide it, the more i propagate the belief that i have SOMETHING to be ashamed or embarrassed of! not only that, but what kind of example to we set for our children by feeling ashamed of something that is so natural?

    let’s stop hiding our bodies and start showing the world what a REAL woman looks like! it’s not going to happen overnight but who knows? someday maybe our daughters can be proud of those stretchmarks, and our sons will be exposed to reality, not airbrushed and photoshopped bodies!

    if i can do it, with my stomach that looks like an elephant knee – then you can definitely do it! one day at a time :)

  • Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    I’m 21 and 39 weeks pregnant. My stretch marks at the moment are exactly like yours so I expect to look much like you do. it’s a constant struggle everyday (and i’m still pregnant!) but I try to stay as positive as possible.

    I think we view others bodies much differently then our own because honestly I think your look fantastic. I know when you look in the mirror you don’t see it, but you are truly beautiful. Our bodies will never be the same but who sets the standard of what true beauty is anyway?

  • Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    I’m pregnant with my first and you among others are my inspiration. your belly looks small especially so soon after having the baby. and your stretch marks will probably fade. it doesn’t look like you have loose skin. I hope I will be as lucky! Iknow, its your body so you’ll feel more critical of it, but I;m impressed. you will tighten up in no time.

  • Friday, December 12, 2008 at 8:51 am

    I think you are beautiful.

  • Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    I no what you mean about not loving your body. My stretch marks are almost faded but I can still see them even if everyone else can’t. It has been 19 months since I have had my son and I still feel disgust for my body but I am getting better with that. I try to tell myself that I am pretty almost every day. I have finally started loosing weight again and can’t wait to get back to the way I was. I have loose skin from having my son. You look good considering that it has not been that long. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Hope that things get better for you.

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