Stop telling me to show off my post baby body

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I recently read an article about the realities of a post baby body.


The article, posted to the Scary Mommy Blog, focused on a professional runner, Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, and her mission to share the truth of a post baby body.


Now, there are a lucky few out there who were gifted with the perfect genetic combination that leads them to pop out a baby and be bikini ready in weeks, no sagging, no stretch marks, no sign at all that they just had a baby.


For the rest of us, having a baby forever changes our body. After my son, when I was in my 20s, I managed to get back into a bikini and look good “for a mom.” I was able to hide my small mommy pouch and stretch marks with a high waist bottom. I went from a size 3 to a size 5, not too bad.


After my daughter, now that I am in my late 30s, my bikini days are probably behind me. The sagging skin of my belly is more prevalent, and my stretch marks are more pronounced. I am no longer comfortable with the way I look. I went from a size 5 to a size 8.


For some women, size 8 sounds great. However, this is my personal feeling, about my own body. I am not ashamed, and I do applaud the women who choose to unapologetically share their post baby bodies with the world. It is just not for me, and that should be OK.


BUT, body shaming, for lack of a better term, goes both ways.


When I talk about not being comfortable in a bathing suit, I am told that I should feel proud that I had a baby. I should not feel like I need to hide my belly. I should wear my pre-baby bikini with pride, and if other people don’t like it, then tough on them. And so on, and so on.


Here is the part that these good intentioned people are missing. I don’t care what other people think. It is my choice. I decide what I feel comfortable in. I should be able to wear whatever I want…even if what I want to wear is a loose-fitting cover-up.


I am all for being body positive, but I am also all for NOTpressuring anyone into doing something that they are not comfortable with. There is a difference between being supportive and being pushy.


So, when you talk to a mother who isn’t comfortable with her mommy pouch and stretch marks being on display, try to remember that it is her body and her choice of how to present it to the world. Be supportive of each other, even if you don’t agree.

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