It’s hard sometimes to accept our bodies when they’ve been through a major change. Pregnancy is a beautiful journey but it means that your new mum body will be very different to what it used to be. Believe it or not negative body image can be passed onto your kids. Here’s a few ways you can improve your own body image so that you can be a happy mum and positive role model.
Value your body for more than it’s beauty
We get caught up sometimes in the idea that our bodies need to be perfect all the time; lump, bump and wrinkle free. But they’re much more than display cases. They can do amazing things - case in point yours grew a baby. Take a moment in your day to admire your child and remind yourself how amazing they are and how you wouldn’t give them up for the world, because that’s the price of a perfect body - it’s a body that hasn’t lived.
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It all starts in your mind
Clinical psychotherapist Natajsa Wagner is determined to show women how good mental health is a precursor to great physical health. She says the more you engage in negative thoughts the faster they’ll become habit. But, you can rewire your brain just by saying positive things instead. Here’s Natajsa’s technique for changing your thought patterns:
“Ask someone What do you like about me? Self-esteem is a physical and mental thing. I love getting my clients to speak to their friends and family and ask them what they truly and really love about them. The answers are often surprising. You can do this exercise with your family or a close girlfriend (Choose someone supportive). Ask them, what is it you like about me and what do you think my best physical feature is? Don’t forget to reciprocate & share the love. Not only does this create some warm fuzzies, it deepens your relationships and connections.
Do something good for your body. What’s something great you can do for your body? Whether it’s a massage, a facial or simply taking the time to get to that physio treatment you’ve been neglecting. Find ways to regularly do something your body will enjoy. We forget how much our bodies do for us, so let’s ensure we take care of them.”
Find more on her blog, Facebook and Instagram.
Do things that make you feel sexy
Finding the romance again with your partner after having a baby is difficult enough even without all your body hang ups. Doing things that make you feel sexy, whether it’s buying some silky new sheets or putting on a hot nightie, will remind you how much you (and they) loved your body not so long ago. In fact, we bet they still do.
Find the technique that works for you
Jacqui Toohey is a qualified personal trainer and founder of female fitness business Heart, Body & Soul. She has 5 quick ways new mums can build positive body image:
“1. Focus on the amazing thing(s) her body has done such as grown, birthed and fed a baby(ies)
2. Treat her body with the same respect and love she did whilst pregnant
3. Allow herself time to heal physically and emotionally - bodies don't bounce back!
4. Shift the mindset from "I want to lose kgs" to "I want to get stronger/fitter/healthier"
5. Work with an accredited post-natal PT and women's health physio to build a strong, functional, healthy body from the inside out. The aesthetics will follow when you get the foundations right - emotional health, sleep, stress, nutrition, training.”
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Say kind things daily
Tell yourself you are beautiful. Strip off in the mirror and say it out loud. You’ll feel silly, you’ll want to look away but if you do it everyday you’ll believe it. While you’re at it face those things you wish were different. If you stare at them long enough you’ll find they are only one piece of a beautiful whole.
Building up your body image is a journey, not a race. Check out our blog on new mum’s fitness if you want to add exercise to your body image journey.