11 Women on Feeling More Body Positive Than Ever After Kids

mom and babyThere are so many ways that having a baby changes your life -- emotionally, financially, and even physically. We know that our bodies will change with pregnancy, but sometimes it can be surprising that some of those changes might be permanent.

My children are 4 and 7 and I am still working on making peace with a body that has been changed by stretch marks and a stomach that seems permanently softer. Most days I feel comfortable in my own skin, but other days are more of a struggle.

This struggle is why I love the inspiring advice of the women in this story who were happy to share with us how they improved their body image after kids and learned to love themselves, changed body and all.

Read on for a dose of body confidence!

 

Image via iStock.com/ BraunS

  • New Wardrobe

    1

    "Even though I got back down to about my pre-pregnancy weight, my clothes all fit funny. My hips had changed, my rib cage seemed wider, my breast shape was different -- it sucked to get dressed and feel like things just didn't look right on me. I finally just chucked nearly all of my clothes and got a new wardrobe that both fit AND flattered my new shape. It helped a lot." -- Mary J., Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • Mindful

    2

    "One of the things I am really mindful of is that I have a daughter. How I treat myself and think about myself and talk about myself is giving her an example of how she should treat herself. I don't want her to feel like her worth is defined by her body shape, so I can't let mine be determined by that either." -- Lucie D., Akron, Ohio

  • I Gave Up

    3

    "Honestly? My body image got better when I finally just said 'f*ck it' and stopped trying to diet and exercise myself into a skinnier version of myself. My life is richer and busier and more complicated now. Time spent stressing about the size of my ass is time wasted." -- Julie K., Tucson, Arizona

    More from The Stir: 9 Simple Ways to Make Peace With Your Body -- Starting Now (PHOTOS)

  • Adios, Scale

    4

    "Things for me got better when I gave away my scale and decided not to let three numbers determine my worth." -- Hannah M., Hudsonville, Michigan

  • Pride

    5

    "I MADE A HUMAN BEING IN MY BODY. That is amazing. So what if things look a little different after that? My body was part of an ordinary miracle and I would take all the stretch marks in the world to have my baby girl." -- Joey P., Stillwater, Minnesota

  • Different, Not Worse

    6

    "It helped when I realized that, by far, most human bodies are actually saggy, wrinkly, pocked, tan-lined, and pudgy ... It also helped that my mother didn't instill any body hate/shame in me. All I had to deal with was 'different,' not 'gross.'" -- Bethany W., Spokane, Washington

  • Curves Are Sexy

    7

    "My post-pregnancy body is banging! I have a booty and hips for the first time in my life. I feel sexier than ever!" -- Denise F., Saint Paul, Minnesota

    More from The Stir: 15 Female Celebrities Who Remind Us All That Curves Are Beautiful (PHOTOS)

  • Thanks, Old Ladies!

    8

    "I appreciate the many realistic postpartum photo pieces that I've seen, as well as Leonard Nemoy's fat nude work. So cool. Also, showering at the gym helped. The old ladies there are reminders that they are just people with bodies, not tight, hot young women. Breath of fresh air." -- Beth W., Seattle, Washington

  • Not Ashamed

    9

    "I'm a single mom and I am not as young or as skinny as I was the last time I was on the dating market. Interestingly though, I am more confident since becoming a mom and I think guys are attracted to that confidence. I'm not ashamed of having kids or having a body that looks like I had kids." -- Melody A., Phoenix, Arizona

  • Empowered

    10

    "This might be weird, but for me having a baby was radically empowering, somehow? Like, I BUILT A PERSON and then I PUSHED HIM OUT. So I felt like my body was this powerful and amazing thing in a way I never had before. And, for me, mental/emotional health and (reasonable) physical activity have always gone hand in hand, so getting back to being active made me feel better all around. But it was about being strong and capable, not about looking a certain way." -- Miriel R., Rochester, Minnesota

    More from The Stir: I Posed Nude for Money & Saw How Beautiful My Body Really Is

  • Love Was Here

    11

    "Before I had a baby, my worst fear was getting terrible stretch marks. I used every cream and oil in the book to try to prevent them but they came anyways. I don't love them. I don't. But I'm making peace with them because I can look at them any see the evidence that I carried so much love inside of me that it almost split me open." -- Nicole N., Tulsa, Oklahoma

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