Stretch marks, a few extra pounds, softer hips: even if it is a natural transformation, in the postpartum accept changes in the body after pregnancy it’s not always easy. To testify recently also the beautiful Ashley Graham. Even the model, known for being a true champion of body positive, found herself having to deal with the feeling of no longer recognizing her body, transformed by the two pregnancies.
“I was a sex symbol, now I’m a machine that churns out children and I have stretch marks up to the navel” – she declared in an interview with Glamor UK, without making a mystery of how, like many other women, it happened to her, in certain moments, of failing to accept the new self-image. In fact, despite the joy that becoming a mother entails, that of post-partum remains a delicate period in which, to the many changes that one goes through, the difficulty of not recognizing and in some cases not being able to accept the transformation of the child can be added. own body.
«Our body and its characteristics are the tool with which we present ourselves and relate to the outside world. There his image is also the one that represents usit’s a aspect of our identity – explains the doctor Ilaria Cipriani, psychologist and psychotherapist of Humanitas Psico Medical Care – When people meet us they recognize us for how we are made, for our appearance. During pregnancy, the woman’s body gradually transforms to make room and welcome: it is constantly changing and readjusting. She becomes a body at the disposal of the child who is born. For every new mother to be able to integrate and accepting the changes and the new self-image is essential for a good relationship with your child o child and to continue to feel good about themselves and in the world. When we fail to accept what happens to us, in fact, we run the risk of great psychological suffering ».
It may take some time but returning to accept your body is possible. First of all by changing perspective: «First of all it can be useful try to look at bodily changes in a different light – suggests Dr. Cipriani – or as changes that have allowed a new life to form, to grow for nine months and then to be born and enter the world. What a new mother should tell herself is: what an amazing job I did and my body did!“.
If changing your perspective is the first step, taking some time for yourself is also essential. “Doing movementfor example – advises the psychologist – many studies and even the World Health Organization have published data showing how moderate physical activity already from pregnancy can increase knowledge of one’s body and awareness compared to what happens over time. Not only that, physical activity helps a lot to maintain a good state of health and, in the post-partum period, it is essential to regain good physical shape in a shorter time ».
Sharing can also be an important help. The difficulty of accepting one’s body is often accompanied by sense of guilt of not being able to be fully happy for the new life as a mother and therefore it is often lived like a taboo. That’s why talking about it can help. “Attend women’s groups who are going through pregnancy or the postpartum period can help – explains the psychologist – because you will have the opportunity to confront and share doubts and fears lightening yourself up and giving yourself the opportunity to feel less alone. And if, despite this, there is no improvement and you are not calm, you can contact a professional, so as to find a way to dissolve and rework what is at the basis of suffering proven “.
The fundamental role of the partner
In all this also the proximity of the partner plays an important role. «The closeness and support of a partner represent the possibility for the new mother to continue to have a good look at yourself – specifies the psychologist – to feel pleasure again and not to have become anything other than before, unrecognizable and completely transformed. It is the possibility of feeling and recognizing oneself still a woman and of feeling a tender and affectionate look, even when the new mother, towards herself, cannot have it ».
Finally, if the desire to return to the way it was before pregnancy is common to many new mothers and represents a more than normal phase, it must not turn into an obsession. «When you realize that the concern for one’s body and its changes is strong and starts interfere with everyday life, it’s time to stop and dedicate yourself to yourself – Dr. Cipriani concludes – If you prefer never go out, avoid contact with other people and maybe you are no longer serene in the relationship with your partner and no reassurance works, then there is a problem and it is good to ask for help and consult a specialist ».
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Source: Vanity Fair