Maternity affects the body in a myriad of different ways. Last year, one of the most popular posts on our Instagram account was a photo of a mother's body. The comments raised many interesting questions about loving your body before, during and after pregnancy, and we'd like to keep the discussion going. Should we all be jumping on board with the body positivity movement, or do we need to find our own personal path to self-love?
In one of our most recent Instagram posts, we invited you to share your feelings and experiences with regard to motherhood and its impact on your body. We know that all bodies—regardless of size, disability, scars or body hair—have the right to exist, to be seen and celebrated. But when we look at ourselves in the mirror, it's often a very different story. “Body positivity is a common topic on my podcast, Nouveau Chapitre. Through these discussions with my guests, I know that every woman has her own unique experiences and relationship with her body. However, I personally still have a long way to go in accepting my new body” (@jolibump).
Many women feel a great deal of societal pressure regarding their appearance. But what does this mean for new mothers? Should they be “bouncing back” or learning to love their changing bodies at all costs? “For some time now, we have been told that we need to love our bodies, whether they are big, small, scarred or damaged, because we should appreciate the female body and its ability to create life. But what if we still see the flaws in ourselves and other people? We can make the effort to improve and love our bodies. But what if we don't succeed?” (@chez_madame_so). For many people, “acceptance” seems to be the word of the day (@les_deylires_daudrey). However, this universal struggle is also deeply personal, rooted in love.
From stretch marks and scars to an ever-changing figure, motherhood leaves its mark. With so much advice floating around, who can women trust to guide them through this strange new world? “No two women are the same. There is no one size fits all guide to body positivity. The quest for self-acceptance can last a lifetime” (@agnesckldi). Basically, “everyone should do what they need to do” (@chloelouiselina). Perhaps the key lies in a single word: love. “As a mother of 3 children, how I see myself changes from day to day. But the most important thing is that I am full of love, for them, for him, for myself, for the world. So much love that I feel like I might burst!” (@celiaa3amours). One thing is certain: motherhood changes us all. For some mothers, pregnancy actually plays a vital part in their search for self-love. "Unlike many other women, my pregnancies (especially the first one) really helped me come to terms with my body" (@thebrunein).
If you're struggling with the concept of body positivity, you can choose to focus on your body's incredible ability to nurture human life. “I really enjoyed the recent posts from @gangderouquins. I was impressed by her honesty and touched by the beauty of motherhood. Personally, I am still working to accept my new body, but I love these women, their bodies, their lines…"(@tajinebanane). We should all appreciate the power, fragility and wonder of life. “We cannot choose the body that carries us through life, but can we move forward gracefully in its warm and protective shell; we are always trying to keep it shiny and new, we threaten it with scalpels and diets, but it always takes us where we want to go, and, though it may complain, it will never leave us. The body is just a vehicle for the beautiful person inside." (@veromamzelle) To quote Camille (@gangderouquins): "We should always be willing to share our love. You are all worthy” ♡
If you want to dive deeper into this subject, the @mise_a_nu podcast is very popular with our followers!
Texte : Pauline Louis
Photo : All Womxn Project