If your belly is round after childbirth, you are not alone. And it is normal!
Women have a high level of body image dissatisfaction post-pregnancy. The external pressure and expectation of losing baby fat and bouncing back with the pre-pregnancy body is a source of sadness and postpartum depression majority of women. A negative body image associated with new mothers increases the likelihood of psychological stress. The anxiety about weight gain during pregnancy occurs long before the baby is even born. Specific diets are incorporated from the first trimester to ensure that you don’t look like you had one when you had a baby.
One of the most insidious villains of our society’s relationship with childbirth and parenthood is the Diet Culture. It has become so normalized that we don’t even realize how wrong it is. The moment a child is born, society starts placing pressure on the new moms to look like they DID NOT just have a baby. There is no room for a mother to rest and heal. While she should be healing with the support of loved ones and the community, she immediately starts taxing herself to ‘look’ in a particular way falling into a trap on negative body image.
Diet Culture is so persuasive in our daily lives that we almost don’t realize that it exists. Let alone realizing its toxicity. Mothers and Crones have taken a backseat! All the tweens and ladies have been marketed a myth that thin is better. That thin is beautiful. That thin is essential. And Boom! We started believing that a youthful, skinny, and sexualized body makes us valuable. Instead of looking for value, we started looking for validation. Instead of building our relationship with food as a new mom to understand our bodies, we start cutting down food. We try to play smart by eliminating food and following and promoting toxic diet culture.
We tend to celebrate a woman’s body during pregnancy by telling her how cute her baby bump looks. However, we fail at giving that body time to recover. Sleep deprivation, rising and falling hormone levels, stress over breastfeeding or guilt over bottle feeding, the juggle of going back to work are a few reasons why new moms face, particularly in the first few months postpartum. Distorted eating can add fuel to it and even result in distressed eating.
Eating healthy meals with an emphasis on the right nutrients can rescue a mother from postpartum depression. Food is a tool to ensure good postpartum care and must not be the reason for stress for a new mom.
Our Experts can help in guiding you through a food regime that will not aim at a thinner waist but happy and healthy motherhood. Write to us for further queries. Do not forget to follow us on Instagram.