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Ah… Summer. For many of us, Summertime is very welcomed: evening barbecues with friends, endless trips to the park with your family, picnics galore and holidays in the sun. For some of us, though, Summer is a little dreaded, as it signals ‘swimwear season’. Now, I’m fully a believer that ALL bodies are beautiful, no matter their shape or size, but when you’re postpartum, your body confidence is typically at an all time low as you adjust to your new body and new baby. There’s a few reasons for this, which we’ll explore later, but the thought of wearing swimwear at this time is enough to send shivers down any postpartum woman’s spine. Fear not, though: it IS possible to feel comfortable in swimwear postpartum. I promise.
First up, let’s explore a little bit about why you might be feeling the way you’re feeling right now. If you’ve recently given birth (even a year or two ago is recent, FYI), there’s a LOT going on with your body – both physically and mentally. Simply put: your body goes through so many changes during pregnancy, that of course you’re going to be left with a slightly different one than before… and thats OK! Changes to your body no matter how big or small can easily trigger a change in body confidence, so it’s no wonder that a slightly saggier tummy where a bump once was, stretch marks where there were none or the ever so important weight gain from fat stores to keep your baby snug and nourished might make you feel a little bit less confident than before. Remember: every body in the world that endures a pregnancy, no matter how long or short that pregnancy, will change.
It’s also important to remember that not only are physical changes present, but mental changes, too. Hormones have a LOT to play with our confidence, and your hormones take a while to settle back down after pregnancy and giving birth. If you’re breastfeeding, it may take a little longer for your hormones to settle, or alternatively the oxytocin that is released during breastfeeding might actually help improve your body confidence. Who knows? Bodies are strange and every single one is different. You’re adjusting to a whole new meaning of life with a whole new tiny human to look after. It’s a lot.
I can pretty much guarantee you that every other woman in the world has felt the feelings you’re feeling at some point in their life, too: even the most beautiful, self confident woman there possibly is. These feelings are normal. Don’t beat yourself up.
The world tells us that we have to ‘bounce back’ after pregnancy, but the truth is, very few bodies naturally do, and thats totally okay. Your body just grew and birthed a whole human, for goodness sake, give yourself a break! Recognise that your low body confidence is probably being heightened by consuming this narrative that is shoved down our throats by social media – recognise this, and try to ignore it. Every time you see a photo online, remind yourself that it’s not real. It’s a snapshot of someone’s life, a mere split second, that is probably manipulated and posed in order to warrant the exact response they want from you. That famous celebrity glowing in their size 8 body only 3 months after giving birth has probably spent a LOT of money to look that way, surrounded by childcare, nights of plentiful sleep, nutritionists, chefs, personal trainers etc that the majority of us just do not have. You cannot compare yourself to these photos you see online. They’re not real, and there’s truly no such thing as ‘bouncing bacj’.
One of the best ways to boost your postpartum body confidence, especially when you’re postpartum, is to find new clothes that fit you properly. Your body has changed, your style might have also changed, and the clothes that fit you before pregnancy probably won’t look and feel the same on you afterwards. That’s normal! If your old clothes DO fit you, and more importantly you feel good in them, then great! That’s amazing, you’ve saved yourself some pennies. For many postpartum women, however, this probably won’t be the case: and squeezing yourself into something that doesn’t properly fit and doesn’t flatter your new body is never going to make you feel any good about yourself.
When it comes to finding the right swimwear, it’s a whole other ball game. Here’s some things to consider:
Don’t be afraid to try lots of different styles of swimwear on to find the right swimwear for you. Remember, the end goal is one thing and one thing only: feeling comfortable and confident. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. The only thoughts that matter are YOURS.
If you’re still struggling to find swimwear that looks good for you, or you’re just really not sure where to start, Yours have created a helpful guide for plus size women exploring how to find the best plus size swimwear for your body type.
Pear shaped body type? Balance out your proportions by drawing attention upwards and creating volume to your top half
Finding the right swimwear for your body will definitely help you to feel confident. If it feels comfortable and you look good, you’ll FEEL good.
I’m 10 months postpartum, and have been swimming a few times since having my youngest. Here’s a few of my tricks that help my confidence in swimwear and general postpartum body confidence:
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Here’s to a confident, hot mama summer!