März 8, 2019
Here’s to all amazing women!
It is International Women’s Day! Today at The Birth Post we choose to talk about the female body and pay our homage to it.
Evelina, the co-founder and CEO of The Birth Poster, often says that the biggest lesson her two pregnancies have given her was to understand how amazing women are. And so are their bodies. But in the same set with marvelousness and unimaginable endurance, also comes self-criticism and very often too high self-demands. Therefore today we talk to one of the moms who decided to show the real pictures of her body to the Instagram community. Brenda Stearns (@she_plusfive) is a mother of five and it took her a long time to find self-acceptance and self-love after her body irrevocably changed. She is finally there, and so we hope all of you, the moms around The Birth Post community, will be. Love yourself, love your bodies!
The Birth Post: When you posted the picture of your postpartum belly on your Instagram profile with what reactions did you meet?
Brenda Stearns: I was very surprised by the response. I did not expect to receive such positive feedback. It left me feeling extremely encouraged!
What inspired or encouraged you to do that?
I had posted a photo of my postpartum belly a couple days before and I received a couple negative remarks calling my photo disgusting, unflattering, and something not worthy to be noticed. And while the comment was rude, it left me wondering why society views a mom body with such negativity. So I was inspired to post more raw pictures of my postpartum body to normalize the beauty of being different!
How would you define your relation to your body now as compared to the time before being pregnant?
I’ve learnt so much in the past eight years since I first got pregnant with my first child. Now a mother of five, and eight months postpartum, I embrace my body through every changing season, whether that be pregnancy, postpartum, fertility, and everything that makes me a woman. It’s empowering to me now to feel such love and acceptance for who I am and what I look like. And this isn’t to say I don’t have physical goals to reach for myself, or simply means I’m loving myself every step of the way. I’m no longer waiting to be a certain size, type, weight, number, age, etc. To love my body. I love myself now, today, right now. And my hope is to inspire others to do the same.
Do you remember the worst moment after delivery when you felt that you don’t like your body? When you couldn’t accept it?
It’s not a happy place to be in. It was after my first baby, and my very first cesarean. I had a traumatic birth experience and I carried a lot of shame and self guilt over that. I saw myself as a failure and carried those feelings deep inside.
I felt it again and again with every birth, postpartum hit me hard every single time and I just couldn’t get past “the way I looked”.
It took me five pregnancies, two cesarean births, three unmedicated vbacs, and five healthy babies to finally realize that the beauty of my body goes far beyond what it looks like on the outside.
What would you go for now on the beach: bikini or one-piece swimsuit?
Any advice you could give to other women struggling with self-acceptance?
Make a list of five things you absolutely love about yourself, every morning when you look at yourself in the bathroom mirror, compliment yourself in those things. I always say to myself “you have a beautiful smile Brenda!”, or “wow, look at those beautiful eyes!”, or “you’re such a wonderful mom”.
When we start the day on a positive, loving attitude, we begin that time to the rest of our day.
Realize that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our bodies do so much for us day in and day out. It’s time to celebrate them!!!