I was in my pre-pregnancy jeans within 2 weeks of delivering. Not due to any special diet or exercise routine or some secret all the celebrities use. Because my son was born extremely preterm...at 24 weeks and 5 days.
Two weeks later, he was living in the NICU, still fighting to survive, his life in critical condition, and I had zero evidence that I had been pregnant or even had a baby. To be honest, I was so angry at my body for that. For delivering so early, for not having any signs of this miracle baby that I was heartbroken was out in the world so soon.
This is not something that’s unique to me. As women, we have such a hard time with our bodies. From such a young age we’re shown images and portraits of what it means to be the ultimate woman and ultimately feminine. From the sleek slender image of the perfectly toned abs, to the perfecty round curves of a big pregnant belly, to the svelt figure of a postpartum mom who managed to melt the weight away in 2.7 days.
And when you throw in challenges like infertility, bed rest, pregnancy complications, prematurity into the mix….it’s a recipe for body image disaster.
On this episode, I chat with my friend and colleague Lindsay Stenovec about how to have a healthy body image and love your body again when you're going through infertility, a high-risk pregnancy or after you deliver preterm.
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Why hearing "You look great" is often NOT a compliment to postpartum women
The 2 different layers and that all body image issues arise from: what our bodies look like and what it feels like to be IN our bodies
How we all disengage from our bodies as a survival mechanism during infertility, high-risk pregnancy, traumatic or preterm delivery, how that complicates the postpartum experience and how to heal
The deeper meaning behind the negative thoughts women have about their bodies
What's really behind the sentiment of feeling broken
How media, personality, resilience factors all impact what thoughts about our bodies we internalize
The little ways women punish themselves because they don't believe they deserve good health
Lindsay's tips to have a more empowered, positive body image after infertility, high-risk pregnancy and/or preterm delivery
How partners can support women who are going through infertility, high-risk pregnancy and postpartum to love their bodies again without invalidating their experiences
You deserve the opportunity to feel how you feel about your body and that's the path to healing.
Resources from the show...
When your body changes, it can be uncomfortable for women of any size (Tweet that!)
Honor and grieve the loss of whatever you feel you lost on your family building journey (Tweet that!)
Healing is sitting in your body and accepting how you feel (Tweet that!)
About the Guest
Lindsay Stenovec is a San Diego Dietitian Nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Instincts. Her mission is to help you make peace with food and your body. She doesn’t want women to waste another minute of their precious life obsessing over every bite of food and she can help.
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