Postpartum body – a husband’s perspective

After having a child, I think many women have body confidence issues. Even if you fit back into your pre-pregnancy jeans soon afterwards, it’s unlikely that you’re the same body shape. I’m not convinced anyone goes back to being just the way they were. That’s okay though, we’ve delivered our babies, which is a wonderful thing. However, when we look at extra pounds and stretchmarks in the mirror, it can still make you feel rather down! Often, though, the men in our lives don’t seem to mind too much. I asked my husband to write me a letter about my postpartum body and his thoughts about it. All being well, I can read this in the future if I’m ever looking at my reflection and tearing myself to shreds again!

Dave’s thoughts on my postpartum body

Dear Laura,

Your body started to change not long after you fell pregnant with Autumn. It started with your breasts growing, which was a sign of the pregnancy. Slowly, your tummy started to grow as Autumn got bigger and bigger. You didn’t develop any stretchmarks on your tummy until near the end of the pregnancy. You didn’t gain any weight on any other parts of your body apart from your tummy and breasts throughout the pregnancy; which although it could be considered a good thing did make you more unstable on your feet as you had trouble supporting your growing bump. After Autumn was born your tummy quick shrunk back down and you were able to fit in your old jeans again. Although I was glad for you, I was sad to see the bump go. However, I loved your body before the pregnancy, during it and afterwards too.

You have confidence issues with the stretchmarks that remain on your tummy, but I don’t think they’re in any way a problem. They’re not massive, they don’t look like bolts of lightning or anything, like Harry Potter’s scar. They’re just little stretchmarks that are slowly fading. The stretchmarks are a sign of the wonderful gift you’ve given me, Autumn. I would kiss them and tell them “Thank you for what you did!” but I don’t think you’d like that. You would probably swat me away!

You have such deep blue eyes that have never changed throughout the whole time I have known you; I have always loved them and now they hold behind them the wonderful experience of growing a little person in your tummy. I see this experience and everything else you have experienced since glisten in your gorgeous eyes everyday; I’m so grateful and happy to see it there.

I’ve always found you attractive and even after having the baby, I still find you just as attractive. You have such a wonderful body shape, even though it’s changed. I love you just the way you are. From the tip of your toes to the scrumptious hairs on your head, you’re absolutely beautiful; just perfect.

Please don’t ever change; I think you are perfect and I love you just the way you are!

Your ever adoring husband,

Dave xxx

My thoughts after reading the letter

I knew that Dave still found me attractive, even though I can’t see it myself and my confidence has been impacted. However, it’s lovely to read such a beautiful letter from him showing exactly how he feels. The funny thing is, I think we often criticise our bodies so much, particularly postpartum, and our partners don’t even really mind. Maybe, just maybe, mothers should be a little easier on themselves. If only society looked at our sons and daughters more and realised that not having a magazine-perfect body is a small price to pay. Life is not airbrushed to perfection. Real life has quirks just as our bodies do and sometimes we’re fortunate to have someone in our lives who loves us just the way we are.

My Random Musings

18 thoughts on “Postpartum body – a husband’s perspective”

  1. I love that your husband was ok with writing a lovely letter like this. Perhaps if every husband/partner was able to be this open we would have less worries? #blogstravaganza

  2. Hi Laura,

    What a lovely letter for your husband to write! And he’s spot on – your body is a testament to the miracle you have performed in growing, nurturing and producing your beautiful baby daughter.

    It took me 40 years to finally stop criticising my body and actually stop and appreciate what is is and what it has done. It is in good order, works perfectly (although at almost 50 now, it creaks and groans a bit at times!), allows me to do practically anything I ask it to do, within reason, and is all mine (apart from a few dental fillings!). I have all of my teeth, both eyes work, there are no bits missing or overly defective. Even if I stop there, that puts me in a position more fortunate than many people in the world, and for that alone I should be, and am, very grateful and proud of my body.

    When I look in the mirror, I see a body which is fairly curvy, fairly wobbly but not excessively. My hair has thinned a lot in the last 10 years, but I can still work with it. The skin on my face has sagged a bit and there are a few lines, but like all women everywhere I haven’t been able to fight time, the environment and gravity, so I don’t beat myself up about it. My breasts are smaller and saggier than when I was a teenager, but I’m extremely proud of them, because they fed my four babies, and I’m ever grateful that I was able to give them that start in their lives. With a decent bra, it’s not a problem. My tummy, which has never ever been flat since I was pre-teen (always had a little ‘pot’ – I put it down to being very short!), is my most wobbly bit. It has been stretched four times to contain a small human, and each time it has lost its ability to tighten back just a little bit more. I used to hate my tummy, especially on holiday when I wanted to wear a bikini but always plumped for a one-piece. But when I stopped comparing myself to my ideal, to what I thought I wanted to be and not what I actually was, I began to love my tummy and its wobbliness, for the connection that it will always have to my (adult) children, and for the pleasure and satisfaction that I WAS able to conceive, nurture and give birth to my wonderful family. Again, this is something which can easily be taken for granted, but which should be seen as a privilege because it is sadly denied to many.

    So, in conclusion, my body is far from picture perfect (pretty much most women in the world probably feel the same), but instead of poking, prodding, squeezing and squishing it in front of the mirror, I’m happy to say that I’m PROUD of my imperfections, because they make me unique to my life story, and celebrate the wonderful achievement that is MOTHERHOOD!!!

    Allie xxx

  3. Woah. Dave. DAVE! DAVE! So nice. So beautiful. I love how much he’s in love with you. Serious family goals! Keep him forever mumma! xx

  4. What an amazing letter to have and to read whenever you want. I feel exactly the same as you about my body after babies I think most of us do and to have that reassurance from our partners means so much. My other half always tells me much the same and I am so thankful for it as it gives me such a boost that although I sometimes see myself in a negative way, he certainly doesnt. Nicky x #Blogstravaganza

  5. What a wonderful letter and what a wonderfully supportive husband you have. Every stretch mark, fold and every scar tells the story of motherhood. We should be proud of that. Women’s bodies are amazing machines. pen x #blogstravaganza

  6. This is so lovely, it brought a tear to my eye! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

  7. Your husband wrote this? Yeah right! I can’t get over the scrumptious hairs on your head bit. Too funny.

  8. Such a sweet letter! My bod definitely changed after having a baby, but I’m down with it-My skin always drives me crazy though, always something! I’m always fascinated with my imperfections when they’re not driving me nuts. All women need to hear positive things about their bodies especially after having a baby, it’s such a life changer. Your baby is adorable by the way!

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