Justice

How Giving Birth Helped This Woman Love Her Body

Many women feel pressure to snap-back to their pre-pregnancy weight within weeks of giving birth. But one California mom wants the world to know she is happy with her post-baby body.

Lindsay Wolf, a writer and actress, shared before-and-after photos on Instagram, saying she was proud of how she looks now.

“On the left is a 23-year-old woman who literally thought she was chubby in the picture shared,” Wolf wrote in the caption. “She was self-conscious, critical of her physical shape, and always either on a diet or rebelling from one.”

 

 

“On the right is a 33-year-old woman who is learning to love her body without pressuring it to be anything other than what it is,” Wolf added.

“It took becoming pregnant and watching my body support a baby, along with a weight gain of almost 50 pounds over the course of 20 years, to realize that my body is just right exactly as it is,” Wolf, who has a 19-month-old daughter, told HuffPost.

Wolf has shared several other body-positive photos that explore her journey to love belly rolls and the way she looks in size 14 jeans.

 

 

 

 

But while having a child has helped Wolf become more comfortable in her skin, many people struggle to accept how their bodies have changed. 

Women face pressure to not gain too much weight during pregnancy, and also to lose it quickly after they’ve given birth. One study found that two-thirds of moms are unhappy with their bodies in the first two-years after giving birth.

Media representations praising svelte celebrity moms add to the pressure ordinary women feel to lose weight. A 2014 study found a connection between moms who looked at celebrities’ post-partum bodies and were unhappy with their own bodies, according to The New York Times.

But over the past few years, more and more women have been sharing body positive images on social media—a trend that’s helped Wolf.

In a blog post for Babble, Wolf explained that seeing posts about a fitness blogger learning to love her stretch marks, and a mom trying on bathing suits with her daughter, have helped her become more body positive.

“In the bodies of so many women who have learned to love themselves, I begin to see myself,” Wolf wrote. “The more I witness these courageous examples, the more I have hope for my own journey.”

Wolf hopes that sharing her story can help other moms learn to love their bodies, too.