Postpartum loss body

I have a lot of facebook friends who are in the OB world, plus I follow some OB related organizations (American College of Nurse Midwives, American College of OBGYN), so my feed often has lots of articles pop up around OB issues.  One theme that reappears every now and then is embracing your postpartum body. I see photos of women proudly showing off their battle scars- or tiger stripes as I’ve seen them affectionately named- roaring that these marks made them moms.  The photos of them in their underwear often have them holding the baby that gave them the body that they are embracing.

After seeing one such article, I was inspired to make a before and after babyloss photo of my own and asked readers to do the same if they felt up to it. But these ones were more symbolic- we wore clothes.  Though I would love someday to see an article of babyloss moms in their underwear and their postpartum loss bodies.

Because what about those of us that don’t have the baby to hold to remind us why are bodies look the way they do?  What about those who lost their babies before they got any stretch marks or sagging skin?

My midwife friend hesitantly gave me this book for Christmas.

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When i unwrapped it, initially my heart sank a bit.  A whole book of mothers with babies- great, just what I don’t have.  But she explained that not all the stories were “good” ones.  There were sad stories in there as well.  I’ve flipped through the pages, but haven’t read it really yet, because to read the tough stories, the ones I might relate to, I have to sort through the happier ones first.  But I will.

And then I stumbled over this article and this article.  The first one I like better than the second- only because the second reflects on how her rainbow baby helped her embrace her body (though it does address the idea that for some of us, it feels like our bodies betrayed us).  But the first is great- it recognizes how it’s hard enough for women to embrace their bodies after birth, but tells of the extra burden that we loss moms carry and gives some ideas how to embrace the changes.

I was left with little physical reminders of my pregnancy- just my pelvis/tailbone issues, really.  The most visible marks I have is some stretch marks on my breasts from engorgement- when my chest filled with milk for a baby that wasn’t there.   I guess I both enjoy my changes- proof that there was a baby and resent them- proof that there is no baby.

How do you feel about your body after loss?

8 thoughts on “Postpartum loss body

  1. I don’t mind the scar – Mederma helped with that – but it’s frustrating not be able to get rid of the little baby bump that remains, even a year later. It’s frustrating.

  2. I spent so much time oiling up my gigantic belly to prevent stretchmarks, now I have none and no visible reminders of my pregnancy with her except for a little bit of a donut belly. I never thought I’d be so disappointed to avoid stretchmarks. I did have to have surgery to revise my tearing three months later and that was really shitty. That is still a very physical reminder, but I’m grateful it feels better now. I still get kind of annoyed and resentful towards anyone who hasn’t had a loss and complains about their traumatic birth experience. I have zero living children, so I don’t have any experience with that, but it’s hard for me to see how birth can be truly traumatic when you take home a living child.

    • a revised tearing does sound truly awful (insult to injury- literally!). I understand fully your resentment about others’ traumatic births. I face that often in my job and it takes everything in me to try to sympathize (not sure I can truly empathize since they have a living child) but I try. it’s hard.

  3. It was really tough to see some of the physical signs that my daughter was there, but to not have her in my arms. I had an emergency c-section, so the scar is a daily reminder. I also haven’t been able to shake those last few pounds!

  4. Thank you for sharing this! I read the 1st one. I like it, especially the comment about take care of our body and wear the cloth that makes us look good. I tried very hard to fit the old cloth I used to wear and hated how it made me feel. I think this reminds me that i need to go shopping!

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