Taking care of your little one is such a rewarding experience. Some moms may not feel the same way in the beginning, especially with all-night-long crying and fussiness and, sometimes, postpartum depression that makes things way harder for any new mom. From the moment you know that you’re pregnant, plenty of things change. Your changing hormones make you feel differently and, apparently, look differently. Your belly gets bigger and you gain weight during the 9-month pregnancy. Even after delivery, your body doesn’t look the same. So, how can you restore your body confidence after delivering your baby? Read on, mommy for some great expert tips.

We understand that stubborn baby fat that doesn’t go away is one of the reasons why you feel insecure and have postpartum low esteem. There’s nothing to be ashamed of here; this is absolutely normal and you are not alone.

1. Understand What Your Body Has Gone and Is Going Through

Your strong body carried a little person inside of you for approximately 9 months. Obviously, you know how tiring the process is, but do you know how demanding it was for your body? That body of yours was able to change, shift, and accommodate for your little one to grow safely inside of you. Moreover, after birth, your body is still capable of feeding your baby, healing from the birthing process, and holding and caring for your baby. Your body has gone and is going through a lot, so try to focus on this strength instead of worrying about how it looks.

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2. Embrace Body Neutrality not Perfection

It takes a strong, confident woman to move from not liking her body to actually loving it. Instead of focusing on achieving the perfect body image or returning to your pre-pregnancy shape, aim for neutrality. It doesn’t matter if your body looks good or bad; it’s just different and natural.

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3. Reframe Your Negative Thoughts

This step is crucial to achieving and embracing body neutrality. All you need to do is to turn any negative thoughts into neutral ones. For example, whenever you feel that you hate your belly because it still looks like you’re 5-month pregnant, reframe the thought to be that your belly looks different now than it was because you had a baby. The thought is neutral; it’s not negative nor positive. When you’re able to reframe your negative thoughts to neutral, gradually, you’re going to perceive your body's appearance positively.

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4. Don’t Stress over Fitting into Pre-pregnancy Clothes

Although nowadays’ culture invokes so much shame on sizing up, it is one of the most normal things almost all new moms go through. Sizing up and wearing clothes that actually fit your current body doesn’t only make you feel comfortable, but also is a way of treating your body with dignity. When you appreciate what your body has gone through, you’ll want to honor it by making it feel as comfortable as possible. Moreover, buying new clothes isn’t as expensive as you think. You can visit thrift stores or buy on-sale clothes.

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5. Quit Body Checking

Most body-conscious people do this habit without noticing that they’re doing it. If you find yourself checking your body constantly in front of mirrors or weighing yourself every morning, try to quit this habit as soon as you can. This is one of the things that can make you feel bad about your body. Whenever you’re in the bathroom, do what you normally do but avoid looking at the mirror. Keeping the scale out of sight is also a good idea. Avoid looking in the mirror and weighing yourself until you no longer feel the need to do so. Only then, you will not be bothered about how your body looks.

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6. Trust the Process

The same way you trust that your body is able to carry and protect your baby for 9 months is exactly what you need to do now. Trust that your body is doing what it can to get back in shape; it just takes some time. Breastfeeding alone works on burning hundreds of calories while you’re actually sitting comfortably doing nothing but holding your baby. Even those mamas who are not breastfeeding, your body is still doing the best it can. The best and most important thing you need to do is to listen to your body’s needs. When you feel thirsty or hungry, drink water and eat healthy, nutritious food. Moreover, whenever you feel like moving or standing, do that! Your body is motivating you to move or maybe exercise a bit.

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Finally, although being a mom is hard and tough, it is still rewarding and beautiful. Carrying your little one inside of you and holding them between your arms afterwards is an incomparable experience. Enjoy every moment of this experience and be patient. Your body has done and is doing a great deal of effort to keep you and your baby safe and sound. Take good care of your nutrition and focus on nurturing your baby. After all, it is not a competition about who becomes fitter after delivery. It is a process that you should enjoy every moment of…

Main image credit: @theperfectmom