Molly (31 - she/her) and Gideon (14 weeks)
How has parenthood impacted your body image?
Throughout pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding, I have felt stunned by my body's strength. I have also been bowled over by the generativity of my body and its ability to cultivate and nourish life. Alongside this discovery of my body's majestic power, I also feel self-conscious. I am softer and fleshier than I have ever been before. My hair is thinning, I have permanent bags under my eyes, my signature curves are shrinking, and my breasts fluctuate in size all day long. It's been a struggle to reconcile my conviction that my body is perfect because it built my beautiful boy with my internalized fat phobia and impossibly lofty beauty aspirations. To top it off, other people have, since pregnancy onward, considered my body and appearance fair game for commentary. Those who think they are being complimentary say things like "No one would even know you had a baby three months ago! You've really got your body back." To them, and to myself, I declare that I never lost my body! If anything, I found my body through this most exhilarating, exhausting journey. I want all to know that I had a baby three months ago! I am beyond proud and I want to declare my body's truth boisterously! Never before have I been so proud of my body and its innate magic.
What is your truth?
Although the early days of parenthood are beyond depleting, there is also something so splendid and delicious about the slow, slow pace. Soak in all the joy and frustration with your sweet baby and remember that it's ok-- perhaps even kind of magical-- to slow down, ride the wave, and just breathe.
Why did you choose to participate in this movement and share your story?
I am here today with my new parent support group from my yoga studio. This group has been essential to my postpartum journey. I am inspired and uplifted by these women and wanted to find a way to memorialize not just my postpartum days with Gideon, but my postpartum experience with this new village of moms I am cultivating. I am honored to be photographed with these women and their babies today.