If you're struggling with your postpartum body, you're not alone. While it's easy to claim acceptance, actually living in a body that doesn't feel like yours is physically, mentally and emotionally taxing. Add to that the sleepless nights and major life changes that come along with caring for a newborn and the postpartum experience can be a serious challenge.
Body image tends to worsen in months one through nine after giving birth, according to a 2009 study published in Women & Health. Notably, the women studied lost 10 pounds on average during this time period, highlighting the complex relationship between body image and body size.
Pregnancy-related physical changes can have a huge impact on body image in the postpartum period.
"Your body goes through a tremendous change during pregnancy and labor, and it can take up to eight weeks following the delivery of your baby to return to normal from a physiological point of view," said Amina Albeyatti, M.B.B.S., a general practitioner specializing in women's and children's health at the Private GP Group in London.
"However, not everything returns to where it once was," Albeyatti