My body after childbirth: “There is nothing left of my B-cup, but I am happy with my body.”
In the Body Show column, mothers talk about their bodies before, during and after pregnancy. This time the story of Ashwina (36), single mom of Viggo (3). During her pregnancy she had a double D cup, but nothing is left of that now.
“During my pregnancy, my breasts exploded to double D. But when I stopped breastfeeding, they disappeared completely – there is nothing left from my old B cup either. Still, I’m proud of the photo because I’m happy with my body. I have worked on that self-love for years and my pregnancy has given me the final push.”
“My father is from the Caribbean and has some overweight. Because I have his genes, as a child I was well-built, with chubby cheeks, round buttocks and curves. That I had a different figure than most girls made me insecure. When I was eight, the doctor at the health center said I was too heavy. It’s like a switch flipped in my head: I don’t want to be overweight like my dad. From that day on I stopped skipping breakfast and switched to a healthier diet, like eating more fruit.”
Listening to my body
“As an adult, complaints such as constipation and a hard stomach after eating eventually made me realize that my portions were too large. As a result, I started to listen better to my body: how much does she need? I also stopped drinking alcohol and started exercising intensively. Eventually I discovered that yoga and walking suit me better and I became more and more at peace with my figure.”
“Even when I was pregnant, I chose my own path. I had always been afraid to give birth, because my mother had three difficult deliveries. But I was determined that that would not be my story. I focused on positive birth stories that I heard from my environment and ‘trained’ my mind to see it as a safe and natural process. After all, my body was making a child, without me having to do anything for it. This gave me even more love and respect for her and I realized: my body knows what to do, I have to surrender myself to it. Viggo was born at home at 38 weeks, in a birthing bath. An indescribable primal power was released. My body took over and I instinctively knew how to breathe and push.”
“As smoothly as my pregnancy and delivery had gone, so did my recovery. No complications or stretch marks, and I was quickly back to my old weight. Many women feel insecure about their body after giving birth. I like to show that it can also be different. In fact, I think I’m more beautiful now than when I was 26.”
“If you feel good about yourself on the inside, you will radiate that out – I am convinced of that. Whatever shape you have, cellulite or saggy breasts. I too am not perfect with stretch marks on my lower back, due to a growth spurt in my youth. I used to not dare to wear a bikini, but now I can’t even see it anymore. I even know women with large scars from surgery who are not ashamed of it. When someone carries themselves proudly, I look at them with admiration. Because the most beautiful woman is someone who radiates self-confidence: I am beautiful the way I am.”
This article originally appeared in the Ouders van Nu Magazine Text: Tessa Heselhaus, photography: Rolinda Windhorst
PS. In this post I share why I said yes to this photoshoot.