Appreciate That Belly!

I was uncomfortable with my postnatal flabby belly and 100 percent sure that everyone I encountered saw its enormity. It was my biggest postpartum obsession.

Too often, as new mothers we angst about our unfamiliar contours, having somehow forgotten how proud we once felt when others noticed our bellies growing round and full-exhibiting tangible proof of the wonder taking place inside us. For me, months had passed before I finally discovered a way to soothe my nagging anxiety. So effective was this remedy that the ordinary-looking jar with its extraordinary contents still sits on my bathroom shelf, its label, tattered but decipherable, reading: “Appreciation.” I would rub generous doses of the healing balm on my belly, giving thanks for the baby it had nurtured and protected, and, voilà, my obsession would vanish.

If you, too, have belly pangs, tomorrow, after your morning shower, add a few drops of appreciation to your body lotion. As you massage it over your belly, reflect on the new life it harbored. Then relax and let your heart fill with gratitude for all you have been through. You will never be the same … and neither will your belly.

Harmony Rose West is a mother, grandmother, teacher, and the author of the deck Bless You Mom: Conscious Thoughts for the Mothering Journey-a 2008 Mom’s Choice Gold Award winner.

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