In this first episode of the Letters to Mothers season we’re talking about a topic that so many of us are familiar with—body image. It’s a topic we’ve talked about on the show, but I wanted to revisit it with a specific focus on that experience as mothers.

Joining me on the show today is Shelby Hirschman. She’s a nutrition therapist who specializes in intuitive eating, body acceptance, and recovery from chronic dieting and disordered eating.

We’re talking about postpartum discomfort, the societal pressure to “bounce back” and why that isn’t helpful for us as women, and some actual practical behaviors and tools to put into place that I think can be a huge help. 

If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and felt frustrated, uncomfortable, disappointed, or unattractive, this letter is for you.

Topics we cover:

Why so many of us feel at war with our bodies as mothers

Defining the postpartum season

The pressure women feel to “get their body back” or “bounce back” after giving birth

What body checking is and why (and how!) to reduce that habit in your life

Compassionate closets

What is happening on a biological level to our bodies during the postpartum season

How to prioritize consistent and adequate nutrition

Habits to form in our lives as women during seasons of change to remind ourselves that our body is good

How Shelby lives out the feminine genius as a mother

Resources for you:

Tune into Shelby and I’s first conversation on the Letters to Women podcast, A Letter to the Woman Struggling to Believe Her Body Is Unconditionally Good

Visit Shelby’s website to learn about her work as a nutrition therapist

Subscribe to Shelby’s substack, Good Body Notes

Shop Good Body Nutrition on Etsy

Learn more about Catholics Online, the sponsor for today’s episode

Check out my monthly newsletter, Naptime Notes

Discussion questions:

Have you ever felt at war with your body? What are some moments you’ve noticed postpartum discomfort in your own story as a woman?

In what ways has motherhood impacted the way that you view your body? Do you feel a tension between being in awe of what your body is capable of and discomfort or frustration with your postpartum body?

As a mother, have you felt pressured to “bounce back” after giving birth? Where have you received those messages from and how have they impacted the way you view your body today? 

Do the clothes in your closet honor the reality of your season of life? What would getting dressed in the morning look like if your closet had pieces in it that honored your postpartum experience as a mother?

What are some practical ways you can begin to be more gentle and compassionate when it comes to the way you view and talk about your body as a mother? Make one resolution today to help you remember that your body is good. 

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