24 Oct You Have An Amazing Body. You Can Learn To Love It
Tell me this… would you be 100% comfortable shouting “I have an amazing body”, out loud, in public? Exactly! Me neither! Maybe not even in private either, right?
The truth is though, you do have an amazing body. We all do! Unyieldingly amazing, as it happens. They perform endless glorious miracles on a daily basis. We’re just too busy criticising our poor (amazing bodies) for not having a thigh gap or a six-pack, to notice how truly amazing they are. And no one knows how to talk about it.
Well, this feminist mama wants to go on a journey. From hate to love. From self-criticism to self-celebration. Woo flippin’ hoo! I want us to reclaim the expression ‘I have an amazing body’ so we can say it… and mean it… and not be talking about unrealistic, awful, damaging beauty standards which are no good for anyone! All aboard folks, we’re going on a trip to talk about our bodies, and it’s going to be… you guessed it… amazing!
We’re going to start at the start… Birth.
Well, pregnant ladies. And oh la la are they amazing…
Your Amazing Pregnant Body – It Deserves An Award!
Listen, when you’re pregnant, all your organs literally move around to make space for baby. That’s right, you can actually shift your liver, and kidneys, and all the other squishy bits at will, mama, how amazing is that?! You are a fabulous magician. And that’s not all…
What’s more, your (amazing) body starts to produce about 50% more blood than usual to help the foetus develop. Aaaannnnnd, all that extra blood just happens to protect women in labour if they do start to haemorrhage. Your body is smart. Your body is proactive. Your body knows exactly what it’s doing. Surely that’s more to celebrate than fitting into an arbitrary size zero jeans?!
Your Skeleton – Stretching the rules. Literally
So your (amazing) body is made up of the squishy bits and the hard bits, scientifically speaking, right? Let me break it down for you… Organs are squishy and bones are hard. Bones are rigid. Bones are stiff. Right? Until, that is… you’re about to give birth.
Faced with the epic challenge of squeezing a human baby down the birth canal, your clever olde body releases a hormone called Relaxin. And guess what that does? It softens your muscles & ligaments, and does something wild to your rigid pelvic bone. It actually separates it right down the middle and starts to spread it apart. Your bones soften and spread apart, Mama. To make space for birth of course. And a thigh gap has nothing to do with any of it!
Your Amazing Body. When It Tells You You’re Pregnant
There are some wild and wonderful urban legends out there to predict if a woman is with child. But as I said before, I’m a science gal so I like to focus on proven facts. And here’s a sneaky one you should probably only use on yourself.
Your Lady Clam, ahem, your vagina usually flies her pink flag – no matter what skin colour you have. But get this – some women’s bodies will (amazingly) change the colour of the vagina to a delightful blue or purple as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. (according to Dr. Brett Whorley, MD at Ohio State University) This purple phenomena is called Chadwick’s Sign, and who knows, maybe it’s a kind of ‘No Entry – Closed for Business” sign to anyone still sniffing around after Mama is pregnant.
Smart Phones? Smart Boobs! They know More Than You Think!
So almost as soon as you’re pregnant, your body starts releasing a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG (you know, the one that gives you a positive pregnancy test when you pee on the stick!).
And what’s that for, you ask? Clearly we already have enough hormones messing with our moods! Well, this lovely little one actually sparks your boobs into action so they can start developing your milk glands. And as a delightful little twist of nature, that can make your boobs extra sensitive. Yeay! That can be another early way to tell if you’re with child. So yeah, boobs know what’s up.
Your smart boobs also start storing more fat to make your milk extra creamy. As well as that, your veins become more visible because they’re dilating to increase blood flow to support the foetus. Your nipples start to get bigger & darker, and they even produce a magic oil to protect them from the intense sucking that’s in store for breastfeeding. All this can all start as early as 6 weeks into a pregnancy. So, in a manner of speaking, your boobs might be in on the fact that you’re expecting, long before you have any idea. Boobs are cool and oh so wise!
Something Old – Something New! Like A Whole New Organ? What?
Listen, do you know how hard it is to grow human organs? Scientists have been at it for an age and have come up with very little in the way of practical organ growth. But you my friend, without even thinking about it, can grow a whole new organ inside yourself, while you’re doing the washing up.
The Placenta… ta daaaaaa! Your amazing body actually grows the thing that’s going to grow your baby. What? Come on! That’s like trying to buy a new car, but instead of going to the dealership and picking one out, you just go ahead and build the machine that’s going to build your car for you. Or building an actual oven cook your buns (pun intended. You’re welcome!), instead of just going into your existing kitchen and doing it the easy way. Your body is like ‘let’s do this!’ and builds that whole new organ, while you’re also building a human. Amazing!
Your Amazing Body. Deep Breaths – Your Lungs Are At It Too
Have you ever noticed that pregnant women are easily short of breath? Did you know why? Turns out it’s not because of the strain of building and carrying a new human. In fact, it’s all about those pesky hormones again. When a woman is pregnant, her clever clever body produces a bucketload of progesterone – around the clock basically.
What’s that got to do with losing your breath? Well, progesterone actually signals the brain to lower the level of carbon dioxide in the blood.
Which means a pregnant woman will have to breathe faster, and more deeply to make sure she exhales enough of it. And the result of that? She ends up breathing in more oxygen for her and foetus. Coincidence? I don’t think so!
So there you have it. Sure my body is far more gravitationally challenged than when I was 20 (read: saggier boobs & flabbier tum tum), but that’s not a conversation I’m willing to get into anymore. I’m coming with the self love. When I say I have an amazing body, I’m talking about all the amazing things my body can do, because to be honest, our bodies are outright flippin’ glorious miracles and they deserve to be spoken about as such!
How about you? You have an amazing body! Shut up, you do!
Go ahead, tell me about some of the things it can do!