'Babies ruin bodies'

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  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Jan. 14, 2014 9:24 p.m.

    Feminism is in large measure the reason why many women feel this way. And it's shameful. Not to mention, to say that the very thing that the female body was designed for in the first place "ruins" it is patently absurd.

  • sisucas San Bernardino, CA
    Jan. 6, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    I'm probably spoiled because my wife eats very healthy and loves to exercise, but I think this article is improtant. Our Utah wives and mothers are stressed to the max. They have to be everything, mother of 8 amazing kids, fitness model body, RS president, PTA officer, TV worthy chef, tuned into culture, literate, math and keep a beautifully clean house. You can't do it all and if you maximize one area you lose out on another. I like articles like this because they take alittle pressure off. Utah culture is ridiculous and permeates the LDS church. Take a load off ladies, relax, have some fun. We love you for so many reasons that don't include keeping up with the Joneses. We married you becauase you're out best friends and confidants. In a state with such high rates of depression, messages like this for women will never come too often.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 7:15 a.m.

    Just to clarify. The reason my wife exercises and eats healthy is not so much for good looks as to be able to take care of the children we have and to be able to have more. Good looks are just a nice side effect which we both are thankful for.

  • Mormonmama0106 Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 5, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    I love this article! I am the proud mother of four children and each has "marred" my body in some way. I consider the stretch marks, sagging skin, baggy belly and other such evidences as blessings. My husband and I struggled for six years with infertility and I wouldn't trade a single post-pregnancy mark on my body for the flat belly and thin hips I had before having children. Every sign of childbearing on my body is to me a badge of honor. I have a mature, child-bearing woman's body and I am extremely grateful for it!

  • PLM Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    A beautiful commentary on the carbon footprint a child leaves on its mother. And remember, breastfeeding helps prevent breast cancer. Enjoy motherhood!

  • Abbygirl East Carbon, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    Giving up a body for another body is worth it!

  • grandmagreat Lake Havasu City, AZ
    Jan. 4, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    In the spirit of Eternal Life, what does it matter if we don't look like we did when we were a teenager. I am the mother of 5 wonderful children, and would have had more had there been more for me. I was married at 18 and had my first child that first year. She is now a beautiful Grandma herself at the age of 68 As I look at the pictures of my beautiful mother, who has been gone for many years, I love every wrinkle, and her beautiful dark eyes, still reveal her smile and love for her 10 children. May the Lord Bless you and your children, and may you be blessed with many more.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Jan. 4, 2014 3:01 a.m.

    Soft curves and toned muscles, with smooth skin and the spark of life combine to form the sublime visage of womanhood. However, this pales in comparison with the same form, added upon with a divine dignity and grace, coupled with a glory that is itself a divine power of infinite potential. Sunday school fable or vision vouchsafed by the power of the Holy Ghost? You decide, but there are many who will read this and say, "Yes, I have seen it, too."

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 1:52 a.m.

    your body will age and sag and wrinkle after all you can do... your kids endure for ever..... am I missing something here??? Sure be fit and have fun but comparing your body to your kids is foolish. Like comparing a cracking piece of cement to a nugget of pure gold.

  • kathybeebee Ephrata, WA
    Jan. 3, 2014 11:40 p.m.

    As we were preparing to blend 2 families several years ago, I was fretting over the condition of the body I'd be presenting--wrinkles, sags, and enough stretch marks to cause my abdomen resemble a road map, complete with surgical-scar Interstates. He said, "Don't you know those are the marks of a queen? Any selfish princess can have a flawless body; it's a queen who has risked her life to bring a new life to the earth!"

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Jan. 3, 2014 7:15 p.m.

    SlopJ30- How can you know that they don't know?

    Thanks for sharing your hard-earned perspective on the real beauty of your wife. When a person is faced with the reality of death you do give more thought about what comes next. I can't imagine a more real life issue than what you and your wife went through.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Jan. 3, 2014 3:23 p.m.

    "What part of 'I think my wife is wonderful' nauseates you?"

    Nothing about that part. It's great you think your wife is wonderful and I hope she feels the same about you. What I chuckle and SMH at is the cheezy nonsense where people fantasize about the theoretical physical form their spouse will take in some mythical future post-mortal paradise.

    When you lament the idea that "many husbands are clueless about how beautiful their wives will be after the resurrection," I read "many husbands are rational and don't put a second's thought into fairy stories about transformations their wives will undergo after they're both brought back from the dead by magic."

    Hey, I know I'm in the minority on this site with my reaction. Corny, sacrament-meeting-talk-worthy lines are greeted with many enthusiastic thumbs up 'round here. I can't help be a little irritated when a piece focusing on a real-life issue -- women's body image and how it relates to having children -- elicits balderdash responses about the unknowable things you claim to know.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Jan. 3, 2014 2:17 p.m.

    @SlopJ30: BARF? What part of "I think my wife is wonderful" nauseates you?

    Many husbands are just grateful that their wives survived childbirth. Not all have been so fortunate.

    Be grateful for the resurrection. Mortality will take a toll on your body also.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Jan. 3, 2014 1:50 p.m.

    I am a man and I absolutely adore the human female form. One of the things I have learned in my life is the human body, both male and female, is a work of unmatched beauty and wonder. Sometimes I've seen images of a body that makes me stop in utter amazement and awe.

    And yet, as captivating, powerful and wondrous as the human body is, there's something even more incredible, more amazing: love.

    Love, in it's literally 'perfect' form.

    I mean 'love' as the level of love that God has.

    I want my wife to be beautiful forever (and, yes, ladies, just like I want to be "beautiful" and physically attractive to my wife).

    I think she could take better care of herself. I firmly believe that millions and millions of women use the "I've had babies" as an excuse to not try to keep themselves physically attractive.

    What a shame.

    Both their spouses and themselves lose out in the process.

    But....even given those weaknesses and mistakes, love, and the children that come from being pregnant is worth it all.

    If waiting until the resurrection is what it takes, I'll wait.

  • J F Amarillo, TX
    Jan. 3, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    Being able to create life is an amazing blessing, and for some women it leaves marks. For others, it doesn't. Yes, living a healthy lifestyle is definitely a good idea and may influence post-natal "marks".
    However, I think a central message here is to stop judging each other because of the different ways that our bodies look and to realize that stretch marks or other post-natal bodily changes are sometimes the earned stipes of motherhood. Frankly, hearing men talk about how their wives did or should stay beautiful after they gave birth felt a little demeaning. They are making a person - isn't that enough without having to worry about living up to a standard that so often is practically impossible to achieve? To me this article isn't about who or what is attractive to whom, whose wife is healthier or more beautiful, but cherishing the miracle that is motherhood and a woman's ability to create life inside her body. That is totally awesome! Props to mothers everywhere!

  • mufasta American Fork, UT
    Jan. 3, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    That was awesome! Thank you for articulating what I cannot. I have always felt a deep sense of reverence for my wife in the gift she has given me in my children. It is amazing to me that she would risk destroying the very thing that initially attracted me to her so that she could give me this tremendous gift. She is my queen, I am indebted to her, we are a remarkable team. Thank you again for so perfectly articulating your thoughts.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Jan. 3, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    gmlewis says: “It is a shame that many husbands are clueless about how beautiful their wives will be after the resurrection.”

    First off, BARF. But, in the interest of fairness, I will try the following line on my wife and let you know how it goes: “Honey, I bet you’ll be pretty attractive at some point after you die. I can’t wait!”

    I M LDS 2 taught me a couple of things today . . (1) only ugly women get divorces, and (2) windstorms can destroy intangible, abstract concepts like poetry. Huh! I always thought wind only affected physical objects.

    And I’m with red.diehard . . life in the Pachev home sounds like sheer torture. The “No exceptions; no excuses” sounds uncomfortably close to military sloganeering.

    Maybe my dismissive reaction to these articles and many of the comments is reflective of the fact that my wife, who’s given birth to four kids, looks darn good. Not “teenage” good, but by any reasonable standard she’s attractive. If she had a face/body that would stop a clock, maybe I’d be singing a different tune.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:38 p.m.

    WOW ! Where would I be if my mother had the same philosophy? Where would we all be if our mother had that philosophy?

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Jan. 2, 2014 8:41 p.m.

    A womb is different from a stomach.

  • Northern Logan, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 7:19 p.m.


    Nothing wrong with taking care of yourself, just because someone is healthy doesn't mean they do it for the paparazzi. Good for Sasha's wife way to go the distance.

    Really red I would say get over yourself and don't attack someone who is happy with the life they have.

  • IDblue&white Rigby, ID
    Jan. 2, 2014 6:56 p.m.

    President Gordon B. Hinckley noted the normal changes in his own beloved wife near their 50th anniversary. "Now, for more than half a century, we have walked together through much of storm as well as sunshine. Today neither of us stands as tall as we once did. As I looked at her across the table, I noted a few wrinkles in her face and hands. But are they less beautiful than before? No, in fact, they are more so. Those wrinkles have a beauty of their own, and inherent in their very presence is something that speaks reassuringly of strength and integrity and a love that runs more deeply and quietly than ever before." (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 328). I feel similarly. I am thankful my wife of nearly a quarter century chose giving life to our children even though it cost her a pre-natal body. Her post-natal body is no less beautiful to me. Perhaps in time or eternity I can make it up to her.

  • CHWZJOY Layton, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 4:50 p.m.

    @Christopher B

    You are completely missing the point of this article. The author is promoting self love & celebration of the irreversible marks of child bearing (ie. stretch marks, widened bone structure, etc.). Self appreciation is the first step to healthy living. How can you expect a woman who hates her body to treat her body with respect, love, and healthy choices? She cannot.

  • wtarin Colorado Springs, CO
    Jan. 2, 2014 4:44 p.m.

    I do not agree with the comment from I M LDS 2

    My response:

    Our marriage was not ruined by pregnancies. She may think her body is ruined, but I do not, and I knew it would change after that first birth.

    I cannot speak for my wife, but she did not appear to be ruined by the birth of our three beautiful children. I still had the same love and passion for her and we have been married for 45 years and counting.

    It is a man's natural instinct to look at other women. There is nothing wrong with looking, it is how he is thinking and how that woman is presenting. I bet that women look at men and make judgments.

    Women have different capabilities and desires for their ultimate health and looks. I have seen many women who have had more babies than my wife, and they still look wonderful, but not all women are willing to do that, just like not all men really care about their health or looks. Just look around you. And when you look at some of those women, unless you see the kids, you would not believe they had kids.

  • red.diehard Central, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 4:02 p.m.

    @Sasha Pahev
    @I am LDS TOO

    If that was life in my house...just shoot me. I am glad that my wife is not obsessed with looking like a kid. There isn't a wrinkle, sag, and stretch mark that I don't adore. What you think about her?...neither of could not care less.

    Get over yourself and ad agency definitions of beauty.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Jan. 2, 2014 3:27 p.m.

    It is a shame that many husbands are clueless about how beautiful their wives will be after the resurrection. A healthy body is a blessing, but this mortal frame will only endure a few years in the eternal scheme of things.

    I almost lost my wife in childbirth, and since then I appreciate her more than ever. A wife is more than just a body. She made a tremendous sacrifice to be a mother, and she is wonderful in my eyes.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:55 p.m.

    Just another copy/paste article from the Des News. We get a very similar story/blog/post week after week after week.

    I'm also with Sasha, it is very possible for women to look much the same after giving birth. Recently in the news there have been multiple women show of thin, fit, attractive bodies not too long after giving birth, and WITHOUT surgery.

    Hollywood teaches us that looks are everything and the Des News has taken an equally poor approach by having these mommy bloggers week after week tell each other there isn't much they can do to control how they look so just don't worry about it.

    I think this approach is equally incorrect and unhelpful.

    It takes a lot of hard work and eating right, but is very possible for women to have a slim, shapely, attractive body after babies.

  • fani wj, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:43 p.m.

    "Before I became pregnant, someone told me, Don't have a baby. Babies ruin your body." Anyone who share this belief is not marriage material, end of story. I dated a girl... as soon as I found out she had this feeling was the end of our relationship.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:32 p.m.

    Get as sentimental as you want, but the harsh reality (demonstrated by numerous careful studies) is that babies not only ruin bodies, they also ruin marriages. Those are statistical facts that are not unrelated.

    Trivializing this "ruining bodies" reality by trying to spin it into something profoundly opposite is so much poetry in a wind storm: it won't hold up.

    When a woman looks in the mirror she can tell what "ruined" looks like, and it affects her self-esteem no matter how poetic she tries to be.

    When her husband looks at her, he is not deluded by poetry.

    And women are very aware that their husbands are seeing "ruined", especially as compared with the other single women "at the office".

    It is a challenge, there is no doubt.

    Sasha Pachev's wife seems to have the right idea. Yes, it is a lot of work, but being healthy is always better than not, and healthier bodies are more attractive and happier bodies, regardless how many babies they have birthed.

    That seems to be the proper take home message here: stay in shape the best you can.

    Making excuses for and giving up on healthy: bad idea.

  • CHWZJOY Layton, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 12:53 p.m.

    Beautifully written, what many women feel but cannot put it so eloquently into words. Thank you.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    Bringing a baby into the world involves sacrifice and will put some wear on the body of the mother. However, with proper nutrition and exercise it is possible to contain the damage. My wife at the age of 38 still looks more or less like a healthy teenager after giving birth to eight children. The secret - she runs 6 days a week, even when pregnant, adjusting the mileage and the speed based on the fitness and overall well-being that day, but she always gets out. She never eats fast food or any kind of junk such as soda pop, anything artificially sweetened or fattened, etc, no exceptions no excuses.

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    Awesome post. Especially love that last line.