The Honest Guide to a post-partum body
1 CommentFriday, 22 June 2018 | Admin
The Honest Guide To…. Your post-partum body.
For obvious reasons, this blog probably goes hand in hand with last weeks ‘Honest Guide to sex after pregnancy’. So if you haven’t already read this, go check it out!
Most women, even if they’ve not experienced childbirth, are body conscious. I wish I could go back to my younger, teen self and reassure her that she’s not fat, she’s normal.
When you’re pregnant, your body changes. It goes through so much and in all honesty, will probably never be the same again. Unless, of course, you’re one of the lucky ones whose body shrinks back within weeks and can go on a bouncy castle without wearing a tena lady. Those women are few and far between. Those women are goals.
But for the remaining 99% of us, our bodies change throughout pregnancy and birth and the sooner we accept it the better, for everyone concerned. In particular, for our partners, mine especially has endured many a shopping trip which has ended with me making zero purchases and returning home to scoff a Krispy Kreme donut to help me feel better about my body – ironic, no?
I attended a well known slimming meeting before becoming pregnant but due to morning sickness and my pure desire to eat chips and chocolate, I gave it up when I was about 12 weeks pregnant. I’d waited a long time to be ‘with child’ and so I was bloody well going to enjoy the next few months.
Becoming a mum, whether it be for the first or fifth time, is hard enough without putting pressure on yourself to get back into your pre-baby jeans. Let’s be honest, you’ll want to live in leggings anyway – and that’s ok.
So what actually changes?
Well, your boobs. Like it or not, they will. Their use is to feed your child. Whether or not you choose to – but let’s not get into that debate, that’s a whole different article!
Since having my children in 2010 and 2018, I have been all sorts of sizes, but it’s the shape that changes too. Very quickly after child birth when your milk is coming in, you have full ‘cups’ that would give Pamela Anderson circa her Baywatch days, a run for her money!
When you stop breastfeeding, eventually, this fullness goes down and you end up left with a more droopy cup. Hello, Wonderbra! It is amazing how much a good bra will lift not only your new boobs, but your confidence too! I recently had a bra fitting and I was shocked – I went in wearing a 42C and left in a 38F! My boobs were where they should be – back where they were when I was 21. Well, maybe not exactly like this, but still, I felt great. This would be one of my biggest tips for you post-partum – get those boomamas fitted & kitted out!
What else changes – Your tummy. Stretch marks affect 8 out of 10 women during pregnancy, but let’s be honest, most people (men included!) have stretch marks at some point in their lives, be it on their tummy, thighs, or upper arms. So its inevitable that you’re going to get them. Moisturise every day (I used Palmer’s, BioOil is good too). I know there’s quotes on social media about stretch marks being a ‘badge for a real woman’ or your ‘tiger stripes’ and that’s all well and good, but in reality – you don’t want them. You don’t. You just have to live with them the best you can. They are natural, they’re your progression in life.
Mum jeans are apparently in fashion which is a good thing considering I can now tuck my tummy into said jeans. Nice image yeah? But its true. Your tummy just tends to hang now, you can do your best to suck it in, but it’ll always be there when you eventually need to breath out. (again, unless you’re one of 1% of women mentioned above - #goals)
All of the above – the saggy boobs, stretch marked thighs, weak pelvic floor muscles that prevent any sort of bouncing/jumping/sneezing/coughing action, are ALL OKAY. We all get it. It comes with the job of creating life. We are women. We’ve got this – wear your body with pride. In years to come, your child won’t remember how you looked in that swimming costume, they’ll remember cannon balling into the pool with you – and which is more important? If you believe the latter, then this blog has done its job.
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