I always said before I got pregnant, that one of my worst fears of having a baby would be accepting my body during and after birth. I’ve never been truly happy with my shape and am still yet to meet a woman who is fully content in her skin.
During pregnancy I was really self conscious, I put on a lot of weight quickly and in the end I avoided going out when I could. I tried to embrace it and accept that I was only going to get bigger!
However, once my little man arrived, I really didn’t mind what happened to my body. Ultimately, it has grown perfect my little boy and I am so proud of that. Everyone is different and unique, some people bounce back instantly and others never have their pre-baby body back, here’s some of the things I’ve been dealing with post baby…
Ok, so I realise that makes it sound absolutely horrendous, but it’s the only way I could describe my tummy in the days following Oliver’s arrival.
Some people still look very pregnant after birth (perfectly normal!) for me, my uterus shrank pretty quickly and I was left with a strange, watery feeling and my skin was really soft and jelly-like.
Six weeks on, I can tell it’s going down slightly, probably due to breastfeeding and losing some water retention I had before birth. I still have a mum tum, which is fine, I’m surprised it’s not bigger for how huge I got during pregnancy!
But do I mind? In a word, no. As long as I look and feel good in what It is that I’m wearing, then thats good enough for me. If I feel like working on my shape in a the future, then I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
I hardly had any stretch marks during pregnancy. Now my tummy has gone down, I have some real good ones around my belly button. There’s even some tiny ones on my hips and a couple of teeny weeny ones on my boobs.
I actually kind of like them! My tiger stripes make me feel empowered, they’re almost like an art form really. A purple, silvery reminder of the beautiful life I carried. They’re also really soft!
I really don’t understand why there is such a negative stigma about them. They’re perfectly normal and natural, like a baby-made tattoo!
A.K.A Lochia, is postpartum bleeding and discharge containing blood, mucus, and uterine tissue. It typically continues for four to six weeks after childbirth, a time known as the postpartum period.
Those huge maternity pads will definitely come in handy during that first week, you will need more than you think! Also, it’s advised to purchase a tonne of Bridget Jones style panties. They’re not only comfy AF after child birth, but will help to hold your pads (and mum tum) place.
Yes, they do make you feel like you’re wearing a nappy and like you’re walking a tad strangely, but there are definitely worse things in life.
I’ll be truly honest here, it is grim. It’s not your average heavy period and it can leave you feeling like you constantly need to wash yourself in bleach (not recommended). Mine fully stopped after five weeks.
I had absolutely no clue that these were a thing postpartum! I genuinely thought it was just our heating coming on all the time.
At night, I was waking up absolutely wet through in a pool of my own sweat. Throw that in the mix with leaky boobs, a radiator as a boyfriend and a cuddly baby and those nightfeeds seem less appealing by the second. As if they’re not bad enough to start with!
I’ve since discovered that it’s all hormonal and your body’s way of losing all that excess fluid you’re carrying. That jelly belly slowly working its way out of your body!
I’d love to be able to wear nothing, but with boobs that have a mind of their own, I found wearing a button down nightdress (and sleep nursing bra) the best for this, and easy for breastfeeding. You just have to ride these out unfortunately and remind yourself that it is normal and will stop in a matter of weeks. At six weeks, my night sweats are finally starting to ease off, and I feel so much more comfortable at night! I’m even up for a cuddle from Myles now, whereas before I couldn’t stand him touching me, lol.
What with night sweats, the bleeding and the leaky boobs, I honestly lived for my morning shower every day. It’s the one thing I make sure Myles is around to watch Ollie for. Not only does it make me feel human again, but it’s my Charlie time, just for me to clear my head and start the day right.
I am breastfeeding Oliver and I love it, I mean sometimes it’s so hard, but overall it’s the most lovely experience.
However, I honestly didn’t think my boobs could get as heavy or hard as they do! My mum warned me about boulder boobs, but I never imagined they’d actually resemble real life boulders! I’ve gone from a B cup up to a C/D cup, which is nice as I’ve always felt underdeveloped in the chest area compared to my busty friends. Although gone are the days I could wear pretty little lacy numbers from Victoria’s Secret or sleep without a bra on.
It took me a good five to six days for my milk to come in thanks to being dehydrated, but by god you know when it’s arrived!
Quick note: buy all the breast pads. My boobs leak constantly.
Whilst in hospital, I had incredibly sore, cracked nipples thanks to an impatient baby with an incredible suck reflex and bad latch positioning. I really struggled to keep Ollie happy and I cried during feeding because of sheer pain and frustration. I had big scabs over my nips and physically couldn’t do it for a day and a half until they had healed. Thank god for Lanolin nipple cream!
It’s true what they say, as long as you have a good latch, there should be no discomfort when nursing your baby. If you want to breastfeed, I urge you to get as much help as you can in those very early days if something doesn’t feel right. My nipple pain was worse than giving birth, it’s honestly so sore and sensitive. Save yourself the agony and get breastfeeding support!
We had a fantastic breastfeeding guru that helped us to breastfeed on the ward. She was honestly amazing and we’re so grateful that she popped in to help in those early hours of the morning when Ollie was screaming the hospital down. She gave us so many tips, including helping my milk to come in, helping with tenderness, expressing, the perfect latch, different feeding positions and so much more. I was so close to giving up and I felt like I’d let my baby down, I cried and felt like such a shitty mum not being able to do something that it so natural. However, Pauline got me on the right track, I’ve not had any soreness or bleeding since. She’s a true credit to the hospital, every new mum needs a session with Pauline!
I was aware that water retention happened in pregnancy and I knew my feet would swell. But no one told me how long it would last for!
Obviously, mine would have gone down quicker if I wasn’t dehydrated and restricted to the hospital bed by intravenous drips. But my feet, legs, face, fingers and hands were so so swollen towards the end of my pregnancy. I thought it would vanish within a day of giving birth, but it took a good two weeks to get back to normal.
Don’t panic, it will go down and it will get worse before it gets better!
Just remember to up your water intake, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Elevate your feet when you can and make sure to walk around occasionally. I found that doing flight exercises helped everything go down nicely too and made walking easier.
Those are the main things that have really struck me in the six weeks since Oliver arrived.
Overall, I don’t expect my body to be how it was pre-pregnancy and I’m not putting any pressure on myself to get back into my size 10 clothes. It’s hard enough to look after a newborn without the added stress of trying to “bounce back”. I got into some of my old jeans without trying to ten days post-birth and that’s good enough for me for now.
I’m actually so proud of my body and what it’s been through bringing Ollie into the world. I get a little self conscious sometimes about my jelly belly around Myles, but only because I still want him to fancy me! Silly really as I know he still does and tells me all the time.
Feel free to get in touch with me via my social media pages if you want to chat more about post-baby bodies. Or if you’ve posted about this before, then link it below! I’d love to know what your experiences were, and if I’ve missed anything out.
Thanks for reading,
Love Charlie x