About 12 weeks after having Isla I was changing her nappy with my Mum one day when I asked the question we all probably wonder at some point - "When will my body go back to normal?"
What I really meant by this was "Will my body ever return to its pre-Isla state?"
"Never darling" - replied Mum in a cheerful voice.
There's a lot of misinformation out there making us think we will "snap back" and that at about 6 weeks postpartum everything will be back to "normal".
Well, maybe some people have exceptional genes (or are very good at Instagram filters and editing) but for most of us our bodies have changed, perhaps for ever and perhaps for the better.
The first week after having a baby is not what a lot of people expect - there was plenty of body changes that women simply don't talk about:
- First up, after a vaginal birth, everything down there is swollen, distorted and unrecognisable. You walk around like a cowboy, sitting down is necessary but terrifying and toilet trips are an adventure you'd rather avoid. Make sure you drink plenty of water, get on those laxatives and google how to make padsicles - they are your best friend!
- I have no personal experience of C-sections but it sounds very difficult with its own set of challenges!
- Your tummy does not simply shrink back overnight to pre-baby size. Initially it feels like a soft deflated balloon. I would lovingly touch mine and found it amazing to marvel that the baby now next to me was literally IN THERE just hours or days prior.
- Your boobs will swell to an incredible size you never thought possible and develop a road-map of veins on them. Milk starts leaking out of them at random moments or when you think of your baby or hear her cry.
The list goes on but these are some of the more memorable changes and I have learned to embrace them and feel proud of what my body has done and continues to do.
Although the stereotypical "bikini body" may look a certain way, what we mamas have is better. Our bodies grew and nourished and housed our babies and brought new life into the world!! That is something to celebrate. So whatever you look like - be proud! You are wonderful mama xxx