2 articles Tag body

Things They Don’t Tell You About Your Post-Baby Body

When I fell pregnant with Sausage, there’s no denying the fact that I wasn’t in the best shape I could have been in; two years of marriage and the “comfort” had set in, with lots of lovely evenings spent together, eating takeaway and watching movies, and it had exactly the effect you#d imagine on my figure. I’d always planned to get in shape before we even considered having another baby, but fast-forward five and a half years and I fell pregnant a LOT quicker than I thought I would after having my implant removed. All of this neglect aside, there are things which happen to your body, post-baby, that a lot of people don’t talk about. Here’s just a few of the things that I’ve had to deal with:

Hair Loss

I’m pretty lucky that I have fairly thick hair to begin with, but after both of my babies the hair loss was shocking. I always lose it from around my hairline which is probably the most annoyingly noticeable place to lose it from, especially as I wear my hair in a ponytail and it can really mess with your confidence. I’m lucky that I didn’t lose enough to have needed to resort to an FUE hair transplant, but it’s something which affects a lot of new mums. 

Incontinence

This one is pretty much a universal truth for anyone who’s had a baby – you WILL pee yourself at some point in the future. I know women who’ve done every Kegel exercise imaginable who still break out in a cold sweat at the thought of going on a trampoline or getting a bad cough, and it’s not something we should be ashamed about, it’s just a fact of biology.

Stretch Marks

Because of things like Instagram and women’s magazines, it would be really easy to think that only us mere mortals get stretchmarks and that they’re something to be ashamed of. The fact of the matter is, some people get them, some people don’t. Celebs have the benefit of photo retouching and professional make-up people to make them look perfect but it’s very rarely a reality.

The Pouch

Obviously, not everyone who has a baby ends up with a pouch (you know , that flap of skin on your belly which just WILL NOT SHIFT not matter how much weight you lose) but it’s incredibly common and a lot of women say that their bodies never look the same again after having a baby, which can be hard to deal with, mentally. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I’ll never have my 22-year old body again, HOWEVER, I’m working hard to improve my new normal.

Scars

For ages after having Sausage, I found it really hard to look at my c-section scar because it represented a traumatic time in my life. It was jagged and red and made me feel like a failure for not having given birth naturally. Then Husband told me how grateful he was to that scar, how it represented the fact that a doctor was able to remove Sausage from my body safely while she was being starved of oxygen and save her life. As soon as I started to view my scar differently, it changed my whole view and I now love it.

Swimming During Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with Sausage, particularly towards the end, I was MASSIVE. I had polyhydramnious, meaning I carried an excess of amniotic fluid. Most babies stop moving so much in the last few weeks of pregnancy, simply because they cannot anymore, due to lack of space. Sausage, I think, swam lengths inside me, right up until the day she was born!

Add to this the fact that I had SPD, a painful condition in which my body releases too much of the hormone that we need to make our pelvis loosen up enough to fit a baby through it, as well as being in the largest stage of pregnancy in August, I was one seriously uncomfortable lady. My ankles and hands would swell daily and my movement was severely restricted due to the combination of my various ills.

At the time, it never even occurred to me that swimming probably would have done me the world of good, floating about in the cool water, taking the pressure off of my joints and allowing me to move around in a way that was low impact. I’ve looked into it and there’s even specific maternity swimwear that I could have invested in for my hippo-like form to splash around in! If we ever decide to have another child, I know for a fact that I’ll be using the pool to its full advantage!

Weirdly, (apart from this annoying pad of fat that I had under my bump which made me look like I had a massive beer gut *heave*) pregnancy was one of the few times in my life that I didn’t feel body-conscious. Yes, I was enormous, but I was supposed to be! Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of lifes ‘glowers’, you know, women who look like Mother Earth when they’re with-child, but it made me feel slightly freer about my body, which was a fairly liberating feeling.

If you have any concerns about swimming whilst pregnant, there’s a great article over on Baby Center with some info about keeping yourself safe.