So you’re standing in the queue at the supermarket and your eyes land on a trashy magazine – the cover features a singer/actress/ model who is proudly showing off her ‘post-baby’ body. In a tiny bikini, of course. You can’t help but reach for the magazine and quickly scan the article – how did she do it? Sure, I think, if I had a staff of nannies, chefs and personal trainers, I could look like that too.
What will my post-baby body really look like?
Now for the reality check – before I had kids, even at my fittest and full of twenty-something body confidence, I never looked like any of those celebrities. So it stands to reason, I’ll never achieve that kind of body after having had four babies!
I had my last baby almost five years ago – I have accepted the fact that my body won’t ‘go back’ to what it was (in fact my obstetrician helpfully explained the state of my stomach muscles – “You know when you have a piece of elastic and it’s overstretched? It won’t spring back and is frayed around the edges?”).
When I had my first baby I had no idea how my body would change. No one really tells you. Until now.
What do other women’s bodies look like after having a baby?
The Shape of a Mother is a website dedicated to showing real mothers’ bodies – stretch marks, dimples, saggy skin, scars and all. Bonnie Crowder created the website to address the fact that the post-pregnancy body is kept a ‘secret’ – she wanted women to have a forum to show their post-birth bodies and offer support to those struggling with their body image during pregnancy or after birth.
Readers upload their own pictures and stories – some bare their souls and tell of their battles with ‘baby weight’. Others happily defy the pressure to ‘get their body back’ and show-off their c-section scars, wonky boobs and networks of stretch marks proudly.
The website makes for interesting and inspiring reading. Would you post your story to Shape of a Mother?