When Kate Middleton emerged from hospital just hours after giving birth to Princess Charlotte she looked incredible. As she beamed with her hair flowing, we couldn’t help but think she looked better than we do most days – let alone after giving birth.
But now a blogger from New Zealand has pushed back at the media myth that all women bounce back so quickly and revealed what her post-partum body really looks like. “You live in a society that pushes images at you every day of women who have given birth and just “bounced back” – great for them (truly, that is great, Kate Middleton you are amazing!),” she wrote on her blog. “But this is such a small minority. For most of us, our bodies change, and change a lot. It is scary, it is hard, it can be down right disgusting and upsetting but it is real and normal.”
The mum-of-2 created her #takebackpostpartum body blog declaring: ” I am a mother. I am tired, broken and sore. I have lumps, bumps, marks and jiggly bits.”
The above picture shows Julie at 37 weeks pregnant on the left and 24 hours after birth on the right. “Regardless of how you birthed your child (aka watermelon), you can still look and feel like you have a watermelon (or two) inside you,” she wrote. “It is often sort of lumpy and squishy too. There’s only one way that thing is coming down….hello excruciating uterine contractions…may as well go through labour again.”
Two weeks later and while Julie’s tummy is shrinking, she says she still feels “swollen”. I am still bleeding, its like the period that never ends,” she says. “Am out of my pjs, rocking pregnancy clothes instead (see you do get more than one use for those!!). Boobs are like rocks.”
Pictured at 14 weeks postpartum, Julie says she feels “less zombie and more human” but is “left with the marks of motherhood”. She describes this as: “A tummy that appears ‘flat’ but has the stretch marks, the skin, the sunken scar and abs which have not yet healed.”
Julie admits that post-birth, you may be “broken, exhausted, sore, have lumps, bumps, marks and jiggly bits. You may not look like the next Victoria’s Secret Underwear model, but focus on how you feel. Be kind to yourself and your body, you will look like how you are meant to when you feel good. It may take some time. It took me a lot longer to feel good following the birth of my first son then this time around. There is no one to compare yourself too.”
Julie signs off her inspirational blog post saying: “You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are a mother.”
We couldn’t agree more!
Photos: Julie Bhosale