Becoming unashamed of my New Mum Bod

I’ve seen quite a few people posting pictures recently of their mumbods.

That is, pictures taken wearing bikinis or underwear where women celebrate their changed bodies from childbirth.

This celebration, I hope, has been quite liberating for women to no longer hide behind our stripes but to wear them with pride.

I’m under no illusion that my body has changed forever. But, I’m yet to see a mum bod that’s like mine and that makes me disheartened.

I may have just missed them, but quite a lot of the #mumbods I’ve seen are from parents who have had months or even years for their bodies to recuperate after childbirth and quite rightly, they should be proud of what they look like. To me, they look model ready with their enviable invisible stretch marks. If I can replicate their efforts in the coming months, then I’d be pretty damn pleased with myself.

But what I’ve not seen is the #newmumbod, which is the stage that I’m at. My stretch marks are red and angry, my tummy at it’s floppiest and my belly button is seemingly now a cavern that could produce it’s own echo. Before leaving the house, I now make sure that my tops are long enough as heaven forbid I flash somebody a hip stripe and that they should know I’ve had a child.

I’ve paid the price of childbirth by swapping my pre-baby body for angry looking stretch marks on my tummy, around my hips and on my inner thighs as well as an extra stone in weight and I genuinely don’t mind this. Everything comes at a cost and Georgia is worth every stripe. But I’ve not quite plucked up the courage to wear anything that is shorter than my knees in order to hide away my stretch marks in public. I’m sure I’m not alone in this and I think it’s because it somehow feels like a shameful disfigurement that should be hidden at all costs.

#Newmumbod

Well, enough is enough. After the seeming revolution of the #mumbod, I’d like to take this a step further with the #newmumbod. If nobody makes the first step to show what a REAL #newmumbod looks like then other new mums, like me, may feel ashamed by their bodies feeling like they’re ‘not normal’ until months afterwards. At which point they are near to their pre-baby weight and their stretch marks begin to fade.

My mumbod journey

Georgia was a fairly big baby, born at 8lb 11oz and I was HUGE as you can see! I knew I was in for a stretch mark paradise after 20 weeks when I thought I was doing quite well only to be confronted by my midwife who said “oooh, your stretch marks are quite bad aren’t they”… From then on, each stretch mark seemed to gain a friend overnight and I now have enough for a party.

My New Mum BodyFor full disclosure, here’s my side on view and I have to admit that I still don’t like what I see. At 7 weeks post birth, I still have about a stone to loose before I’m back to pre-baby weight, and it’s a big shock after losing a bump and gaining a baby to see what you’re left with. But for the time being, why should I wallow about what I look like? I carried a very adorable baby for 9 months and my body has that story written all over it.

I’m sure this is actually a much bigger issue about what’s deemed socially acceptable as you hardly ever see pictures of what people look like after giving birth UNLESS they lose the weight really quick and were lucky enough not to have a party of stretchmarks. In this case, they are often paraded in the public eye with headlines of “I lost my baby weight in X weeks”. You never see a mumbod in magazines that says “Flabby and fabulous”.

Us new mums, angry stretch marks and all, shouldn’t have to hide for shame of getting used to our new body weight and shape. I still feel obliged to hide myself under layers, but why should I? Why should I only feel confident enough to show off what I look like months after having a baby? Am I not good enough now? Of course I am – as every new mum should feel.

So, I’m going to work on my confidence and buy a pair of shorts that are shorter than my knees for the summer.

I hope I’m not the only one brave enough to bare all – if you’re a new mum, use the hashtag #newmumbod and take the stigma out of becoming a new mum and please leave a comment about your journey with your new mum bod. I’d love to hear yours!

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13 Comments

  1. Chantal Milk&Nappies
    May 28, 2015 / 7:18 pm

    I love this post so much! Like you I have a lot of red and angry stretch marks and I know that even if they fade I will never get rid of them. You are amazing for posting this photo online, and you are right to be proud of your body! Whilst I am proud of mine too for creating a person, I’m not quite comfortable with myself yet but I’m working on it and hope it will come with time! xx

  2. sabrina
    May 30, 2015 / 9:00 am

    Yeah! Thank you for sharing these photos. We are REAL women and should be proud. Go you! Sabrina xx
    #bigfatlinky

  3. Laura (Dot Makes 4)
    May 30, 2015 / 9:10 am

    I love this post!
    You’re right. As mums, we should be so proud of what we’ve accomplished and shouldn’t be ashamed.
    I think it’s fantastic that you’re brave enough to post a picture of your #newmumbod 🙂
    I adore my stretch marks and am so proud of my body for being able to creating my gorgeous daughter I’m not quite ready to post a picture of me yet, but I’m hoping to get there soon!

  4. K @ Eat.Love.Live
    May 30, 2015 / 3:37 pm

    Thank you for being very brave and sharing this! I also was feeling a little disheartened seeing all the before and after pics that didn’t show any pregnancy battle wounds. You still look fabulous and have a gorgeous daughter to show for it #bigfatlinky x

  5. Becky, Cuddle Fairy
    May 31, 2015 / 8:53 pm

    Well done hun! Great post and really brave of you to put yourself out there. I’m delighted to see a new wave of mom bellies on social media and blogs. It’s something to be proud of – you carried a baby and gave birth to that baby. I hope that by women sharing that it will encourage others and help everyone feel better about their bodies! #bigfatlinky x

  6. Al Ferguson
    June 2, 2015 / 8:16 am

    Good for you. Great to see and i hope others are encouraged by your attitude. Well done to all the mums 🙂 Thanks for linking up #bigfatlinky

  7. krissy @ whymoms
    June 2, 2015 / 7:51 pm

    This is GREAT! and so very BRAVE of you! I want to give you a hug from all the way across the world! 🙂 I keep hearing the term “stone” what does that mean? I love your daughters name by the way!! #bigfatlinky

    • June 2, 2015 / 7:57 pm

      Thanks Krissy, Ah, it’s the imperial system of weight of stone, pounds and ounces! A stone is 6.35kg Kelly x

  8. Christine Kenny
    June 4, 2015 / 12:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing. We should all be proud of our bodies, afterall they made our little angels. Thank you for being so very brave. It’s an inspiration.

    • June 5, 2015 / 2:05 pm

      I think that’s the first time I’ve been called an inspiration so thank you! xx

  9. myreachforperfection
    June 5, 2015 / 1:52 pm

    I love the body positivity! Not only letting us see another person who is going through the just-had-a-baby body experience. My stretch marks look like yours but are all across the front of my belly. It still shocks me a little to see them. I love them because they gave me my son but it’s so hard to see your body different than the way it was for years. I’m smaller than I was before pregnancy but the change in my body structure means my pre-pregnancy clothes do not fit in a flattering way. It’s the change in perception that is hard. Thank you for articulating this so well.

    • June 5, 2015 / 2:04 pm

      Thank you for your kind comment – it was hard for me to bare all but I think it was important for me to do. As you say, it’s still shocking at times! But, it must be embraced and I’m working on not feeling ashamed or embarrassed by it. I’m already not constantly tugging my top down to hide them when I’m out. So what if someone sees them. ;o) xx

      • myreachforperfection
        June 5, 2015 / 2:24 pm

        Exactly! You’re you and that’s an awesome thing.

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