Why Do I Still Look Pregnant?
In July, it will be two years since my youngest child was born. So, why is it my belly is still rounded like I’m pregnant?
This is me about two weeks before the birth of my third child.
I’d put on over 10 kilos in the pregnancy, which is within normal standards – “whatever normal is”. I was coming from a base weight which, in terms of Body Mass Index (BMI), was overweight. I had gestational diabetes, as I did with my first child. With my second child I’m sure the test was stuffed up because it showed I did not have gestational diabetes and my weight ballooned by over 20 kilos when I was pregnant. After my second child was born, I lost 30 kilos. After my third child was born, I lost 15 kilos. Up until recently I was edging closer to a healthy BMI and then I went and ate far too many fatty foods and put another five kilos back on. As you can tell, I am a human yo-yo.
It’s nearly two years on from the last baby I’ll have (three is enough for us!) and my belly is flabby, there’s a flap of skin which hangs below my three c-section scars and my tummy has stretch marks all over it.
This photo of my belly was taken a few months ago now and it’s done the rounds.
Last December, I wrote about my post baby belly and put a photo up on my personal blog bigwords and by the end of the next day more than 8,000 people had clicked on it. It’s been in Cosmopolitan Pregnancy magazine and even featured on the Today Show.
I am very proud of my “battle scars”. I grew three human beings. That is amazing. But I must say, I admit I feel embarrassed by my pounch. I often think people think I am pregnant. It is most problematic for me when I am out drinking a few wines and I think people are looking at me with disgust. You know what, they most likely aren’t. Most likely it is all in my brain. Most likely it is my own insecurities. Insecurities based on what society thinks a woman’s belly after pregnancy “should” look like. Pip wrote about the obsession with celebrities’ after-baby photos in this great post here and I couldn’t agree more.
I know part of the reason my belly looks the way it does is that I am carrying a few extra kilos and need to lose weight. I struggle with my weight and as I explained am a human yo-yo. I also know that my genetic make-up means I have an extended belly which I can not change. And most importantly, I need to face up to the fact that I take too much notice of what I get fed in the media about what a woman should look like. I need to stop doing that. I find that all really difficult.
I spend many hours searching for clothes to hide my belly. I spend way too much time pulling at my shirts and strategically placing my bag in front of it. It’s the part of my body I am most proud of, yet most self conscious of. It’s the part of my body I do not ever speak out loud about as I do not want my girls ever to feel uncomfortable about their bodies. It’s a daily struggle.
How about you? What does your body look like after child birth? What does your body look like full stop?
Does your belly still look rounded? Are you blessed with stretch marks and flappy skin like me? Does it upset you or are you proud of your belly?
Do you think we put too much pressure on ourselves to conform to unrealistic expectations of what a woman’s body “should” look like it? Is it time we all show off our curves and bootylicious behinds with pride?
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Have a fab day,
Main photo: www.kissthegroom.com