When You Hate Your Post-Birth Body

I have two children, two gorgeous and amazing little boys. They are my whole world, the centre of my universe, the apple of my eye, the anchors to my life. I am so proud of them and I love them beyond measure. But as much as I adore my beautiful children, I'm full of self-doubt and hate for my post-baby body.

I loved my pregnant body. I felt absolutely wonderful and embraced my growing bump during both of my pregnancies. But my post-baby body is proving a little harder to love.


I look in the mirror and this is what I see:

I see hair that is limp and fine. Hair that is recovering from the post-partum moult and has those fuzzy downy bits of regrowth that create a frizzy-looking halo around my head.

I see dark circles under my eyes that require a tonne of concealer, because I haven't had a full night's sleep in over three years.

I see breasts stuffed into unflattering nursing bras, that look misshapen thanks to the breasts pads that I rely on.

I see hands that are dry and nails that are broken and unpolished, from constant washing and cleaning.

I see a soft squishy tummy that still overhands my jeans a little, even thought I have lost all of my pregnancy weight, because I just don't have time to work out or go for a run.

I see the ugly scar from my eldest son's emergency c-section birth, reminding me of how I failed him and the trauma we both endured.

I hate that I feel like this. I adore my children and I'm so very proud of them. My body has changed because it grew them, brought them into the world and cares for them. My body has changed - I need to change my mind-set, too.

post-birth

I need to see the positive reasons for these changes.

I need to see hair that is recovering because my body put all of its resources into growing healthy babies. My body took care of my babies' needs before mine.

I need to see dark circles that represent the night feeds and the cuddles, cuddles that are just as important to my children as food and shelter. They represent all the times that I choose my babies' needs over my own. These quiet times that will soon pass and, when they do, times that I will miss.

I need to see breasts that provided colostrum to help my first baby get better while he was in SCBU. Breasts that provided him with milk and comfort well into toddlerhood. Breasts that are nourishing my second baby, as well as providing milk to donate to other poorly and premature babies.

I need to see hands that hold smaller hands. Hands that clean, cook and care for my family. Hands that comfort and protect my children. Hands that can soothe my children with a gentle touch or cause peals of laughter with a little tickle.

I need to see a tummy that surrounded and protected my children for nine months. A tummy that stretched and made way to accommodate my babies while they grew.

I need to see a beautiful scar that brought my son into the world.

Follow me on BloglovinTwitterInstagramFacebookPinterest and Google+

53 comments

  1. This made me cry Sian. You are so beautiful and yes you do need to see those things, your boys are gorgeous and that is because of the awesome mum that you are. You didn't fail N. At. All. Bigs hugs, must meet up soon xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It was lovely to see you the other day! xx

      Delete
    2. PS. Sorry, didn't mean to make you cry! x

      Delete
  2. Sian I love this post! So true and I'm dealing with so many of the same things x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's nice to know I'm not alone but it sucks that we feel like this at all really! x

      Delete
  3. Beautifully put, lovely mummy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a beautiful post, I sometimes hate my body too after having Sienna but at the end of the day, it gave me her and I'd do anything for another... even sacrificing my body even more! Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Yes exactly, we need to focus on the positives x

      Delete
  5. This is a really lovely post, your second ways of seeing things are all so beautiful :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. *Blub* so beautiful. I often struggle with the fact that I have less time to spend on my regimes but I know I would rather have extra cuddles then perfect cuticles x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I most definitely agree. I'll have all the time in the world for perfect cuticles, but the cuddle time is limited x

      Delete
  7. All the way through I felt "no no no!" until I carried on reading - I love this post and whole-heartedly agree with you. Our bodies are forever changed but are capable of miracles :) Mim x

    ReplyDelete
  8. I loved this post, beautifully written xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh what a stunning post. Like Mim up there, I too was thinking nooo and then you turned it all around and that is exactly what you should be seeing. Each of us mothers must feel like this at times (some more than others) but by god we have done an amazing thing growing and bringing our babies into the world. I hope now, you are feeling better about your body and the amazing things it has done/is still doing. Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lisa. Yes I think writing it down helped, I just need to remember the positives! x

      Delete
  10. I can so relate to this, and definitely agree with what we need to see when we look at ourselves. I think I felt more confident than ever with my bump, it was refreshing not to judge myself for putting on weight or feel guilty for not working out. Now even though I've lost nearly all of my pregnancy weight, I'm struggling with not being as toned as before. We need to be a bit kinder to ourselves but it's easier said than done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We certainly do need to be kinder. Like you I loved being pregnant, my pregnant body seemed so amazing! x

      Delete
  11. Amazing post! I wish I could turn my negative feelings around like you have. Although I'm not sure I can blame my girls for the negative aspects of my body - I maybe just need to eat a bit less cake! #TwinklyTuesday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! You can never have too much cake x

      Delete
  12. Beautifully expressed. It is so easy to struggle with confidence issues and difficulty adapting to the changes in our bodies. I'm still adjusting to my network of stretch marks, but heartily agree with the beauty of being able to grow a baby. #twinklytuesday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It takes time to get our heads around the change, doesnt it x

      Delete
  13. You are right to try and look on the bright side and I am sure your children think you are the most beautiful woman in the world. Remember that this too will pass. There'll come a time when you'll sleep more and have time for hand cream, nail file and the rest. For now enjoy the fact that you have those wonderful little guys to run you ragged.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Fionnuala. And they certainly do run me ragged! x

      Delete
  14. Well said Sian, changing the way we perceive ourselves can mean the difference between being happy or not. Your body is a vessel and your journey is bound to leave marks on it... Thing is if you love the ride and where life is leading you, why mind the few bumps and scratches conceded on the way and why not love your body for making the journey possible in the first place? Go easy on yourselves ladies, be happy and healthy x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I absolutely love what you've said, that is such a perfect way of looking at this <3

      Delete
  15. Sorry if this comes through twice laptop timed out! Loved the writing style of this post, made me really emotional. I like how you've seen the positives and you just have to remember that your body has literally done something incredible and brought two little humans into the world and that you have to be proud of!!xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It just came through once don't worry :) Thank you so much Alice, I really appreciate your kind words <3

      Delete
  16. 25 years and four 10lb babies in, I can promise you that acceptance comes at some point. I love my body. It fed my babies before they were born, fed them after they were born (literally) and now continues to feed them - albeit in a different way, by helping me make money and continue to provide for them all.
    I've been thinner, slimmer, less saggy, less baggy and less tired, but I've never been as wise or as loved. They are worth every single fucking scar that I have. Give yourself time. Go smell your babies' heads.
    Acceptance is BLISS.

    Lots of love Ladies. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhh this is so nice Caroline, thanks so much. I'm sure one day I'll look back and feel silly for worrying about superficial stuff, there is a lot of love in my home and that's what's important x

      Delete
    2. PS. Four 10lb babies?! WOW!x

      Delete
  17. This is such a beautiful post Sian and I feel the same about my body too. I look at my tummy and hate it, but I should be amazed by what it carried. I see my boobs and hate them, they grew and got ugly and then after a close re-admission, I was told by doctors they were failing to exclusively sustain my second born and that I had to introduce formula... great all that ugliness and they couldn't even do their job! What are we so hard on ourselves? x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Amanda, bless you, it's hard to come to terms with things like this isn't it x

      Delete
  18. This is a wonderful post. I loved being pregnant too, it was the one time I've been able to wear figure hugging clothes without being self conscious about my lumps and bumps. I'm not loving my post-partum body much either, especially not the dry, chapped hands. But then I wasn't much of a fan of my body before I had two babies either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Sarah. My hands really bother me, I think because they are always on show and I can't hide them. I liked figure hugging clothes when I was pregnant too, I wouldn't wear them now though! x

      Delete
  19. I love this post. Its so relevant to me right now as it's exactly how I feel about my post partum body. Love the alternate way of looking at it, I need to start thinking of my body this way for sure! #sundaybest

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is one of my favourite posts ever, I come back and read it when I need to remind myself of what I should see instead of what I do see x

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love the way you turn it around with a more positive angle. I relate a lot to this post and I am sure other women do too. But it's part of the process I reckon. And by the way, you didn't fail your little one with a C-section: these things happen. You gave birth! It bloddy hard to do that!!!! Love your posts they are always so right... #SundayBest

    ReplyDelete
  22. Such a lovely post Sian, it is so hard adjusting to your new body after birth so many changes. I am desperate to start some sort of exercise too but it is just finding the time. I love how you have spoken about the positive side at the end of the post. So beautifully expressed lovely. xx

    ReplyDelete
  23. Such a lovely post Sian and so true! I'm currently loving my pregnant body but know that once I've given birth and everything goes south I'll be feeling crappy. Will have to keep this post in mind and remember to stay positive! x #SundayBest

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great post. I never really liked my body all that much before my daughter. I didn't hate it but didn't love it. It's strange as I loved my pregnancy body and now I love my body a lot more! I wore a bikini on holiday for the first time ever this year. I didn't care what people thought of me because I grew a baby in my belly. I don't care if it's not toned.

    I hope you find that confidence. It took me a while.

    As for the eye bags and thin hair. They drive me wild!

    #SundayBest

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for this post. I was so fit and athletic before baby number three but combining work and life means I don't have much time to exercise and I currently hate my body :( Like you, I need to see what I've achieved rather than the negatives. A x

    ReplyDelete
  26. I often body hate, I think it's just something that we do, we are so critical of ourselves aren't we it's sad that we do it to ourselves really. Thanks for hosting #SundayBest

    ReplyDelete
  27. Aw this post made me feel a little bit emotional. But in all honestly I think hating our bodies is something that we all do it's just that we need to feel more comfortable in our skin! #SundayBest

    ReplyDelete
  28. It is all in our perception really isn't it! Fabulously written post, I felt like I failed my son too with my c-section, but i am so proud of my scar, I even see it as beautiful now #sundaybest

    ReplyDelete
  29. Lovely post,beautifully written. We really do have to try and embrace the changes to our bodies as we can't really do much about it and should love ourselves #SundayBest

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh my goodness I can relate to some of these particularly the scar and feeling like a failure. #SundayBest

    ReplyDelete
  31. What a lovely post - we all need to see those things! I hate my mum tum, dark circles and chipped nails, but i would choose my children over perfect toned tummy and perfect skin and nails any day :-)
    #SundayBest

    ReplyDelete
  32. Often our perceptions of ourselves are far more critical than those of others ... our friends, our family, our lovers.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love this post Sian, it's so hard to see our bodies the way we should but if only we could, how much happier would we all be! xx

    ReplyDelete

© Quite Frankly She Said. Design by Fearne.