The inhabitant of a ‘post-baby body’ speaks

This last couple of weeks, I have been RAGING at the popular tabloid media. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the media. I studied it, I teach it, I even contribute to it from time to time. But seriously, Media, you have got to stop this obsession with a post-baby body.

When the Duchess of Cambridge came out of the hospital last Tuesday, the fragrant Kay Burley asked: “Why does she still have a bump?”

Kate Middleton Post-Baby Body

Image: The Hollywood Gossip

Um, because she spent nine months growing a baby? (I didn’t have a bump after D was born, incidentally because he was MASSIVE and my waters had broken earlier than my contractions had started, meaning I lost a load of fluid.)

On Wednesday, I saw that Marie Claire were tweeting triumphantly that Fearne Cotton was showing off her post-baby body that had ‘pinged’ back. Oh, how I loathe this phrase. Also, seriously considering a boycott of Marie Claire for promoting such vapid nonsense.

The thing is, it’s highly unlikely that 99% of mothers ‘ping’ back into shape. I know I haven’t. I did lose some weight after having D, but that’s because I live on a massive hill, walk everywhere and am in possession of a gigantic baby who weighs a ton. Of course I was going to lose weight. But once I went back to work and there was little chance of walking and more access to biscuits, I put some of that weight back on (I do, however, possess the most muscular upper arms this side of Jess Ennis.) It’s not rocket science. Those celebrities who ‘ping’ back into shape have money and access to a plastic surgeon, a personal trainer and/or oodles of time to bore themselves to death on a treadmill for the sake of a string bikini in the Maldives when their interestingly named child is two months old. I have neither the wherewithal, money or interest to go down this route. My flab is probably here for a while. Meh.

I thought Kate looked lovely as she left hospital; I couldn’t have managed to look so composed and be so charming 24 hours after giving birth, even with a personal hair stylist. I was torn between sobbing and pretending that I was compos mentis enough so that the nurse would give me codeine to take away the pain. Also, bravo to Kate to walking out of hospital with grace- I could barely hobble to the loo that was ten feet away from my bed.

Since having D, I am aware that my body has changed. I have loose skin, stretchmarks and during the pregnancy he caused havoc with my teeth. I suffered from postnatal depression. Do I regret any of it? Nope. I grew a human, which is pretty cool and that requires my body to change. I’m less hung up on how I look now, because I know there’s a reason for those changes (i.e. baby and chocolate.)


5 thoughts on “The inhabitant of a ‘post-baby body’ speaks

  1. Peri says:

    Well said. It is something that drives me mad as well. My body tells the story of growing and having J – it’s like an OS map of pregnancy and childbirth and it has taken me years to come to terms with it and start to love it again. The pressure on women due to media and the cult of the super slim star Mum is now at such a ridiculous level it is beyond laughable.

  2. Samantha says:

    I don’t have children. I’ve never pushed a child out of my nethers but I would like to make a small comment if allowed.

    Personally I couldn’t give a you-know-what if Kate has a bump, a flat belly or a freaking television installed in homage to the Teletubbies. I think social media will spread unrealistic expectations wherever it can and this is just one aspect of it. They’re like vultures and she was damned if she did and damned if she didn’t.
    Not everyone looks shower fresh after renovating a piece of furniture but if you watch enough Martha Stewart, you’d think it was the way of the world. Not everyone’s tacos will end up looking like Rachael Ray’s and I know I don’t look like Katherine Heigl does in 27 Dresses when I get caught in a sudden down pour.

    Women need to take social media with vat of salt and realise that we’re all different.
    I personally dislike Fearne Cotton but if she can ‘ping’ back then good for her. Personally, I’m super duper proud when I lose 4lbs let alone recover from growing a human being. But then she and I are different 😛

    Anyway, my bottom line is about as big as my own bottom and that is that the media will spread those expectations and it’s down to us as women to find realistic role models and come to our conclusions.

  3. mykids2yourkids says:

    Your post is awesome! I think that every fresh mother should see what you have written here. I had a depression too, but fortunately I also have husband who loves me more than anything else and help me to go through it.

  4. SOphie says:

    GOD YES!! I couldnt believe how good she looked! I did not look remotely like that 24 hours after pushing out child! I still had a bump for what I think was the first two weeks post birth. I now think, three weeks on, that I might weigh less than I did pre pregnancy but the media need to stop with their obsession of “pinging”. xxx

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