MUMS including Katy Perry and Kate Ferdinand are trying to keep it real, putting realistic pictures of their post-natal tums on social media.
But the latest post-birth body photo came from former Playboy model Brittny Ward, 30, who had a baby with ex-Formula 1 star Jenson Button, 40, on December 27.
Wearing a bikini, make-up and perfectly coiffed hair, she posted a two-week post-birth pic last week, writing: “Embracing my #postpartumbody. Some people don’t think that I’m a ‘real person’ . . . but guess what?! I f***ing am.
“This body is definitely not what I’m used to. I have always been an athlete my entire life and not being able to be active for the time being has been tough.”
While we are sure it has been tough for her, many mums do not have time to even get out of their PJs two-weeks postpartum.
Writer Lauren Schaefer, 30, who gave birth to second child Ethan, in September, says: “Brittny looks incredible. If only we could all bounce back so quickly.
“The only thing that tells you it’s a post-baby body is the pregnancy line is still visible.
“At two weeks I still had a bump and was in a lot of pain.”
Today Lauren, who lives with financial contractor husband Paul, 44, daughter Alice, two, and four-month-old Ethan, shares her post-birth diary.
DAY 1. CAN’T SIT DOWN
ETHAN was born on September 3 weighing 9lb ½oz and measuring 56cm long, after a quick delivery with a home water birth.
The placenta took a while to come out, which was a bit traumatic. My boobs are so painful as the milk is trying to come.
I’ve got a second-degree tear down below, which I’ve decided to let heal naturally.
I’m struggling to walk or sit down. I can just about get to the bathroom on my own.
I feel bruised and sore because the muscles have stretched to their maximum.
DAY 5. LIVING IN TENA PANTS
I HAVE managed to get myself dressed properly for the first time, but it was a challenge.
I’m sore, feeling generally uncomfortable down there and am bleeding, which means I’m having to wear Tena pants.
They are super-comfortable and a saving grace. I’m sore around my middle and still getting contractions in my stomach.
I’ve become a milking machine. I’m switching between pumping and feeding to keep my nipples from getting sore. I’m keeping an eye on things to make sure I don’t get mastitis, swelling in the breast.
DAY 10. SORE BACK
I’M recovering well but my body is aching and my back is really sore.
My nights have turned into days, and vice versa so I am taking shifts with my husband.
I’m usually asleep by 9pm and awake from 2am until 5am. My emotions are all over the place.
One minute I am feeling fine about my size and shape, the next I am upset over silly things. I have gone through my clothes to see if anything would fit me again – those size 6 jeans are a no-go.
I took Ethan out for the first time in the sling, which he loved, and the fresh air did me good.
TWO WEEKS. I LOVE MY BUMP
I AM still bleeding but it is now starting to ease a little bit.
My tummy is definitely going down, but I still have a long way to go back to where I used to be – and that’s OK with me.
I’d expect to have quite a prominent bump at this stage – I didn’t expect my uterus to shrink in a matter of weeks.
However, I’m in a lot of pain. I think it is delayed birth trauma, as all muscles down below, front and back, are hurting.
It’s now even harder to sit down than it was on day one.
I am taking regular paracetamol to numb the pain, but trying to reduce it each day.
I have figured out positions to breastfeed to take the pressure off my bottom too.
DAY 19. PAIN IS JUST EASING
I’M managing to get out of the house a tad more. Today, I went to the supermarket with Ethan.
I still have my bump and wondered if people might think I was still pregnant. I chatted to the cashier, which was the most interaction I’d had with anyone outside of the house in a while.
Sat and breastfed in the car park and changed him before going home. With all the heavy Covid news circulating, it’s tough to remain positive, especially when you are tired. I’m feeling a bit deflated and needing all the tea I can drink to get me through.
ONE MONTH. STRETCH MARKS SHOW
MY bump has deflated but my tummy is covered in stretch marks, which I am proudly showing off on Instagram. I will not be hiding them.
I am proud of my body and the journey it has come on.
It takes nine months to grow a baby, so it takes that amount of time to heal from a baby too.
While I am getting more sleep and feeling more human, I can still feel bits and pieces that aren’t quite right. But when your baby gives you that first smile – like Ethan has today – it makes everything worthwhile.
FOUR MONTHS. STILL IN SHAPEWEAR
I HAVE discovered I have diastasis recti, meaning my muscles haven’t gone back to where they began, leaving me with a gap between my belly button and the two muscles that would usually run down the middle of my stomach.
I am wearing a binder and shapewear every day and do exercises to try to heal.
Maybe if Brittny had shown a picture from the side embracing her postpartum body rather than from the front in that shoot two weeks after birth, we might have seen a bit of a bump. That would have been more relatable, as it seems like a very different story to my recovery.
- Now follow Lauren’s postpartum story at changingangles.co.uk
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