My post-pregnancy body and why I’m tired of being “grateful”

Ida sjöstedt swimsuit and my post-pregnancy body

Post-pregnancy bodies – what a loaded subject. 

On one hand, you have carried a baby inside of you and nourished it with your own bloodstream for 9 months. Your belly and breasts have expanded the way they are meant to do. To be able to not only house the growing human inside, but also it’s food supply for the first few months. It is what our bodies are supposed to do and our main purpose in life from an evolutionary perspective.

However, on the other hand, it’s rare for someone’s physique to change in such a quick and extreme manner. It’s easy to say “it’s all normal” and “it’s the price you pay for having children”. But most of us are still freaked out. Our bodies are our homes, we are used to knowing what they look, and most importantly of all, feels like.

There is one thing to look in the mirror and see something unknown, and a completely different ballgame to look inwards and actually feel “wrong”.

My post-pregnancy body and why I'm tired of being "grateful" - Post-pregnancy bodies - what a loaded subject.  On one hand, you have carried a baby inside of you and nourished it with your own bloodstream for 9 months.

I remember laying on my back for the first time in months after having Ace, putting a hand on my belly and freaking out big time. My previous 4-pack of abs felt like a big batch of cookie dough. It took many months before I dared to have another feel and by then, it had gotten a lot better. But it was still nowhere close to what I would consider my own belly to be.

I don’t think we are aware of what our bladder, intestines, and stomach actually feel like before we have a baby. Like the actual sensation of them. But you realize pretty quickly after that we do have sensations in those areas and also some kind of idea of what is meant to be where.

After pregnancy, I could physically feel my organs shifting. From week to week slowly moving around to try to find new comfortable places inside their new much larger dwelling.

It might sound a bit freaky and scary, and I’m not going to sugarcoat, it really is.

My post-pregnancy body and why I'm tired of being "grateful" - Post-pregnancy bodies - what a loaded subject.  On one hand, you have carried a baby inside of you and nourished it with your own bloodstream for 9 months.

It’s one of the many things no one tells you about post-pregnancy bodies.

You are made to feel like you are not meant to care about it either. So the whole subject is very hush hush. Because if you do voice an opinion, you will most likely be met with either “9 months to grow, 9 months to go”. Or a get a stinky look and a reminder that you have a healthy baby and should be grateful.

BTW, the 9 months thing is total BS. For me, it has been 2 years and my body is still anything but familiar to me. Also, I even now feel like things are slowly shifting around in there. All those misplaced bits and bobs that got squished up into some forgotten corner of my ribcage when my belly was full are still feeling slightly lost and confused.

No one talks about this. Post-pregnancy bodies are not up for discussion in any other way than to be grateful and content.

I love all the ladies showing off their bodies after kids and saying they are completely happy and content. It’s amazing, go you!

But what about all the ones who are not happy? Who suffers in silence and can’t “get over it”. Those who feel lost in their own self and are ashamed to raise the subject?  Especially when seeing all those smiley faces celebrating their mom-bods and stretch marks in magazines and on tv.

Why do we have to be so darn grateful all the time? Can we not just get to say, “yeah, it’s shit”, if that is how we feel?

Or at least get to be freaked out and complain about it without being told we are ungrateful.

We seem to be able to do anything else with modern technology and skilled doctors. Why do we give birth and then get left to deal with whatever mess we end up with and on top of it be asked to be grateful?

I have had followers tell me horror stories of having such bad Diastasis Recti she actually looked like they had a small backpack hanging off the front of her belly. And what did the doctor tell her…? “This is your new body, get used to it”.

Say what?!

My post-pregnancy body and why I'm tired of being "grateful" - Post-pregnancy bodies - what a loaded subject.  On one hand, you have carried a baby inside of you and nourished it with your own bloodstream for 9 months.

Anti-aging and wrinkles are a million-pound industry. These tiny little lines on our forehead are considered something completely normal to get rid of. But an actually mal-functioning body after pregnancy is not?

We are meant to embrace our stretchmarks, deal with uncomfortable scarring in our private areas, not talk too loudly about hemorrhoids, prolapsing bowels, and vaginas, and to live with Diastasis Recti and hernias for the rest of our lives.

Can you not be grateful for having a healthy baby AND be allowed to feel uncomfortable in your post-pregnancy body?

I wish people would have spoken out louder about these things before I had a baby. It would have made the emotional process a lot easier to be somewhat prepared. I love Ace and I’m indeed grateful my body made him. But I hate how I feel on the inside. I hate the Diastasis Recti that prevents me from moving normally, makes my back hurt and stops me from feel strong and like “me” again.

Most of all I hate not being able to say these things about my post-pregnancy body without being told I’m ungrateful. 

Because people are still asking me if I’m pregnant when I wear swimwear, I have become really careful when it comes to wearing bikinis. This swimsuit by Ida Sjöstedt (gift) is one of the few things I can wear to the beach and still feel good in. I love the little frills and the detail in the waist is really pretty. It’s on sale at the moment and you can find it here.  My earrings are also by Ida Sjöstedt and you can get yours here (also a gift).

6 Comments

  1. Vilket bra inlägg! Jag håller verkligen med. Jag hatar hur min kropp känns och ser ut efter graviditeten. Jag tog kortison på läkarens rekommendation (för lederna, har artrit) och det gav mig riktigt mycket bristningar. Ett tag efter graviditeten påpekar jag om dem för läkaren och DÅ säger han att det inte är ovanligt med mycket bristningar när man tar kortison under graviditet. Varför kunde han inte säga det innan så att jag iallafall var förberedd!? Och då frågade jag dessutom noga om eventuella biverkningar. Jag avskyr mina stretch-marks och kan inte bli vän med dem hur jag än försöker. Likadant med magen som känns degig och musklerna som känns svaga.
    Det är inte så jag vill se ut eller känna mig, och det är inte så som jag ser mig själv från insidan. Jag funderar (hur hemskt jag vet att vissa än tycker det är) på att göra något åt det efter vi fått barn klart. För att jag ska må bättre. (det är också en sak som jag är trött på, att behöva rättfärdiga eventuella ingrepp från andra för att de tycker det bara är att acceptera att kroppen ändras när man fött barn)

    Jag tycker att man kan vara tacksam men fortfarande ha rätt att sörja det man förlorat (sin kropp, så som den var innan).

  2. So true. I was thinking about this subject the other day. Somehow you are not allowed to say you miss you pre pregnancy body from a vanity but also strength perspective. I certainly do and while I’m learning to love my new body, I still miss my old one so much. It’s a lot of change to accept : wider hips, bladder incontinence, stretch marks and changed boobs, back problems – the list goes on….why do we have to be so damn grateful all the time. You can love your child, have incredible respect for you body and yet struggle with your new body. Thanks for being brave enough to put this out there

  3. So true and brave of you to be transparent about your post pregnancy issues. I think many women suffer in silence and just accept the “new” body and the pain.

  4. I will show this to my wife. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Caroline Nilsson

    Jag önskar jag hade fått info om var jag ska vända mig om jag får långvariga problem.

    Min dotter är två år och jag får fortfarande ont i ljumske och blygdben, blygdläpp osv av promenader.

    Barnmorskan lär ju inte kunna hitta problemet och en naprapat vill jag inte ska trycka omkring där nere?

    Trodde då verkligen inte smärtan skulle sitta kvar så länge.

    Syns inget på utsidan av kroppen men insidan är skör.

  6. Jag har ingen aning om var du bor någonstans, men i Stockholm finns det en fantastisk fysioterapeut som heter Mia Fernando. Hon är expert på problem kopplade till bäckenbotten och graviditets/förlossningsskador. Om du inte har möjlighet att träffa henne fysiskt så driver hon och hennes man den suveräna bloggen bakingbabies.se där hon har massor med inlägg med råd och övningar och tips om vart man kan vända sig om man har problem efter en förlossning. Hon gjorde en stor skillnad för mig efter min förlossning…

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