This post is hard for me to write because I spend so much time trying to hide what I am about to show you. I’m going to do this because I am so angry. I am so angry at the extraordinary amount of pressure on women to lose their “baby weight”. So much so, that celebrities are now signing on with Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and other weight loss programs, while they are still pregnant or just after giving birth. These women are so aware of the pressure on them to be skinny, to erase any sign they just birthed a human being, that they start buying bikinis and booking celebrity photographers for their “Post-baby Miracle Body” magazine cover from the moment they pee on their pregnancy test stick. They are also desperate for press and the cash that goes along with it, but that’s another blog post.
Mariah Carey and Mel B, aka Scary Spice, were both named as Jenny Craig Ambassadors within three months of giving birth, in Mel B’s case it was less than 6 weeks. And earlier this week, Jessica Simpson was reported to have signed a multi-million dollar deal with Weight Watchers to help her shed her baby weight. This is of course after she gives birth. That’s right, she has not even birthed her baby yet and there’s a deal on the table. Do you reckon they’ll do their official “before photos” while the newborn is getting its APGAR tests done? Or will she be too busy doing crunches? I’m sure she’ll be prepared, a little like the pregnant woman in the Rebel Sports advertisement hoping she gets some exercise equipment for Christmas to help her get back in shape. I shit you not.
I know this isn’t a new story. This obsession with making women feel ashamed of their bodies is an ongoing, deep-rooted, societal issue, but it’s one which makes me so grumpy. You see, I used the stretch mark creams. I even had gestational diabetes with two of my three children which restricted my weight gain in the third trimester for each pregnancy. Lucky me (insert sarcasm here). I had three c-sections in under four years and I’ve been ravaged. At my heaviest, with my second child, I was 106 kilos. I am now 75 kilos. According to the BMI, I am still overweight and will be until I lose another seven kilos. I continue to address that on a daily basis.
I know many women who have had babies and, regardless of what shape or size they were, their body sprung back into their pre-baby shape. I know some Mums who have had to have surgery to pull their tummy muscles back into place. And women, like me, who were blessed with stretch marks, extensive scarring, an extended belly and an extra-floppy flap of skin hanging under my tummy which will not go away, no matter how many pilates classes or strict diets I participate in.
I am embarrassed by it. At times, I am ashamed. I wear control underwear and clothes which “skim my belly”. I diet. I exercise. Recently, I lost 10 kilos and I continue to battle with my weight issues. For months after each of my children were born I would always carry them with me so people wouldn’t ask how pregnant I was. My youngest is 16 months old now and it doesn’t work anymore. Now, I pull at my top and cringe when meeting new people, willing them not to ask “when my next baby is due”. I am not alone, I know others who have the same body issues and I want to tell the new Mums out there, these problems might be yours and you are not alone. You are not a freak.
This is quite possibly the most scary thing I’ve done as I am all too aware of what a woman’s body is “meant” to look like, but this is my belly. For me, this is my experience. This is my reality.
Every day I tell myself not to be horrified at what my body has transformed into. And not to buy into the bullshit pressure of magazines and “celebrity” weight loss ambassadors. I will not be wearing a bikini, no matter how dedicated I am. But you know what, I grew three of the most amazing people with this body. Three girls who I want to never be ashamed of their body. Three girls who I want to look at their body and feel confident and excited at its potential. Three girls who one day may grow their own little people. And for that, I am immensely proud.
How did pregnancy treat your body?
You rock! Love you. Xxxxx
thank you! I feel exactly the same about the weight loss industry!
Oh brave and wonderful woman!
Pur bodies do amazing things and should be considered magical. Instead we compare,them to those of a 15 year old and wish for a flat scar free torso.
I am ashamed too. I feel as though my tummy is a sign of weakness, that my weakness is not being able to find the time and will power to ‘put it right’. My tummy girth puts me at risk of diabetes, I am trying to reduce it. But it will never look perfect again. Lucky, my girls are perfect to me.
Pregnancy chewed me up and spat me out! I’m proud of what my body did, but I’m not happy with how long it has taken me to recover. I had problems with sacral iliac joint pain. This has meant less exercise and more weight gain. I need to treat my body better which is why I’ve embarked on Operation Crash Hot. I know I can’t change the saggy bits and the stretch marks, but I can get fitter and stronger. It’s all about being realistic, something that celebrities are not!
Bianca, I love this post, and love you for your courage in pressing publish.
I used to say pregnancy was not kind to my body, my stomach. But you know what – after 2 years of infertility treatment I managed to carry and birth two babies. My stomach, your stomach, they have our journey to motherhood written on them with stretch marks, extra skin and (mine) scars from surgery exploring why I couldn’t fall pregnant.
I still find it hard to look at my stomach, which is ridiculous. But there you have it. But, it did amazing things, grew amazing people, and I should be a little more forgiving of it. We all should be.
You are amazing. xxx
I meant to add…… My body has also changed dramatically since having 2 c-sections. I can not get rid of the bulge and wear the shape underwear to try and suck it in. I find hipster and low rise jeans and pants so unflattering because my tummy just hangs over! I don’t like to wear my jeans under my ears either……. I have no wise words on this one. The only thing I do is to not buy the mags and ignore the advertising for the weight loss companies. They will always exists. All I can do is to choose to not let my mind dwell on it, and dress as best as I can each day. I find layering helps.
Fuck, you are awesome!!!! So nice to see a belly like mine!!! I too gave lost lots of weight but still don’t have anything like a flat tummy. I doubt I ever will. I hope the Jessica simpson story ends up being false. She should be concentrating on getting her baby out & learning to be a mum at least for a few months!!!!! I feel sorry for her if she feels so pressured to have this as top priority rather than just focussing on feeding the baby & occasionally sleeping! Of course being fit & healthy is important too but not above learning to be a mum and not when done do extremely & publicly.
My littlest one is 2 years 9 months and I’m nowhere near where I was weightwise when I fell pregnant with him, which was still way above where “healthy” is for me. My tum is similar to yours, with the nice c/s addition. Chipping away at it, one day at a time. You are brave and wonderful and your body shows this x
My photo would be …ah well, let’s just say, loves…that My Tummy once held a person who is now 40, one who is almost 33. Then it was cut open twice..once for Ovarian Cyst removal. Then in 1988 for hysterectomy.
So, here’s the thing.
Having battled the WEIGHT thing since forever….I have now decided that today is the best I am going to look.
I so-called hate parts of me, and EVERYone does…but sheesh when I think of how I thought I’d never have a child after my first… I am grateful. So, more than anything now, B, as you have worked against yourself for a while… can you say, “this is how I am today”
Love you lots..and I recognise the struggles. You are doing well. Believe me. XXXX
I love you so much. You rock my world. Tricky is 18 months old and only in the past few months have I started losing weight, because I was ready to get healthy.
The Jessica Simpson thing doesn’t sit well with me, even though I know a lot of her career is her looks, the intense pressure to get back in to shape, let alone with a multi million dollar contract on the line, is insane.
I know how vulnerable you’re feeling now, but I just know you’re going to have a swarm of support and it will lift you up higher than you ever thought possible. And just remember for every reader that says “you’ve helped me” there are 10 extra people who thought it but couldn’t say it.
WELL DONE YOU. The whole idea of having to get the perfect body back (presuming any of us ever had the perfect body in the first place) is NUTS. My tummy isn’t too bad but I have big varicose veins leftover from my pregnancies and my boobs are shot to shit. But who cares? As I am not planning on persuing a career as a supermodel I am perfectly happy with my imperfections and I fervently hope my kids will be too.
You are brave, beautiful and honest.
What a great example to set your beautiful children.
I was enraged by the Rebel sport ad you mentioned on Twitter the other day.
It’s just marketing rubbish!
Good on you for making a stand.
You really are amazing. Your three beautiful girls are testament to that.
18 weeks into being a Mummy I am certainly feeling the pressure to lose the weight. Many comments have been made – mostly by women – all that allude to the fact that I could not be happy being “a size large”.
Well this is my thoughts:
15 years with a severe eating disorder trying desperately to maintain my very unnatural size 6 body.
12 years working in advertising – mananging for a period a client that was the biggest name in the weight loss industry.
18 weeks of people feeling entitled enough to comment on the fact that my body hasn’t “bounced back” after the birth of my baby – whilst I grit my teeth and try desperately not to punch them in the mouth.
It could be a recipe for disaster but when I look at my baby I just think that she is worth every extra kilo, every stretch mark and to hell with what anyone wake thinks. They can frankly just fuck off.
Good on you for your healthy attitudes. We women need to push back against all the unreal hype that is dished up.
I lose weight during pregnancy thanks to morning sickness, then stack it all back on with a bit extra in the 6 months post birth. Fun. Twin pregnancy has left me with dodgy hips, and a lopsided fat apron, awesome. But, I got to grow 4 little people in my belly, I carried twins! My body is awesome, it works hard, I need to be kinder to it and give credit where it’s due.
Pregnancy gave me a very similiar belly to yours, oh and some grey hair and lines on my face as well……and I am also proud of what my body did…..I love this post, bring it on…..
I have never been happier with my body than after the birth of my second child because her birth was such an incredible experience, I finally learnt what it meant to love yourself. I should probably lose at least 5 kilos (10 if I’m realistic), carry all my extra weight between my boobs and my hips, have a belly button that smiles at me (but watch it, it’ll frown at anyone else!), have fat deposits in the most ridiculous places and a roadmap of stretch marks. I love the guts out of those stretch marks, they are like a tattoo that Ruby gave me and every time I see them, I think of that incredible day when I gave birth to her and everything that had been so hard and awful just went away. My body is so incredibly far from being perfect and should I choose to dwell on it, I could write you a list from here to the North Pole about everything I hate about. I’ve just chosen to let the hate go.
Shit, this sounds so “Look at moi, I am awesome”, but I’m just trying to say afuckingmen to that, Sister. Yes. We are what the real women look like, who the real women are and the more we stand up and say so, maybe one day it’ll be the norm. At least, that’s my hope for Ruby – that she knows you are NOT meant to ever look like you did before ever again. That’s the whole point. You grow, you change.
You courageous girl! What an awesome role model you are to your girls. How much self esteem they will have and care about other things than the superficial propoganda that monopolises some of the media. Good on you – so proud to know you!
I just want to say THANKYOU
Finally a real story about normal womens bodies post baby.
My belly is exactly the same as yours after 3 kids.
I was getting to the point where everywhere I turned there were mags with Miranda Kerr or Mel B saying how quick and eaasy it was for them to loose the weight they had gained.
I hate Miranda Kerr with such a passion because the media portrayed her to be a “perfect mother” by getting back into her size 6 jeans within weeks of her son being born.
THAT is not normal.
You. Are. Amazing. Now go pat yourself on the back and give yourself a hug, because if we were all there? It’s TOTALLY what we’d be doing. And your belly is beautiful, just by the way. xxx
Oh Bianca. Thank you so much for your amazing words and honesty. After two 4kg babies my body does no longer resemble the curvy size twelve i used to be. There are stretch marks in places I didn’t think stretch marks would appear. YOU ARE BLOODY BEAUTIFUL!!! x
Holy Fuck. You are amazing. I love you. That is one inspirational post, please pat yourself on your back and you give yourself a super dooper hug.
I saw the rebel ad tonight and was disgusted!! I am trying to lose weight to fit into my wedding dress. I gained 20 kilos with my daughter (lost 10) gained another 12 with my son. I have lost 15 kilos so far and I look in the mirror and say wow.. I look great! but i look down and see this belly and think crap still fat.. – because – I read into the hype of all those celebrities and fad diets and if they can do it, why isn’t my body doing it!! But I do not want my daughter growing up thinking she has to diet to stay thin. Thank you for posting, it has made me reassess my thoughts on my diet! I really appreciate it! It was very brave of you to take a photo of yourself and show the world. I wish I had the same courage.
Bravo Bianca!!! I applaud you! My tum-tum, I will admit, is still the part of my body I am most self-conscious about. I’ve always been a curvy gal, but after carrying 3 little people too (including a set of twins) it is stretched and scarred. But one thing I don’t do, I will refuse to do, is to HATE IT (just like those rubbish mags and weight-loss programmes want us too). I am proud of what my tummy has been through, it carried LIFE! It is a privelige and a blessing to be able to do that! I too have invested in shapewear and control underwear, I just feel better in my clothing when I wear them (nothing wrong with that). So bravo once again Bianca, and THANK YOU for sharing xxx
You are my Goddess. I love you so much for posting this. Even though i just started reading your blog. You are an inspirational mother and an inspirational. Like you i had a c section as well and my belly will always have a flap hanging over my jeans. Spanx and those controlled underwears are my life line.
Thank you once again for posting this again
my tummy looks A LOT worse than that and i haven’t birthed any children!!!
the second half of your last paragraph – that’s what we need to focus on, that’s what ALL mothers need to focus on when it come to hating on their bodies. so your bod isn’t like the celebs in the magazines – meh they’re not normal people with normal lives – all that matters is that regardless of what it looks like NOW, look what it did, it CONCEIVED and GREW and BIRTHED human beings – that’s pretty darn impressive in my book!!
you should be proud of your body, it’s achieved something that a lot of bodies, mine included, can’t. you should also be VERY proud of this post, not only the photo but the words attached to it, you’ve said and done what most don’t have the courage to do!
I am totally in love with you now for saying all the things that I think. If it makes you feel better I shall post a picture of my tummy too. I don’t want my girls to grow up with the same issues I had. I think these celebrity mothers are perpetuating the problem.
Well I’m guessing that as my child just turned 12, I can no longer call the rolls on my stomach “baby” weight!
He’s healthy, I’m healthy, I know i will never be a supermodel – I am turning off the TV, will stop reading the crap mags that convince us we are imperfect at anything heavier than a Size 6 and appreciate my life. WHATEVER shape I am.
Bianca you are an inspiration … my eldest baby is 16 years old … he’s told me to stop carrying him around!
Thank you so much for this. One of the best posts of the year. As I embark on trying for number two, cringing as I look in the mirror at the marks my amazing baby number 1 has left on my body, I applaud everything you say and know deep down that they are marks that symbolise my love and my pride for what my body has created x
Thank you for being so brave!! My tummy looks similar to yours – sadly my apron of fat is bigger and my Stretch marks are worse. It is horrifying!! I wanted & planned my three babies but never did I ask for this belly. I’m exercising and eating well, the fat is going, but I’m really scared what it will look like after 15kg is gone. That too is horrifying!!
THANK YOU for your courage and honesty. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels hugely cheered hearing that she is not alone in struggling with post-baby body image. Earlier today I tortured myself by trying on clothes from my pre-baby days. Madness. I am going to try harder to be comfortable in my own skin – lumps, bumps, stretch marks, and all.
I think you found your mojo B! Love your work sweet pea and love you. Brave and gorgeous xxx
Brilliant post Bianca. A voice of sanity and reason in a society that has a crazy disillusion about what women are ‘supposed to’ look like. I applaud you and stand by you proudly with my softer, saggier but amazing post-baby body. Amazing in the sense that it created and sustained the two most important little people in my life.
This brought tears to my eyes. To have these babies, we must stretch – in mind, in heart, in body. And that’s precisely what you’ve done, and you shouldn’t be ashamed for one minute. I think your belly looks lovely and soft, and imagine your family delight in hugging you and your beautiful self.
You see, what they (the media) don’t say about women who have babies is how strong we become. Strong enough to show their body to world, to write this post and reach out to other women who feel the same. The rest is just noise. xo
Terrific post Bianca. I struggle with this too. Can’t see how it will ever change. Then wonder, why would it change? Isn’t this just what post-baby bodies look like?
Amazing Post. I think it is wonderful that you are willing to put it out there and show others that what you see on tv and in the news isn’t right.
I’m the same as you, blessed with stretch marks. But it gave me my kids, and for that I’m proud.
wow. this is an AMAZING post! i have friends and sister in laws who always struggle with “how they look” and some even obsess over it!! it is so refreshing to see someone stand up and show how real women are. i cant speak on what pregnancy has done for me (because i have never had kids) but i do get questions all the time about what i can do to help them. it is nice to just hear the “real story” of how women feel instead of the sugar coated answer.
I am so proud that there are woman out there doing this, Although i think you accidentally put a picture of my belly up here LOL. I wish I had the courage to do this Props for you
Are you sure you didnt sneek into my house and steel a peek at my post baby body???????? I love my children and I would do it again even if I knew what my body would look like after having them. I have the same flappy tummy and I spend a lot of time and energy trying to hide it. I am secretly ashamed and envy those who find it easy getting their tummy flat again after birth. I often find myself wondering if they have a secret or if they were just born with different genes to the rest of us… You are a courageous, and completely lovable human! Thank you 😉
AWESOME post Bianca. Those women look like they do because they have a lot of dedicated time and a team of people around them to make sure they change back to how they were before. I’m not sure I’d like that pressure or expectation. For the rest of us, we just need to help each other know that we’re normal, that it’s OK – which is exactly what you’ve done. x
OMGF Bianca, I think I love you! Thank you for your honesty! My belly looks much like yours. Even as I lose weight I will still have a delightful apron hanging around as a reminder of my c-section 5 years ago and the two pregnancies after that that although didn’t result in c-sections still gave me a whole heap of new stretch marks!
I am horrified by the news that Jessica Simpson has already signed a weight loss deal. That is ridiculous beyond belief. I understand that she is under a lot of pressure about how she looks, but surely there is a line.
You are a beautiful WOMAN x
Awesome post, Bianca. Pregnancy and childbirth significantly change our bodies, both in obvious and not-so-obvious ways. I, too, am annoyed at the current beauty culture that says women should strive to look like…well, like they never gave birth! Our bodies were designed to stretch…the skin, the ribs, the vagina! It’s not necessarily designed to revert to it’s previous condition like a rubberband. Thank you for speaking openly about your emotions, both good and bad, around this issue. I think you speak for so many of us! x
Just like mine! 🙂
How ironic, I’m working on a stretch mark post! Perhaps the holidays is a time to take stock and be thankful for what you have and shrug off the body that you used to have and love the one you now call home. AMEN!
Your belly looks exactly like mine, and my “youngest” is 7.
Don’t be ashamed. We are legion and we are NORMAL!!
This is the best post I have ever read. Thank you. We should be rejoicing in our tummies, not loathing them. They carried our most valuable possessions for 9 months at a time – they are amazing. We are amazing. Love you girl x
Well said Bianca and thank you for speaking out on behalf of all of us with our baby bellies.
1. I totally agree and it (the pressure to immediately go back to pre baby body) makes me scared to have kids. Okay, maybe not that as much as the whole birthing a child you are now responsible for thing, but its a contributing factor.
2. I tried to look at this blog at work and it kind of loaded but then the pop up came up that stated “access to this page has been aborted.” Seeing as how the post is called baby belly, yes, I did make lots of abortion jokes in my head. “…maybe that’s not the only thing that’s been aborted….’
I’m crying because you are so right. As much as we don’t want to bow to pressures of society, it’s ambush marketed to us and we feel the need. It’s like it’s ingrained. I cried reading this because it’s a struggle I have daily. I am currently in the process of losing weight, but I refuse to buy into celebrity endorsements. If you have to get paid to do something, then you’re not really that passionate about it, right?! Thank you. I’ve shared this article on and found that nearly every Mummy I know is relating to it.
Fantastic post. You are inspiring and should be proud (not ashamed). Your post will touch hundred (maybe thousands) of people. Congratulations on your bravery to share.
Wow, hearing you sister, I have one of those bellys…a bit bigger than yours, at then end of the day it help me get my twins 15 and my nearly 9 yr old so while we dont have to love it..its part of us…accept it I say xx
Oh hun well done you for publishing this post. I’ve been there, with three c-sections on a very short small frame. I tried all the diets and all the creams. They don’t work. In the end I had a tummy tuck as part of a serious of reconstruction surgeries. This wasn’t the easy option, it was dangerous for me to have the surgery as I have a bleeding disorder (like Haemophia) but in the end it was worth it. The surgeon explained to me that I had a severe hernia from pubes to boobs and three csection scar that had broken down. The scar tissue around my stomach and the stretchmarks caused incredible problems and would break down and bleed. I had to lose 24kg to have the surgeries safely (4 involving 2 surgical teams – I had to have other gynaecological surgery at the same time) and the weight loss left an apron of skin hanging. The whole process took about two years before I felt strong in myself and that result – that strength – was the main benefit of the whole process. I rediscovered me, and realised that my little body had been incredibly strong in bearing these three beautiful kids. Now six years later, I still have bad stretchmarks that hold silver fingertips across my belly. My scar is curved still, but I like to think of it as a survivor’s smile. My stretchmarks forever remind me that there was a time in my life when I brought three new lives into this world, and whatever else happens from now on, this will always be the badge of honour that reminds me that I did this phenomenal thing.
You are beautiful, and sassy and strong, and even though we’ve not met I can judge this simply by your writing and wonderful honest posts such as these. The beauty industry is bullshit, no amount of situps or diets will reshape a broken stomach. The real question is, as you said, why should we feel pressured to be the same as we were before birth?
Fantastic post Bianca. I had my son around the time Elle McPherson had her first. Within weeks she was in a TV ad holding up some yogurt brand implying that’s all she needed to get into shape. Within 2 years I spiralled into the most unhealthy pattern of weightloss and exercise. And OF COURSE, it all went pie-shaped (pardon the food pun). I reckon it was about that time when celebs and supermodels like Elle started having babies that the whole ‘yummy mummy’ ‘milf’ thing started and it’s become so much worse. I can’t imagine what the pressure is like now. Thanks again for the honesty of your post. Axx
Thank you!! This article is so liberating for all mothers that are struggling with body image, which is very normal and I can see that your youngest is still a baby, so don’t be too hard on yourself you are still transforming back into you. That belly is also a testament of what you have achieved, three beautiful healthy children 🙂
This is how women’s bodies are supposed to look after they’ve had babies!!
Jeez, I am so glad to be well beyond worrying what are the ‘norms’ and what people think. Now the words I want my daughter to hear about the femal body are ‘strong’ and ‘healthy.’ Those are the best reasons to exercise and to eat well… not some daft notions of underfed perfection.
I don’t pay much attention to celebs… so they don’t influence me and I probably underestimate the impact their quick weight loss has on others. Being slender and posing is their job, it’s what they do… most mums don’t… if we all had a lot of personal training, chefs etc we’d all find it much easier!!
Thank you for writing this post.
I hope all mothers read this, but more importantly those who aren’t parents.
I had Greenie over two and a half years ago and I still get the questions.
You want to know what makes it even more disgusting? I’m a size 6! Yep, I’m slim, and people still ask me if i’m pregnant. My parents have been known to do it!
I think once you have a baby, you’re always going to have those questions and your body that shape to it. It’s silly for people to covet a “before kids” body because you know what? You’ve had kids, covet a body you are happy with, and some self love.
My heart hurts for you having people ask you when the next is due. I never ask it, even if i’m positive that it’s a baby belly because it does hurt having people ask that. I wait for people to openly say “I’m pregnant”.
Your girls, they are beautiful. Lets hope the world is kinder to them.
You’re beautiful…now check out this website http://theshapeofamother.com/
Thankyou for this post! Its good to know that we are not alone:) Your beautiful tummy looks just like mine:)
Thankyou – Your tummy is my tummy, I to so far have 3 – I would love two more. I just need to loose an extra 10kgs to get to my 85kg mark – I have lost over 30kg since #3 was birthed at 10lb 7oz – (appx -4.9kg). Your a wonderful example of a healthy normal mummee. Love to you.
The Rebel Sport ad made me so sad. The idea that there is even a market out there for women who are pregnant and feel they need to prepare for working out after giving birth rather than bonding with their babies!
Lovely honest post
Thankyou for sharing. I think you are beautiful…and look at those 3 adorable kiddies. All that work and stretching was worth it 🙂 xx
Oh GOD yes. I am almost identical to you – in the flap of tummy that is not going to go away, I may as well accept it now. I’ve lost over 12kg this year and there it still is. Oooookay. No WW or JC or any other plan is going to help me. Them’s the genetic breaks. I have grown two amazing little girls. It has nurtured (ultimately failing) life a further 11 times over the past 11 years. I stopped viewing my body as the miracle it is because I was too busy feeling so invisible and ashamed that I did not “do” pregnancy or post-birth the perky way. Keepin’ it real, Bianca. I LOVE YOU for it! You have smashed the illusion that so very many of us know is ever-present. Good on you.
I had to look at your photos twice – I thought it was a pic of me! But if 5 years ago someone had shown me this pic and said that I could enjoy two incredibly wonderful children and all that it would cost me is having a tummy like this for the rest of my existence, I would have still jumped at the chance. Cheers to the mummy tummy and the miracles our bodies can produce.
Thanks Bianca. For many of us there is still a gap between what we rationally know to be true and the way we really feel about ourselves. The best that we can do is keep working on it, and posts like these are a great way of doing that. Rationally I am grateful for my health, and happy with my body and what it has given me, but of course I still feel hurt when a random stranger (or friend) occasionally says “I didn’t know you were having another one!” or similar. One friend even put her hand on my stomach after I had said no and insisted, “Are you sure?” It’s hard to adapt to a part of us being very different from before when so much of the noise out there is telling us that it’s our own little freakish secret and something to be ashamed of. You’re taking an important step to challenge that ‘noise’.
Oh you beautiful woman you! You brave and gorgeous woman to lay yourself “bare” like this when I know your internal dialogue was screaming at you about doing this. For what it is worth I have always thought you beautiful, and even more so since I met you and know your generosity of spirit and supreme intelligence. People like you are my idols – women who are real, honest, strong & triumph over their negative self talk and all the shit that has been slung at them over the years. You’re awesome B, truly! Xxxx
You know what? I’m so proud of you. For posting this. For writing in your unique and yet awesome way, about this. For keeping it real. The scars of motherhood. Wear ’em proud! My husband insists I wear bikinis, because he thinks those scars are sexy. And you know what, they are! Love you girl. xxx
Great post! Every woman should read it! I must admit I had my kids at 18 & 20 and whilst I display the most horrific stretch marks (I was so self conscious & embarrassed about in my youth), my body bounced back fairly well. At 40, it’s age that my body is showing now. Everything is heading south!
I stare in the mirror at the same tummy landscape as yours (a bit bigger though 😉 every morning as a clamber to find something to wear that will hide my yummy and tummy over-hang. I love my little boy but I find it hard to love my body. I cried reading your post because I am so happy to know that someone is brave enough to say “This is it. This is where I’m at”. You are brave and you are beautiful 🙂
Fabulous post. Very proud of you.
Yes. Yes. Yes. YES!
Bianca, this is amazing. BEYOND amazing. I saw that rebel sport ad and nearly vomited – but I was too busy laughing.
Such a wonderful post Bianca 🙂 I commend you hun … from reading all these great comments, I think you’ve summed up what majority of us Mummy’s deal with on a daily basis. I’d like to share this with all of my friends, be them mothers, young women and especially the guys. We don’t often speak about this kind of stuff as it will only draw attention to what we see as flaws, but perhaps we should… it might make other more respectful.
I love how another woman has commented by saying that she loves her scars and sags, that they remind her of the day her babies were born. I think we should all take that into consideration next time we look in the mirror.
PS. Our bellies are twins! 😀
I’ve wanted to write this post for so long, but never found the courage. I was in tears reading it. Ditto to what Sarah L said – it’s other people’s comments that are the hardest to take. I’m proud of what my body has achieved! Apart from a vacuum birth and the stitches required from tearing and cutting, my births were all drug-free (not a choice as such, just the way it worked out). I did good!! I should never be ashamed of that! I too get angry at all this celebrity “bounce back into shape” bullshit! Whoever wrote that they hate Miranda kerr because of the way she was portrayed, I tend to agree. Maybe not hate, but resentful… I think she would have promoted motherhood and breastfeeding etc better if she hadn’t chosen to release pics of herself breastfeeding whilst in silk nightgowns and stilettos – don’t know too many mothers who do that!
Bianca, I loved your writing and honesty before but this post has put you up a notch! Look at the response!! You wrote what so many of us wanted to. Your paragraph about holding your youngest and pulling at your top when you meet new people resonated so much with me. Thank you for your courage! If only I could carry this post on a big billboard so nobody would ask the dreaded pregnancy question again…xxx
P.S. Good luck with the interview! Go get ’em!
I can relate to every single frickin word you wrote here! *applauds* the message here is beautiful, powerful and empowering. I often wonder why some women snap straight back into shape even after having two, three however many babies whilst others like me, just gain more and more and can’t seem to get rid of it no matter how hard i try. Thanks for writing such a brave and honest post. xx
I have had four babies in four and a half years and have gained and lost a total of 90kg in that time. My youngest is 5 months old and thanks to a daily workout regime of chasing after these very children I am now back to my pre pregnancy weight. My tummy looks exactly like yours. I have no more weight to lose but the skin is still saggy. Fuck the 7kg you “still need to lose” xx
I follow you on Twitter but I will admit this is the first post of yours I have read. You will forever have me visit now as you have made me feel not alone. Each morning after my shower I look in the mirror at a similiar picture and feel ashamed! Thanks for making me feel more normal xx
This post made me tear up just a little bit. My tummy looks like that, and I feel surrounded by people whose tummies have bounced back to pre-baby condition. I’ve always held weight in my tummy and I was OK with that, thinking that I could just lose a little weight or do some more exercise and it would go away. Then two pregnancies stretched the skin so bad that it will never go back to being just a bit of pudge. Now there is pudge and flappy skin and stretch marks.
I still don’t feel good about it, but it’s nice to know I am not alone. Thank you.
Bravo! You know, after 4 kids (including a set of twins) in 5.5 years I am constantly amazed at how incredible the female body is. Yes, I have some stretch marks, yes my boobs are heading south and yes, I have that little poochy bit on my tummy that won’t budge but I GREW FOUR CHILDREN INSIDE THAT BODY!! I am horrified by the celebrity culture that sets out to create a new ‘normal’ for everyday women to aspire to. For a start, I don’t know any mum who has access to a personal trainer, a chef or a nanny. And to be honest, although I’d take the chef in a heartbeat, they can have their nannies. I spent years on IVF trying to be a mum and now that I am, I’ll take all of it, stretchmarks, sleepless nights and poochy tummies and all. Thanks so much for reminding all of us what is real and what isn’t. Any woman who grows a baby is partnering God in a miracle, in my opinion. And your girls are adorable! xx
Pregnancy (my second one, at least) destroyed my body and my potential to have more children. BUT. I’m proud of the fact that it made the ones it did. I’m proud that my body grew 2 beautiful baby boys who are simply amazing.
I cannot lie. My body is not in as good shape as yours. I’m obese, and suffer the complications of that. So I have to lose the weight. Not for aesthetics or societal pressure,but for my health.
But I know, I will always have those stretchmarks, my tummy, no matter how much weight I lose is never going to be flat. And I swear to you, if I get to a healthy weight, I will NOT care about those things.
Because my body did something amazing.
I love your post.
seriously, I LOVE YOU. You are so so amazing.
Thank you for all you said and shared with us. I am honestly floored by brilliant this post is!!!
Great post Bianca, you are very brave for sharing this with us.
I think every mum has these thoughts about her body, even those who seem to look great, I bet they would still be unhappy to a degree with herself. I am a Mum of 3 and 1 of my babies didn’t give me a tummy like that because she was born 27 weeks (3months premature). I hardly looked pregnant and oh how I wished she had of gave me that tummy! I cried when I seen pregnant women, I cried when they talked about hating what their babies had done to their bodies and I most of all hated when someone once said to me at least you didn’t have to get fat and ruin your body! I’ve since have had a 3rd baby (now almost 18months) and I LOVED every single moment of that pregnancy and got to 37weeks!! I paraded my tummy for all to see and I enjoyed it!
This year I have lost about 20-25kg through just controlling what I eat, walking and then finally joining bootcamp. I still have that spot under my belly that will never be the same, and I will always have the stretch marks too. I am sure plenty of people have looked at me and thought I was heavily influenced by celeb Mums but I wasn’t!! I was influenced by myself! I was sick of feeling crap, tired and angry with everything and everyone. So I, yes I, decided to put it back on me to get fit so I had more energy to play with my kids. I didn’t want to no longer avoid the mirror or not really look when I did see my reflection. I just wanted to feel happy and healthier. I have to admit, if I was a celeb I would probably use the opportunity of someone paying me cash to get back into shape too. They are only human who most probably feel the pressure just like us, I don’t blame them. The media continue to do this because we buy the magazines, yes us! If we stopped wanting to look/buy then maybe they wouldn’t do these stories so much? We are a bit obsessed with how others live, we know what the media are doing, yet we still fall into the trap. One of my children is a girl and I defiantly don’t ever want her to worry about body image pre or post baby (i know wishful thinking) but all I can do is help her as I learn myself on how to live with my own body. Educating her about how these industries work etc.
Brave post, telling it like it is! After 3 children and 2 caesareans, my tummy will never be the same. It is scarred and flabby and has a little flap of skin above the scar that will always be there. I don’t like it but I have come to accept it because it is me. Having said that, I applaud you for doing something that I don’t think I could – thanks for this post!
This is exactly what mine looks like!! Thanks for the fantastic read!!
Beautiful!!!! What an amazing post…..
I have always been a huge fan of yours, but reading this post tonight, has moved beyond any other you have shared. My God woman, you are brave and wise and eloquent and fan-freaking-tastic. I didn’t have a belly problem until during and after pregnancy and the stupid thing was I didn’t know it. I was so insecure. But although I wish I could look like I did back then (for health reasons as well as for vanity reasons), I am also freaking proud of my body for producing and nurturing these children who are the loves of my my life. And I am still more confident in my own (flabbier) skin than I was back then. I thank you for sharing and for reminding us what is normal. And I’m not having a go at naturally skinny women either. Just at the culture that makes it normal for women Jessica S and non-celebs to feel they have to worry about dieting before they’ve even popped a baby out!
Brave and beautiful, Bianca. Thanks for putting it out there, and bringing us back to the truth of what’s normal, against what we define as beautiful. Our bodies perform such miracles; once we worshipped them for it, a la Venus of Willendorf. Now we hide them, and whisper our shame to our mirrors. Brava! to you. x
Is there a ‘real bellies’ gallery we can all submit our post-pregnancy belly photos to? Because you’re inspiring me to do so!
I think you’re right on the money and for what it’s worth, my life is so much better without worrying about why I’m not a supermodel 2 years + after child yet. Why? BECAUSE I WAS NEVER ONE TO BEGIN WITH! Truth has set me free! It doesn’t stop me from eating healthy, exercising and wearing Spanx – but I’ve stopped beating myself up for having such a different body. I’m 30 with 2 kids, I’m going to look different but I’m going to feel better than I have in years.
So, I love ‘me’ with a belly that hangs further than it used to, thighs that rub together when I walk and arms that jiggle when I laugh.
Thankyou!!!! I looked at your photos and it was almost like looking in a mirror, apart from the bulge I have going on above my belly button as well as the flabby saggy stretchmarked belly below. I refuse to be ashamed, this body may not look like it did 9 years ago, or in fact 6 years ago, but I have birthed 3 beautiful children who are worth every mark and every cm of extra belly. I have 2 girls who I hope will never feel pressured to be celebrity skinny and I will never judge them for not being able to wear size 8-10 clothing after 3 kids, like my mum did to me. My body doesn’t work that way, my body inside and out is not nice to me, but I’ve come to terms with that.
Again, thankyou for having the courage to show a real after-baby belly.
im nearly in tears, i look the same and struggle with the same issues. thankyou for having the courage to write this and show those photos. and to remind me what all the stretch marks and scars gave me, 2 beautiful children, thankyou
thankyou for your courage. this is beautiful x
A beautiful and brave post. And so true. The body is an amazing thing but it cannot be expected to snap back into shape after 1, 2, 3 or more babies. It are the babies that matter, not the belly! I have a baby of my own (well, she turns 1 next week!) and I would like to have 2 or 3 if we are so blessed. I can only imagine what my belly will look like then!
You. are. beautiful. x
Hey yours looks just like mine!!
I am clever like you…3 AWESOME children 🙂
Brave and beautiful!
Your belly looks much the same as mine does, after 4 babies and a hysterectomy. I’ve never been ashamed of it. Like you I’m proud that my body grew 4 new people, the belly and the stretch marks are proof that I didn’t just adopt them.
I’ve seen that Rebel Sports ad and snorted in disgust, telling that woman, run around after your babies, play with them, walk with them, they weight will disappear.
I am so happy that you wrote this. Incredibly honest and wonderful. I wish we all as women could be more accepting of our own bodies and not engage in promoting this pressure that we all seem to feel.
My stomach looks smaller, but exactly like this and i’ve had no children. I’m twenty years old and my stomach is like that due to losing a lot of weight. I look at my stomach in a similar way to you, it shows a huge achievement in my life and although we are under pressure to be stick thin these days, I’m proud of my accomplishment.
I bet whatever size you are, you still look beautiful and I can already tell through your posting you have a beautiful personality and that is worth more than anything.
When my son was 5 years old i saw a friend that i hadnt seen for a couple of years who asked ‘when are you due?’ I dont know who was more emabaressed, her or me? Not embaressed for myself but for the look on her face when i said I wasnt..
My body has grown 5 wonderful children and I couldnt ask for anything better..
Woohoo! I’m watching you on my TV as I write this! This is a great post, and a great message. Even though I’m not a mum yet, I totally agree that new mums need support – happy and healthy should be the main message, regardless of what shape that comes in. 🙂 xxx
I look almost exactly the same too and I hate it. I’m embarrassed to look like this, even though I have been overweight most of my life. I am starting to take control now, because I’m sick of having no energy and not being able to keep up with my five year old. I’m hoping for some improvement to my body shape as a result but it’s not the main reason I’m doing it. I know my belly is always going to look horrible and there’s nothing I can do about it short of surgery.
Thank you for this post. It helps me to remember that there are more important things than the shape of my belly.
So well said, Bianca. I have tears in my eyes. xx
you made me cry kathryn. Its exactly me in a nutshell. thank you <3
So proud of you for writing this post! This is what real mums want to read and see in mags; it makes us feel normal! You are a wise & wonderful woman!
i don’t see anything but beautiful when i look at your pictures. your body tells a journey and its never anything to be ashamed of.
my belly to looks the way yours does. my stretchmarks and bits of loose skin tell my story. They remind me daily that i am blessed to have 2 children born via section, that i carried daughter until she was stillborn naturally and that i have tried with all my might to carry and keep inside me 6 beautiful little lifes that were all taken to soon. I will never be asamed at the sgtory my body tells me.
Be proud you are lovely and normal 🙂
The best blog i have read in a while..the pressure is unrealistic i agree…you know we try to teach our kids that beauty comes from the inside and yet it’s obvious in society that we don’t believe that which is a shame.After i had my first child we would go to swimming lessons and all the mums had tshirts and long shorts on e.c.t to cover the post baby body and i said to my hubby “stuff that” and i wore a 2 peice and let it all hang out!! im proud of my post baby body and if someone else has a problem with it then thats their problem not mine! no-one commented to me in fact the other mothers were inspired by me and relaxed alot….I also have a fabulous husband that loves my body no matter how much it has changed..he loves it more now because of what it has given him.
I read on twitter that you were going to be on today to do this interview, I swiftly jumped out of bed to watch and was soon greated by my darling 11 yo daughter with a coffee in hand for me …bless her.
Than you so much for making me feel ‘normal’.
I have 2 gorgeous girls, both horrific births, the second resulting in life saving surgery which in turn has left me with a scar from above my belly button right down to my pubic bone along with all my stretch marks and saggy skin makes for a not so pretty belly.
It is a daily struggle with my confidence and body image but from now on I am going to try to keep my chin up and stay positive because it’s so nice knowing that I’m not alone and that I am normal.
You go girl you have done God proud
I commend you whole heartidly. You are a brave woman to post those photos. We as woman need to love who we are and accept ourselves how we. How we do this I have no idea. I am 51 years old and still struggling with this. Thanks for doing this for all women.
Every body is someone’s normal and I am glad that those of us who have bodies that aren’t ‘supermodel’ quality can still feel ok. Every woman should feel comfortable and ok with their healthy bodies, no matter the size or shape!
Thank you! You have such gorgeous babies and your body did that!
I’m not sure if you’ve seen this, but it made me feel a bit better after the birth of my first child.
Wow, It’s like looking into a mirror! Good on you for speaking up, I too was appalled at the exercise add, but you had the guts to say something about it! I am posting this blog to all my friends on facebook to show them that we are no all the same and that is what makes the world a beautiful place.
I am so proud of you for sharing this! I couldn’t agree more about being grateful for all our bodies have accomplished birthing babies and the focus should be on everything BUT what mum looks like in those brief weeks with a newborn! Well done Bianca! So proud to see you on tv this morning!
I saw you on the Today show this morning and stopped what I was doing (the dishes!) and was glued to the TV. THANK YOU for what you have written. There definitely needs to be a huge shift towards how the world view post preggy bellies. Like you said, ladies like Miranda Kerr are SUPERMODELS and have the money for the personal trainer, nanny and chef… I HATE that society thinks it’s realistic to bounce back to a gorgeous body that quickly after having a baby. I’ve struggled so much with the change in my belly, but I take one look at my amazing son and realise that it was so so so worth it. Thank you. xxxx
I haven’t had babies yet but you brought tears to my eyes with your story. That’s what the media need to focus on… how amazing and special it is to be able to create a new life with your body and any changes are a sign of what a wonderful thing you have achieved. You should be very proud!!
Your Story makes me cry and at the Mae time be so proud. I had the perfect tummy, the 6 pack and loved to spring around in my bikini, but after 3 girls, things have changed immensely. Things were fine until after my last pregnancy, I gave birth to identical twin girls and my body will never be the same.
My stomach muscles have separated quite badly, I can’t eat certain foods or I bloat to look 8 months pregnant. I walk 8k a day, exercise and eat well and nothing helps. I cry when I am alone and only take solace knowing hat this body of mine bought 3 of the most amazing people in to the world…but does my husband see it that way? Do people on the street know that?
I suffer from depression…not initiatiated by this matter but it does make it worse at times. All I want is to feel comfortable, eat the foods I love and not have people assume I am pregnant again.
I feel your pain and your pride
I love your attitude. Keep inspiring people, some of us need that little extra confidence boost. 🙂
Bless your courage young lady. I am 50 and have a body ravaged by 2 enormous babies and 2 c-sections, followed 1 hour later by a hysterectomy. I have struggled for years with depression and embarrassment about my body and added many kilos eating my feelings. You inspire me to stop fretting. I have great kids and wouldn’t swap them for a hot bod. You need not worry, you girls are works of art and you are a delight. Have a great Christmas and have a couple of extra mince pies 🙂
I saw your story on the Today show this morning and you have truly made my day. My year even. I have spent the last year beating myself up about not being able to lose the post baby weight – I’ve tried the gym, strictly watched what I ate, worn shapewear undies, all in an effort to try and achieve the seemingly impossible. It is a constant battle to keep reminding yourself that you are normal, with no thanks going to the media, mens magazines, fashion, or a very opinionated family member with some pretty serious body image issues of her own. I love the honesty in your post and strength of character. It made me cry reading it and other peoples comments, and angry that so many of us are made to feel less attractive for being completely normal.
My stretched and saggy body grew a beautiful little boy and I wouldnt change it for the world. All he would see is his mummy who loves him with all her heart, not some warped idea of what society thinks we should all look like. You are an amazing person for taking a stand and putting yourself out there. Love your work <3
I hear you. I wrote a post about the backlash Mel B received about being fat when she’d just given birth. It was a joke. I’m am starting a health and fitness challenge in January. Not so much because I want to lose weight, I don’t think there will be much weight issue associated with it, but I have become really unhealthy since having children, snacking, quick junk food on the go. Buying from the vending machine at work in the evening because I’m tired. I’ve had enough and this is about me getting healthy. I just hope that people will be supportive and not see it as me trying to conform to any stereo type.
I appreciate your honesty. It’s a tough one, finding the right balance, of health, acceptance, happiness, when we look at ourselves.
I missed you on TV but sure I’ll find the clip 🙂 Love this post with all my heart and saggy stretchmarked tummy.
Thats is like looking in the mirror for me. I get nervous meeting new people, I get nervous when my partner looks at me naked, I hate trying on new clothes. I dislike my new body but after looking at my 2 beautiful children I dont mind it so much. I have 13kgs to lose. Thank you for posting this blog! I am also posting it to facebook in hope that my pregnant friends will read it and not worry so much about their body. You should be proud of yourself, I believe you may change some peoples minds about their body 🙂
You give strength to all women, even women (like myself) who will never know the joy & love of having their own child (me? I’ve had a hysterectomy due to medical reasons). I’m lucky enough to have two lovely step-children though. I couldn’t imagine what you’ve had to endure! You should be proud of your stomach- it says you are strong, loving & kind as well as a mother! I agree strongly with your thoughts, fears & hopes.
ALL you other ladies out there- be proud of yourselves! Big, small, round, thin, flabby, taught, short, tall…… ALL WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL! Especially to their husbands, partners, children, mothers, fathers, friends & loved ones.
IT’S WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE THAT COUNTS!!! – even beautiful people are ugly on the inside…
I also love that you have other stuff that is a higher priority than your belly – and that makes a huge difference to people. You do rock!
Your post is me to a tee! I have one 7mth old and had a lovely flat tummy before. Sometimes when I’m out and about, if I dont have my baby with me, I dont feel confident at all. I wonder if ppl look at me and think ‘gee shes a bit podgy round the middle’ but if my son is there I can push the pram and hold my head up high! When I wake in the morning sometimes its a lot flatter but then as the day progresses and eating certain foods it just bloats right out again!
Lets just hope out better halves see it the same way we do. The way I see it, if I was that repulsive to him (like I think in my head!) ‘it’ wouldnt work and ‘its’ still working!Abbie Allen
Thanks for this post Bianca. I’m self-conscious about my flabby, funny looking tummy after having a child but your post made me realise that I’m the norm, not the exception. I am bravely going to wear a bikini to the beach with my beautiful daughter!
Oh B, how I goddamn salute you!
Be proud of your body my love, it has done some amazing things x
I don’t believe that the media should push us into things – I think our society is pushed by television, rubbish magazines etc. We are the ones that choose to buy/watch it stop doing it if it bothers you. We do not have a television at our house and don’t buy rubbishy magazines if everyone stopped supporting it then it would stop. That is a different topic though.
Pregnancy and our bodies- too many of us our out of shape before pregnancy it makes the pregnancy harder on our bodies and then near impossible to be in peak pregnancy condition to give birth – hence the intervention that is required to remove these babies from our bodies. People go on to complain that it is not their fault they have always been big or their parents where big – it is no ones fault but our own. We are the ones that choose the food we put in our mouth and the ones that choose to read magazines/ watch television instead of exercising. I am quite dumbfounded by how people feel that it is fine to put what ever they want in their mouths whilst they are pregnant because they are eating for 2, it is joked about when people put on large amounts of weight, gestational diabetes being caused by pregnancy again – it is from eating incorrectly whilst pregnant. Society wants a pill to fix everything and not to be held responsible for their actions. I think we need to all start looking after ourselves better and then there will be no need for all of these weight loss programs. It should not be about keeping up appearances it should be for the health of ourselves which in turn reflects on our beautiful children.
You brave brave woman. I know what it’s like. I so know and I am so glad you wrote this and put it out there. Good on you! Thank you!
it takes courage to share like this. Thank you for your openess, honesty and vunerability. It is only when women start to be open with each other (about all sorts of uncomfortable topics) that we learn how truly “normal” we all are and can begin to embrace that whole heartedly. thank you for leading the way in moments like this.
I’ve just had my fourth baby in five years. I’ve always been on the heavier side, and LOATHE the BMI charts. I’m just under 5 feet tall, and that does me no favours. According to the experts, I’m like 40 kg overweight. The trouble is, I don’t feel that way. There’s a massive disconnect between the way I look in my head and how I look IRL. It’s all the more exaggerated now that I’ve had my baby. I can’t really remember what it feels like to have a body not ravaged by pregnancy and birth. Thank you for sharing this post, and reminding me of just how freaking amazing my body is, all the more so for what it has achieved in five years. Well done to you!
I’m 60 years old and have always had a baby belly! It didn’t matter what I did it never went away! Our grandmothers and great grandmothers wore corsets and support garments – why to keep them in shape! I have changed my life with an Ardyss Rehaping garment and I’ve changed other women’s too! I’ve seen a lot of bellies of all shapes and sizes and I can tell you that I’ve seen alot of women smile for the first time in years. I’m a distributor here in Australia and have also a range of pregancy and post pregnancy garments. If you want to see photos of me before and after you would need to see my website. You will be amazed! I recently felt like a filmstar modelled for the first time wearing my garment!
You are amazing, Bianca! Thank you for sharing…
Brava, Bianca. *big hugs* I salute you for your courage in telling (and showing) it like it is in the real world. We need more of it. I’ve had three kids (the youngest is almost 12) and although I’m not overweight, my belly is curved and the skin on my tummy is soft and crinkly. I have long since accepted that it is what it is.
Pregnancy changes your body like nothing else – we need to celebrate that fact, not promote dangerous and unrealistic expectations in the media.
Can’t help reading all these wonderful comments of pointing out how wonderful it is to be a mother! ‘Supermodel’ quality according to who? Every woman is special inside out to someone and is a supermodel quality to their children! Saluting all women in the world and the awareness that begins within.
I SO remember that look after my 3rd and last baby! The body seemed ‘ok’ with the first 2, but that #3 was too much – but I did totally ‘pig-out’ telling myself this was the last baby and my last chance to eat whatever I wanted and not be criticised! My ‘baby’ will be 15 tomorrow and people cannot believe I have 3 teenagers 15 to almost 19 years. Did nothing special – just raced around after 3 little ones and got on with life. Your body has given life to 3 miracles and you cannot compare yourself to others – you are unique and have every right to be Proud!
Aussie mum living in Canada, just streamed in the Today Show…..So glad I did. Congrats to you and what message you are spreading. Have you seen http://missrepresentation.org – I think more women need to speak up (and follow through) with what’s an acceptable portrayal of women in today’s world – Keep it up – if enough of us react, changes will occur. Cheers SorrentoMoon
Awesome shots Bianca!
The more we can be honest with each other about what our bodies REALLY look like after having kids, the better we will ALL feel. I found a whole lot of post-baby tums, and posted here (hope you don’t mind me sharing the link – I had such gorgeous comments from people about it):
I commend you for your honesty however I really think you should focus less on what other women choose to do with their bodies and get back to celebrating the fact that you have been blessed enough to have children of your own in the first place. I don’t think you’re giving us all credit – we aren’t all influenced or feel pressured by celebrities. Most of us have pretty good common sense to know it’s all about balance. I do know many women who find happiness and stress relief in exercise and healthy living after having a baby, so what’s wrong with that? If I didn’t stop laying on the couch all day after I decided to “JFDI” and get active after my baby, I would be a miserable heap of depression right now still sitting there on the couch. I think choosing a healthy lifestyle after having a baby is the key. Take or leave the stuff you see on TV or read in magazines. Balance is what we should all be striving for, but most importantly, not to judge another woman if she does something we don’t agree with. We are all different, with varying degrees of how important getting back into shape is. Unfortunately we aren’t all blessed with the “perfect” body afterwards but who cares, we are blessed beyond the longest of stretchmarks to have had these babies in the first place. Embrace your baby war wounds 🙂
My tummy is exactlly the SAME! Thank-you for sharing and making me feel not alone 🙂
Do you think it is from having csections? I’ve had two now & just wanted to know if there are any Mum’s that have a tummy like ours from having a V birth?
I just found this article, entitled “Why Women Need Fat” – truly fascinating (and comforting) reading. I thought some of you ladies might enjoy it as much as I did:
This brought tears to my eyes too: you grew three amazing people with this body. That’s a powerful body and you have done a powerful thing in publishing this.
We ARE bombarded with images in the media, telling us how our body should/could look and I believe that we are the only ones who can change this. We can stop reading the magazines, yes, but we need louder voices if we are going to change these images/ideals. We can do this by saying/doing exactly what you have just done. What a brave woman you are! And what an amazing thing you have just done for your daughters..Big ups to you
Wow. Awesome post! I’m about to give birth to my first one so the whole concept of my body changing permanently is definitely a challenging one for me to come to terms with, but as you say, look what you get as a result?! Beautiful children. And yours are just that xx
What a wonderful post! I have had two girls and I guess lucked out because although I have a bit of a pot belly now I did not suffer hardly at all from stretch marks. I have lost quite a bit of weight now because I remember once when my youngest was about four someone asked me ‘how far along’ I was when I wasn’t even pregnant. It is a bit unrealistic to hope for a flat tum after birth unless one is Heidi Klum or one of the celeb moms. I have no idea how they do it!
I’ve had 4 babies. I had unexplained severe weight loss after my third and was a gaunt 48 kilos even when eating like a horse and breastfeeding my son (who fed to 16 months). My belly skin hung like a striped, deflated balloon. Now I’ve padded up a bit more I have a glorious muffin top and permanent pot belly even though I’m a size 10.
I’m not fond of it, but I accept that this is the body I now have. I will never be in a bikini in public or wear a midriff bearing top like I did in my younger days.
Oh an lastly I refuse to buy celebrity gossip magazines. I catch up on all the old gossip in the Drs waiting room and I’m glad I don’t waste my money on the drivel.
you are so awesome I cannot even begin to say. their are no words for how awesome this post is.
You are so brave! My tummy looks just like yours, it makes me feel sad everyday knowing that it will never be the same again. It’s nice to think that I’m not the only one who feels the pressure of regaining my body shape. Thanks for bringing this to light!
i’ve just found you through babymac and your nuts bloggers video.
Dude, i dont know you but but I already think you are flipping amazing. I’ve had 2 c sections (and if i’m lucky, i’ll have another)- my last was 12 months ago on australia day. I still look 6 months pregnant and i too wear clothes that skim! It’s the tummy flap, baby- do you tuck it into your undies? do you let it hang over your jeans? Do you control panel the shit out of it and hope your shirt doesn’t ride up? I don’t know.
thanks for showing me yours.
i love your story for so many reasons! The HUGE courage, the love for the babies that made that tummy what it is – it’s so similar to my story and my belly! Just took a minute to go to the mirror, check myself out and as I sit here typing I feel super stoked to know I’m not alone in looking/feeling like that. Thank you 🙂
Oh wow. I wrote a post on how the body changes and how we need to be in awe of its capabilities rather than depressed by it’s appearance, but in no way was I brave enough to post a photo, go you! Thank you so much for sharing x
I can’t tell you how much this post has meant to me. I’ve only just stumbled upon it and I feel like I’m having a eureka moment! Someone out there is just like me and understands – really understands! Thankyou.
This blog is amazing. Both of my children are miraculously asleep so I have sat down to read interesting stuff on the web for a couple of hours, feeling guilty about not doing the laundry instead. I have thought about photographing my tummy and I am so delighted that you did. It’s EXACTLY like mine. And I want another baby so god knows how it will look after another pregnancy. You have made me feel like part of a saggy tummy community, not a lone sad chubber! Thank you!
Well, for starters are you sure that’s your tummy because it looks like MINE! TUMMY SNATCHERS! I also had carpal tunnel in both wrists and am about to get $1200 worth of dentistry to fix my teeth! Wouldn’t change it for the world. Thanks for this post. I love you!
THANK YOU for your courage and for being the voice of all of us normal women. I, too have the hanging ‘pouch’ and the puckered skin. Unless I go under the knife, it’s there to stay. I hate it so intensely, and at the same time, I tell myself I don’t.
Know what, though? I also have three magnificent little people and I’d do it all again. And then some.
I want to share a piece I wrote about our body image and how our self-loathing transfers itself onto our kids. Please read You suck! and know that your children think you are perfect. So you have to, too.
So glad I’ve found your blog. xoxo
This post makes me feel normal. I still look 6 month pregnant after 13 months of trying to lose weight after my baby. My tummy looks exactly like yours. Regardless I am proud of my sacrifice to finally have my little girl and I’d do it again.
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You are so brave and I applaud you. My daughter is not yet two, and I have similar baby belly issues. Sometimes I can’t stand to look at myself and when you’re bombarded with all these images you feel abnormal. Thanks for showing what a beautiful, normal post-kid body can look like and making us realise how skewed out perceptions have become.