Mummy Tummy, Why is it taboo: We all seem to celebrate & congratulate people who walk out of the hospital in size 8 jeans looking fabulous but isn't it time that we all stopped pretending that everything shrinks back automatically & not reacting like something is wrong when a woman has a tummy post-birth, after all it is NORMAL! Well done Katy Hill for sharing your 'REAL' picture, in an age of cosmetic surgery & airbrushing its refreshing to see a REAL mummy who isn't afraid to share how she really looks!If more pictures were shown of real women in the press, it wouldn't be such a taboo..
Some people are lucky and have tummies that shrink back, I want one of those! When my son Oliver was born he was a healthy 9lb 8oz, I bought a gorgeous playsuit in a larger size. Pre-pregnancy I was a 8-10, so I bought a 12-14 and was very excited... After Oliver was born, 3 day labour & a theatre assisted delivery I was naively very shocked to have a very large tummy, I even asked the midwife if something was wrong with me. The midwife was very kind & carefully explained that a large baby is going to stretch your womb and because my tummy muscles separated in pregnancy it was going to take time for it to contract back, she told me not to worry & enjoy my baby...
Suffice to say I couldn't fit the play suit over one leg & the additional harem pants that I bought sat under my tummy, what was I thinking!!! I had no maternity clothes with me as I had stepped into a pair of Juicy track suit bottoms mid-contractions. In the end I had to put hubby's hoodie on over my harem pants & vest top to cover-up the tummy.
When we got home I was really exhausted after a 3 day labour but very excited to show off my gorgeous new son, so I tided myself up & the visitors started to arrive. My hubby's friend was the first to comment on my tummy, he said 'WOW, your tummy is the same size as my friend who is due to have a baby' I managed to remain calm & simply explained that I had a large baby & it's going to take some time shrink back. The next day we had lots more visitors, one of which remarked 'cor, why is your stomach so big I thought you had the baby, your body will never be the same again. After dragging myself out of bed, washing my hair & making everyone tea I'm not sure how I managed to hold it together until they left! I'm sure it was the day my milk came in so emotions were high but I was devastated & after lots of tears my sister arranged an emergency trip to M&S the next day with Mum & cancelled all visitors. We bought some tummy covering 'hold it all in' pants to wear when absolutely necessary, although stopped for a coffee & met an old friend who said 'Hi, I heard you were pregnant, when is the baby due'! Only for mum to walk around with the baby, the poor woman was mortified & I didn't feel great either!
I think the reason women hide away is to protect themselves during a very emotional time, when the last thing you want to hear is that your tummy is large. Society IS judgemental & as much as I want to say don't hide away, when you have a new born baby time is precious, hormones are unpredictable & you don't feel like using your energy to get dressed up when you can stay make-up free & enjoy those gorgeous cuddles! This time round I'm prepared & will pack an appropriate 'maternity' outfit to wear home. But I will also be having 2 precious weeks with my hubby & not running around making tea for visitors, so if you do come round be prepared to make make your drink & put your cups in the dishwasher. For those of you who do want to be prepared you can buy post-birth support underwear which is especially designed for this time.
It took me a good 6 months to get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes properly. I tried dieting but found it impossible whilst breast feeding (I fed Oliver for 7 months), but I was just too darn hungry, so I just relaxed & bought bigger jeans which I'm sure will come in handy! I'd love to hear your experience too, Michelle X