Continuing with the blog’s Body Confidence Week, The Yummy Mummy takes a frank look at her post-baby body, and reminds us all what the female form is really for.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
My little boy turned one year old last week, and as I sat back munching on yet another piece of his birthday cake, this overwhelming sense of pride once again smothered me like a big duvet.
I had made him.
More to the point, my body had made him. Every single toe, finger and eyelash, my body had taken a few tiny weeny cells and actually made a real life human. Now I’m no Sir Robert Winston, I don’t really understand how these things work, but I do know, that growing a human is very cool and clever.
Pre-baby, I wouldn’t have considered myself to be “body confident”, not for a single second. I wasn’t, nor have I ever been, a size 8. I like eating good, healthy food and spent 10 years being a vegetarian, but I still wasn’t a size 8. I considered myself to be an average size 12.
In May 2012, when my partner and I found out that I was pregnant, we were over the moon. Slowly but surely my belly started to expand, because my body was growing a human. Now I hate to point out the obvious, but you will be amazed at how many people seem to think it’s ok to point or rub your belly and insinuate that you’ve simply eaten too many pies.
No I hadn’t eaten too many pies, and I never used the excuse that I was “eating for two”.
In fact I was really careful about what I ate whilst pregnant, because I was so conscious of losing my ‘baby weight’.
In January 2013, my baby boy arrived safely into this big wide world. In the months that followed, we learnt to breastfeed, cope with limited sleep and change nappies with our eyes closed. In July 2013, a certain Duchess of Cambridge also gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. I remember shouting with horror at the television when a male news presenter suggested that she still looked pregnant in her blue dress with white spots. Of course she still looked bloody pregnant. She’d just given birth! I hardly ventured out of my pyjamas for 4 days after my boy was born, let alone step out in front of the world’s media!
Has the world really forgotten what a female form is technically there to do?
We weren’t given breasts for someone else’s viewing pleasure! This may come as a surprise to some, but they’re actually there to FEED AN INFANT. (Now whether you choose to use them for that purpose once you’ve had a baby, is an entirely personal choice.)
Post-baby, I still wouldn’t class myself as body confident, but I certainly have a damn lot more RESPECT for my body.
I survived my entire pregnancy without a single stretch mark, I was so proud of myself. So imagine my horror when I discovered a handful of small stretch marks had appeared following my labour. However, as time passes and the stretch marks start to fade, I’ve come to realise that those tiny weeny marks, and the other remaining post-baby wobbly bits are actually a badge of body honour.
As my little boy grows bigger and taller, and no longer needs to hold my hand or receive a daily hug, those stretch marks will be a continual reminder that I MADE HIM.
My body made, and subsequently nurtured a human, a real life human being.
And not only did my body do that, but it also safely delivered my baby boy into this world. I’m not going to start being all Mother Earth here and claim that child birth is amazing, because it bloody hurts, a lot.
But my point is that anyone who thinks that women should always look their best and always look after themselves needs to just stop and take stock of what the female form is actually designed for. It’s reproduction. Boys can’t grow babies; they simply don’t have the right bits. And more to the point, they’d keel over during child birth!