As a new mother, there’s a lot to contend with. The baby is your new focus and everything else comes second which means you might not get the time to shave your legs or paint your nails or do your face masks as much as you’d like or aspire to. Your post baby body is usually in bits at the start, there’s nobody that comes out totally unscathed.
I was watching a well known Irish blogger on snapchat last week who was showing her perfectly flat tummy 3 weeks after having a baby. Seriously? Delighted for her and she does look fabulous but I think that might be a bit tough on other new mums struggling with baby weight much further down the line. And I’m pretty sure that there are still bits sore for that same lady but she is under pressure to look good for her followers and her public image. If there was something wrong, would she share it? I don’t know! Then you have other well known snapchatting mums who are honest to a fault then judged harshly for their parenting decisions.
This is a personal post which are few and far between on here. I just wanted to share the truth about what is the aftermath of birth on my body 8 months down the line. I wouldn’t dream of suggesting it is the same for everyone but you might relate to some of it. Or you might have a whole load of other stuff you’re dealing with that hasn’t been an issue for me. There are so many potential issues! It’s always good to know you are not the only one who hasn’t bounced back fully nearly a year after having a baby. I know I have a new normal to contend with and to be honest, it’s mostly ok.
I’m going to go head to toe so I don’t miss anything. It’s how we’re taught in midwifery training to check a woman postnatally. When I first started writing this post, I thought it would be short enough but there really is a lot to this post baby body. It’s ended up being 2 separate posts so this one is the top half of me, part 2 will be out next week and will be from the tummy down!
Post Baby Head
Mentally, post baby, I think I’m good most of the time. I stress that I’m messing up my child only maybe 30% of the time. I found leaving him with a childminder last week was a particular low point, it was a trial for when I go back to work soon. That first time leaving them with a person who is not family is definitely harder on us than the baby. He was fine by the way! There’s a lot of guilt with being mum. I’m thankfully past the tears that went with the first couple of hormone and exhaustion fuelled post baby weeks. That all seems like a blurry old home movie when I try to recall it. But the underlying feeling that you’re just not as good a mum as you’d like to be is always there.
Baby brain is another thing. I always thought that was a pretty makey-uppy term but now I wonder. At the start, I thought it was exhaustion that I couldn’t remember where I put my keys or what day it was or how a box of teabags could end up in the freezer… I still have many baby brain moments 8 months down the line (some people that know me may say they’re just my usual blonde moments…) and my memory is gone to hell altogether. I’ll be doing well to remember the names of my colleagues next week.
Post Baby Hair
Physically, well my hair is just awful. My hair was never exactly a crowning glory for me unless you count a halo of frizz as a positive attribute. Thank god for the invention of the GHD (and hair dye for that matter). But since having a baby, it’s actually worse than ever. Firstly, it feels like half of it fell out about 4 months after having baby. Literally clumps of it on my brush every time I went near it, I’m lucky it was big to begin with! Bad enough as that is, the regrowth of the baby hair (sounds cute? – it’s not) looks like a toddler has taken a scissors to my fringe (and I don’t usually have a fringe). To really add to all this joy – those new hairs grow frizzy and many in a gravity defying direction. Many hair products have now fought them without success. The only solution would be to have a personal hair stylist (Kate Middleton style) or just tie the whole lot back and ignore it – funds (or lack thereof) have swayed me to the latter option.
Post Baby Skin
My skin has the same breakout issues it always had but now we have the added bonus of lines. I feel like I’ve aged 10 years in the last few months. Much investment in lotions and potions, I am every skincare marketers dream right now. And trying to remember to drink water as well as the 10+ cups of tea a day might help! It really is hard to feel confident when your skin isn’t great, I always struggled with it thanks to PCOS (hormonal condition that affects your skin). In pregnancy it was really good so maybe that gave me false hope!
Post Baby Boobs
I must admit, I was never exactly well endowed in this department. If there’s one great thing about pregnancy, it’s the bonus of good boobs – yeah they are tender and sensitive but they look great! However, for me, they literally deflated post baby (and post breastfeeding). I can’t work out if they were always like this or are they just pointing a little bit further south than I’d like? Nothing a wonderbra can’t sort out but I really got to like my pregnancy boobs and I miss them!!! The nipples healed despite me thinking I had done irreversible damage with my attempt at breastfeeding.
Post Baby Hands
Yes really! Not a part of me I thought would be affected by having a baby. But they are one of the worst casualties in my post baby body. I put it down to having them immersed in hot soapy water washing bottles a lot and never having hand cream where I need it. This is from a midwife that washes her hands a million times a day on a regular basis at work so they were always a bit dry but they are now worse. They look like old lady hands. Also the nails are in ruins – brittle and broken. At the start it was a lot to do with the car seat, every time I’d break nails on the damn thing. I used to have nice nails. I even went down the route of acrylics for a while post baby but now they are even worse probably because of that decision. Taking some supplements would help – I do have them, I just never remember to take them!
From the tummy down is covered in Part 2 which you can now read here!