Do you remember the conversations you had with visitors in the days, weeks and months after having a baby?
There were the usual excited questions. When? What hospital? Name, gender and weight? But it wasn’t just about the baby’s weight was it? They asked about your numbers too. Not directly, of course, because that would seem insensitive and rude. They were throw away comments like “wow you’re looking really good!”, “breastfeeding will help lose the weight” and “what did you weigh before you were pregnant? What are you now? That swelling should hopefully go down soon” Ok so yes, maybe there were a few who didn’t understand the meaning of the words ‘polite’ and ‘none of your business’.
What is it about HAVING A BABY that means a woman’s physique is up for public discussion? Why do we have such unrealistic expectations of our bodies to look as they did prior to being stretched out by a baby before it forces itself out of us through a hole I still hardly believe can accommodate its dramatic exit?
Do people not realise our bodies will never look like they did before bringing our children into the world?
Julie Bhosale did.
Julie is from New Zealand. She is a nutritionist and a blogger who documented her body during the “fourth trimester” and posted the photos online for the world to see. She took photos of herself at 24hrs, two days, one week, two weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks after the birth of her second son, showing her “just had a baby how freakin awesome is that” body and women around the world are applauding her for her openness and honesty, with the post going viral for all the right reasons.
Julie is celebrating and showing her midsection because of what it has done and how she feels, not because of how it looks. What’s even more beautiful is her newborn baby boy is a feature in every photo taken, awwwww!
In her blog, Julie Bhosale; The New Mum’s Nutritionist, she explains
“I am a mother. I am tired, broken and sore. I have lumps, bumps, marks and jiggly bits.
You too are a mother. You are also tired, exhausted, broken, sore, have lumps, bumps, marks and jiggly bits.
You live in a society that pushes images at you every day of women who have given birth and just “bounced back” – great for them (truly, that is great, Kate Middleton you are amazing!). But this is such a small minority. For most of us, our bodies change, and change a lot. It is scary, it is hard, it can be downright disgusting and upsetting but it is real, and normal. Although I am a qualified health professional I am also a mother and my body has also not just ‘bounced back’. We are starting to see a shift in the media and online with more women sharing the often hidden and unspoken realities of childbirth and the effect on your bodies.
So I have joined in the movement. Here is my #takebackpostpartum body blog. My real body after two children”
The response Julie is having has clearly overwhelmed her. In an interview she had with Buzzfeed News she states “I find the responses particularly moving because it’s such a big issue for women and we just don’t talk about it. We keep it to ourselves and secretly suffer.”