The fat suit Vs The giver of life

Becoming a mummy can create some tricky feelings. It can have a huge effect on how you feel about your body, largely because your body goes through so many changes in such a short space of time.

When you first become pregnant you will sometimes notice changes in your body straight away, normally your boobs start to get bigger in the early days before your tummy does. Then, there is that stage when you see your tummy looks a little rounded but no one else can tell, it might well still be a secret.

Then, there is that period of time when lots of people know you are pregnant but the general public will just think you are fat. I remember longing each time for this stage to pass because I felt like I just looked fat and not pregnant. Anyone else? This was by far the worse stage for me.

breastfeeding with teeth

Once you have a decent bump things are quite nice for a while. You look pregnant and feel pregnant but you are at the same time probably struggling with other aspects of pregnancy. My legs swelled badly in my pregnancies so I felt very unattractive, despite loving my bump.

Once you have the bump however, you then have to dodge the comments from others about how “massive” you are. Not fun, trust me. I seemed to have this a lot in three out of my four pregnancies. “Are you sure there aren’t two in there?” “Ooooh it’s going to be a big one”. The list goes on!


Then your due date comes AND goes and so do a couple more weeks, and you feel like a whale and are probably being told you look like one too – because that is super helpful isn’t it? As if you don’t feel huge enough.

Then, the day comes when you hold your baby in your arms, and that is the best ever and one you will never forget. THEN you stand in the shower after the birth, looking down at the carnage that has just been inflicted on your body and you think “will it ever all go back to normal?” – THEN, you stop, you stop hating your body because that body just did a great job and gave birth to a baby and that is an amazing thing. So you pat yourself on the back and do a little skip. BRIEFLY.

You ignore the wobbly, saggy bits for a few days until you catch yourself in the mirror and again think “will it ever go back to normal?” – THEN your milk arrives and you suddenly have these enormous breasts to contend with as well. You look completely different and you feel completely different and how could anyone love you looking like this?

postnatal body image

This continues for a long time for some people, me included. For me, motherhood has changed my body dramatically four times over. There are inevitably emotions attached to these changes and these tend to fall into two categories for me:

  • The fat suit: my body is hideous, it doesn’t resemble anything I remember from before I had children, I don’t feel like myself, nothing fits and I feel as if I am wearing one of those sumo suits. I hate my body and I want to unzip the suit and climb out.
  • The giver of life: my body grew four tiny humans inside it, it pushed those four tiny humans into this world and then provided over 10,000 meals for them – my body is awesome!

Motherhood is characterised by a daily mix of emotions, so how we feel about our bodies is not going to be any different. When I am not marvelling over the miracle of my four babies, I can be found hating myself for the saggy, wobbly, and fat bits that are still present. Anyone else?


  1. It’s hard isn’t it? My belly — where I had my c-section — will never be the same again!! I’ve a little droopy paunch that no amount of dieting and exercise will shift. That said, my amazing, incredible body carried twins and grew and grew to nurture and protect them. It’s amazing isn’t it? So I really can’t be too hard on myself! 🙂 #PoCoLo

    Caro |

  2. The havoc pregnancy wrecked on my body prompted me to start exercising properly for practically the first time ever. So while I am still more saggy that previously, I am also fitter and I discovered that I actually like exercise. Who knew? So what with that and, y’know, the little darlings, I’d call that a win.

    Still, it’d be nice to not have to look on the positive side.

  3. O yes; the duality – if i can call it that – of our lovely body. It gives so much life, love, laughter, and nourishment, and changes its package to what we’re not always happy with. I try and remember the former more than the later. Good on you woman with 4 children. How did you calculate the 10,000 figure? That’s astounding, a real wowser! #TheList

    1. Ha ha – it was a guesstimate worked out on average number of feeds per day for the number of days I fed each one. It’s conservative as still breastfeeding number 4. Thanks for reading!

  4. I still can’t believe I managed to go threw with it! I found pregnancy fairly straight forward and I even didn’t mind the changes to my body too much, but then after a year the weight started to creep on (not even that slowly!!) and that’s when it hit me how much body had changed – I think my whole metabolism must have slowed, which meant if I want to lose weight I needed to do more and eat less – I know people say this all the time but it’s not necessarily that easy…what exactly is LESS anyway 😉 Now I’ve lost a bit of weight I’m definitely happier with my body, but there will always be some bits you don’t recognise!! Great post and thanks for linking up to #Thelist xxx

  5. So true that all of these emotions happen constantly! For me, I also ate a lot of cake and I’m pretty sure I’d be a lot skinnier if I hadn’t done that! I had to have a csection with my boy and that makes it very hard to get a flat tummy again since someone tore through my muscles! That said, I grew the most perfect little human and my body needed all of that cake to get though those terribly tiring days. Now it needs it to get me through the tiring work days. I definitely don’t love my body, but it will always be the one that grew a little munchkin. Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  6. My stomach is never going to go back to the way it was, but I was aware of this before as my mum’s is the same.
    I thought I had escaped the stretch marks though, I lasted until about 37 weeks and then all of a sudden I looked like a tiger when I woke up one morning – how annoying!

  7. Ah don’t start me on this one, with 6 kids I have all the same issues, we are all lovely really, but oh I’d love to those those baby rolls at my middle! #MagicMoments

  8. This totally resonates with me!
    I’ve had three children – unfortunately my eldest was stillborn at 41 weeks and I think, for me, this really affected how I felt about my body after pregnancy for a long long time. Suffice to say it wasn’t the happiest relationship even though I was slim.
    Pregnancy doesn’t really agree with my body, I swell up with so much fluid it’s just crazy. I also grow quite big babies (the rest of me gets pretty big too!).
    I love to exercise, I’ve run half marathons and try to do something every day as it makes me a happier person – having said that I have reached the conclusion that three babies (two c-sections) means there are lumps, bumps, scars and weird wobbly bits that just won’t shift now even though I have lost the baby weight.
    I am grateful every day for my daughters and I have managed to find some peace with my body over the years.
    Great post!

  9. It is so hard, I am not really any heavier now than I was before babes but my shape is dramatically different and I hate my enormous belly which means people still think I am pregnant and my youngest are nearly 8! Mich x #sharethejoy

  10. Great post. I think you do have to try and focus on the fact that your body has been the right size and shape and health to do what it is supposed to do – carry babies. And, of course, even if everyone was told that it was an absolute certainty that their bodies would not return to the size and shape they were before no matter what, everyone would still choose to have the babies. So, in that sense, it can be seen as a willing sacrifice that you make for something you know is more important and is worth it. Maybe that is a bit better than seeing it as something you’ve been left with and don’t like – it was something you were willing to risk, and would do again, in order to do something great, and it was the right choice.

  11. 18 months after giving birth to my first and I finally feel healthy and normal. I’m still not back to me pre pregnancy weight and I’m a lot wobblier than I used to be but like you say, I nurtured a human being and that’s awesome! #brilliantblogposts

  12. I’ve just wrote a post about the importance of learning to recognise how amazing our bodies our, rather than focusing on the negatives. It’s alot easier said than done sometimes though isn’t it?
    Lovely photo of you and your bump.

  13. Great post! I’m currently 16 weeks and already feel huge as I can’t stop eating but I have to keep reminding myself I am growing a human being. My body has created another tiny heart that is beating and will continue to beat every second for the rest of that persons life. How bloody amazing is that?! #brilliantblogposts xx

  14. I’m quite open about the fact that my body is a mess. I’ve been obese and lost a lot of weight, so both the weight and the loss of it wrecked havoc on my body. I’ve also had ovarian cysts which required a few surgeries which left me with bad scarring. And two pregnancies did a number on me too, but actually in amongst the wreckage that is my body it is the changes from pregnancy that make me realise that a body isn’t always a bad thing, a burden…and I’m thankful for the good it managed to do because that is a light when I’m feeling quite dark about how I look.


  15. It is tough, having to deal with those body changes through pregnancy and having kids. I never felt as beautiful as I did when I was pregnant, I loved that baby belly 🙂 But after pregnancy the sagginess is sadly not my favourite anymore 😀

    But anyway, an adorable picture of you, your bump and child! #brillianblogposts

  16. It’s so, so hard on us women isn’t it. I remember feeling so low in confidence particularly the first few months after my kids, especially my first in a body I didn’t recognise. My tummy post 2 sections has never been the same and not sure it ever will but I’m learning to love my body. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

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