pregnancy

'A pair of Kmart knickers changed everything about how I see my post-baby body.'

At the end of my pregnancy I went to Kmart for a last-minute comfort shop before the baby arrived. 

I intended to buy some large, cheap loungewear, but I stumbled upon a five pack of big granny knickers in a size larger than I was. 

I thought I'd better buy them just in case I had an emergency caesarian.

Watch: Questions about childbirth asked by mums and non-mums. Post continues below.


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Once I washed them all, I was very sneaky about hiding the knickers in my birth bag in case anyone saw them and judged me for having huge high-waisted knickers.

But a few days into me being in hospital, the last thing on my mind was laundry and getting my husband to do trips home to sort out my situation - so I was left with these big granny knickers.

I reluctantly put them on, and they fit perfectly around my still puffy and very squishy post-partum belly, and they were so comfortable and just loose enough to hold my super jumbo maternity pads. 

I went through the five pack very quickly, and then suddenly, laundry was at the top of my list of 'things for my husband to sort when he gets home'. 

I needed that underwear because no other underwear came close to making my birth region feel like it was being coddled.

Listen: A 32 hour labour and an emergency C section: listen to Leigh Campbell's birth story on The Delivery Room. Post continues below.

These knickers made my nether regions feel like they finally had a voice and were seen for the first time - like when you first see a therapist or when you meet a person that just gets you. 

To top it all off, my ass looked great in them - and I proceeded to wear only the knickers around the house when I finally got home, because they were super comfy. And with a breastfeeding baby, my breasts were hot, saggy commotitties

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As all the fluid in my body started escaping through all of my pores, my once short and fluid-filled legs disappeared and my real legs reappeared - and with the granny knickers in full swing, it made me feel like my legs went on forever! 

The knickers were my staple, and I frequently entered the lounge room to show my husband how good my butt looked.

Once I had settled into motherhood and started wearing clothing, I would pair my granny knickers with my maternity workout leggings from Active Truth, which are the greatest workout tights known to man. I absolutely do not use these for any form of exercise, but I can only assume they are good to exercise in too. 

When the tax man gave me some pennies at the end of financial year last year, I thought I would treat myself to a new wardrobe for my new body. I was just going to get a few things because this new body was only temporary and breastfeeding was going to make me slim at any moment.

I went to the shops and faced the change rooms. Along with trying to avoid looking at myself for too long, I found myself shocked that I had gone up two sizes. I made an agreement with myself that I would not buy anything more than two sizes up. So, with stores not being consistent with their sizing, I got a pair of mum jeans a size too small because there was no way in hell I was accepting my ass had grown thrown sizes. 

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So, I now had a brand new outfit for my new temporary mum body and it absolutely did not fit me.

I felt really low. I had just given birth, and my concern was my weight and trying to look put together as a new mum.

Truth be told, I don’t have it together most days. I am last in line for being put together in the mornings, and my hair has been in a bun since they started my induction. 

I went to my parents' house in my really tight jeans and complained to my mum about how stupid I felt about caring about my weight, but at the same time not wanting to go shopping again because I wasn’t ready to face the change rooms.

She went inside, and when she came back, she had a bag full of t-shirts she'd grabbed from her wardrobe. She told me I could keep them, and she would buy me more so that I wouldn’t have to go back to the shops. I am forever grateful for my mother (the t-shirts fit perfectly by the way, and are actually made for people with boobs!)

A few years ago, one of my family members mentioned they needed to lose the baby weight on social media. I was shocked - how could anyone’s focus after a baby be on their weight? How is that even something that comes into your head after building a human? 

Once I fell pregnant myself, I started to realise how prevalent it actually is.

I remember being pregnant and worrying about how rapidly my weight was going up, but I was frequently told that breastfeeding would make me lose weight. 

There was such an emphasis on this, and it really clouded my judgment. I haven’t shifted weight since breastfeeding and it has taken me a while to come to terms with that, and that's okay.

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I recently went to a first birthday party and saw mums with newborns walking in, and I couldn’t help but compare the fact that I didn't look as small as them and I had a much older baby. 

Some days I feel like I needed to keep a pram close by so anyone that judged me would notice I had recently had a baby, and therefore not judge me as hard. 

I didn't want to share that, because I want it to seem like I have beaten the system and no longer care, but this whole process is not linear and no two days are the same. 

I have days where I don’t care because my priorities have shifted and I only care about my daughter, and I have days where I think I look better in a bigger body. 

Each day is different, and I have found that noticing when you feel good about yourself helps, but also to not be so hard on yourself when you do feel like you need to surround yourself with baby paraphernalia just so people correlate your weight or disheveled exterior to a baby.

I have learned that you absolutely do not need to LOVE your body, but accepting it, although challenging, is just so much bloody easier. 

Image: Supplied 

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I no longer look at my bigger body as being temporary. Even before pregnancy, I was in a temporary body.

It has taken time and work to finally get into this headspace, and the best thing I ever did was unfollow accounts on social media that encourage weight loss or perfection.

For some really good insights into the diet industry and just how bloody cooked it all is, I have a “follow” highlight on my Instagram if you would like to have a gander; and in the meantime, go get yourself a pair of giant underwear!

This article originally appeared on the blog Mummy Neutral and has been republished here with full permission.

To hear more from Heather, follow her on Instagram.

Do you have a post-partum story you'd like to share? Pop it in the comment section below.

Feature image: Supplied

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