parents

"It’s been three years since I gave birth to my last child and I'm still dealing with the after-effects."

Falling pregnant was such a joy and in between violent bouts of morning sickness, I felt really happy. I couldn’t wait until my tummy swell and my skin glowed. I couldn’t wait until I got that line from my belly button down to my hoo-ha.

I looked forward to every change I imagined would happen to my body and in the movie in my head, it was wonderful. And in that totally incorrect movie in my head, mere days after giving birth, my body would snap back into shape and everyone would exclaim, “Oh wow, you look sooooooo skinny”.

This belly will gone soon.

So convinced was I that I would spring back into shape, that I packed my hospital bag with pre-pregnancy clothes. Yep. I did that.

The reality was rather different. It’s been three years since I gave birth to my last child and I am still dealing with the after-effects.

Here are 8 things I wish I’d known would change about my body when I became a mum. Brace yourself…

Just as an FYI, this post is sponsored by PeriCoach. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

1. My stomach has a turkey gobble.

After my first child I had a small amount of loose skin on my lower tummy that I couldn’t get rid of. After my second it seemed a little looser but I tried not to think about it.

After my third child, my lower tummy now has a pronounced turkey gobble. I can no longer wear low rise jeans. Everything has to be mid rise and control top and shaping.

On the up side, the kids love it. My daughter in particular, who being my third child really is responsible for the state of my stomach in my eyes, loves to play with it, while I secretly save up for a tummy tuck.

One day…

2. My bladder is easily frightened.

Years later and I still don’t have the control over my bladder I used to have. I have to wear a liner EVERY DAY and any time I cough, sneeze, jump or get up from a chair too fast I’m incredibly happy it is there.

Why have I lost so much bladder control? Why, why, why? Oh, I know why. It was those babies I carried who played trampolines on my pelvic floor.

Did you have fun, kids? Did you have a good time? Good. Well worth mummy wetting herself then.

But all jokes aside, Urinary Stress Incontinence doesn’t have to be a normal part of life. It’s NOT normal to wet your pants or have wear pads for this when you’re an adult and nor should you put up with it. We’re grown women, after all. If this is a problem for you too, do your research, because there are ways to help.

3. My hair is much, much thinner.

During each pregnancy my hair would become thick and shiny and full. Thank you, hormones. However in the weeks after giving birth, clumps of it would fall out.

Thanks you, hormones.

My hair is now decidedly thinner than before I was a mum and all my hairstyles involve styles that exaggerate it’s fullness like using volumisers, drying it with my head upside down, gentle teasing and lots of treatments.

4. Boobs, what boobs?

What Boobs?

I no longer have boobs. I have socks with tennis balls in them attached to my chest. When I lie down on my back they fall under my arms. Then, they look like fried eggs.

Where art thou, my breasts? I used to be a D cup. Now I’m an optimistic B, or a B with padding. It really is quite sad.

ADVERTISEMENT

I sometimes smoosh them together in my hands in front of the mirror to remind them of my perky, pre-child self. They used to just sit there on my chest, standing at attention. Now bras are a necessity as the skin that used to be my boobs races down to my tummy.

It’s really quite gross.

5. Hemorrhoids, ouch.

I have no idea how I ended up with haemorrhoids after having three c-sections. Clearly there was enough pressure down there to cause them to just emerge.

For those who have never experienced the unique discomfort that is haemorrhoids, it feels like a bunch of inflamed skin grapes are hanging from your anus. And when you poop, oh boy, it can really bloody hurt.

There are lots of tricks to deal with them and an unpleasantly slimy cream I sometimes use. My doctor explained that it was the pressure from the weight of carrying my children that caused them and I could have them removed in an operation.

No way Jose.

6. Excess ear wax.

Clean them out.

 It was during my second pregnancy that I lost hearing in my right ear and ever since then, every six months I have to use drops and then have it flushed out.

Not my left ear, only my right.

My doctor says this isn’t a result of my pregnancies. He says as I get older I shed more skin and to moisturise my ears when I moisturise my face, to prevent the dry skin falling into my ears. Apparently dry skin makes up most of the volume of ear wax.

But I think I’ll continue to blame motherhood, because it only happened during my second pregnancy, and sometimes I think my ears spontaneously block to give me a bit of a break from the madness. “I can’t hear you kids!”

7. Excess weight, and water retention.

You know how THEY say, “It took nine months to put it on, so it will take nine months to take it off.” Well, if I meet THEM, I might just slap them because here I am years later, still struggling to get the weight off. No, it has nothing to do with the six fruit roll ups I eat each day.

It’s MOTHERHOOD.

I also retain water like nobody’s business. I bloat up immediately whenever I forget to drink water and at that time of the month and it’s quite uncomfortable. I wake up with sheet creases across my face that take a good hour to pop back out.

And although I cling to some items from my pre-motherhood wardrobe, I really should release them to someone who still fits into a size 8. Because there’s no way I’ll ever get there again.

8. Skin tags.

During each pregnancy I’d get these red moles and little skin tags. I have since had the skin tags removed and have little scars as a result, but the red moles are here to stay.

I have two on my left boob, one on my right shoulder and one on my right knee. Very, very strange.

But considering the previous items on this list, not a big deal. I’d swap ten more red spots and five more skin tags for, say, bladder control and more hair. Sadly I can’t choose the changes motherhood has made to my body.

If only…

What major changes have you experienced since giving birth?

How beautiful does Kate Middleton look pre, during and post pregnancy?

PeriCoach is a personal trainer for pelvic floor muscles for women who suffer Stress Urinary Incontinence.

This debilitating condition is mostly caused by trauma to the pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Around 4 million Australian women suffer from incontinence and it is estimated that by 2030, more that 5 million women in Australia alone will be affected.

Designed and developed in Australia, PeriCoach comprises a discreet sensor device, web portal and smartphone app. It works by evaluating activity in pelvic floor muscles and this information is immediately transmitted via Bluetooth to a smartphone. From there it can be uploaded and accessed by via a cloud based portal and shared with a healthcare professional, such as a women’s health physiotherapist, who can analyse and make recommendations to achieve the best results.

More information can be found at: www.pericoach.com

Light blue and pink butterfly illustration. You click, we help. Shooting star illustration.

Mamamia is funding 100 girls in school, every day.

So just by spending time with Mamamia, you’re helping educate girls, which is the best tool to lift them out of poverty.

Thanks for helping!

Light blue and pink butterfly illustration. Girl with pigtails sitting at desk writing in notebook. Row of four books.
Three hands holding books
00:00 / ???