Raise your hand, first time mummies, if you naively thought you’d slip back into your skinny jeans minutes after popping out your beloved baby? Ok, not minutes, but did you expect to be faced with a saggy empty belly that felt all squishy after birth?
Nope neither did I. And truth be told, it was a bit of a shock – but that’s because no one really told me – even though it seems so obvious in hindsight.
Looking back, I think I was suffering from expectation that my body should snap back into shape, instead of enjoying the change and letting vanity take a back seat for a while. Coming to terms with the disappointment tainted my first few days of motherhood, and if I could change anything about the experience, it would be that – oh ok, and maybe a bit more sleep as well.
And that’s exactly why we love this picture by photographer Lacey Barratt, who has shared the raw honesty of her own body after birth.
The fact that this images has been shared and liked and celebrated across social media is very good news because it shows the the tide is turning away from pressure to be back to pre-baby body. It's an enormously important step helping mummies embrace their new body, the changes and the challenges. Parenthood is about earning the scars, working with the new and not looking back (well maybe, but in a happy-to-be-me misty-eyed kind of a way).
It’s time to be real about the changes and approach brand-new motherhood more gently, without judging body shapes and sizes. Our favourite example of this? Kate Middleton leaving hospital with wee bonny Prince George in her arms, blissfully glowing, hair flowing and just the tiny suggestion of a post-baby belly reminding us all that’s what a real woman looks like.