Did pregnancy make you loathe your body?

May 5, 2011

I heard a very sad story yesterday about a mum I know who felt her body was so ruined by having two children she had cosmetic surgery to try to make herself feel better about it. Ultimately, it didn’t help. Her marriage ended and she was left with the same poor body image she’d had ever since she gave birth.

I’ll be really honest – my body was never the same after giving birth. I have stretchmarks, a jelly belly, and if I laugh too much, it’s often a rush to get to the loo. But I could never hate my body – after all, I grew my baby inside it, so it’s pretty damn amazing in my eyes. Yes I’m overweight at the moment but after I’d given birth I was actually very slim, so I can’t blame my weight gain on pregnancy – I blame it on greed.

Did pregnancy make you loathe your body – or do you still feel proud of what you’ve got? I’d love to hear your views.

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  • Sam May 12, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I loved my pregnant body, though that was probably more about the rough road I had to take to get there than anything else. But boy did it change my body. Sometimes I hate it, but most times I just ignore it, which is easy when you have no mirrors in your house! Having said that, I could never contemplate surgery. I am what I am now, just slowly but surely coming to terms with it. It is as you say, the mark of the miracle of nature.

  • Lucy May 8, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    I would get my tummy sorted out if I had the cash. I worry that I’d become obsessed with another flaw, as a friend of mine has after getting a nose job, breast implants and botox (she still isn’t happy). I go to Zumba class twice weekly, run, follow a diet plan and my stomach still has a life of it’s own, it’s like udders when I bend! No amount of pride in my 3 children and confidence in my relationship will match my loathing for my ruined torso.

  • northernmum. May 5, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Honestly. I loathe mine. I can cope with the road map on my tummy I see that as the route my babies. I can even cope with breasts tickling my navel after breastfeeding but I loathe my stomach. I stretched so much after twins. That I have a dead piece of skin which we fondly refer to as my flap it hangs down and I hide pencils in it. So yes if I had a spare eight grand I would happily get of removed.

    • Liz Jarvis May 5, 2011 at 9:02 pm

      Hide pencils? Really?

      Honestly my stomach is like a squishy space hopper.

      • northernmumn i May 5, 2011 at 10:24 pm

        really, i can lift it up and it makes a clapping noise when I jump.

        hmmmm – maybe i should stop typing now…..

  • Tina Bolton May 5, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I was fascinated by my body during both my pregnancies- I think the pregnant shape is so beautiful. Ultimately it’s why I set up the photography business 8 years ago. Unless you are Liz Hurley (who gave birth around the same time as I did and v quickly looked amazing) you need to feel happy in any shape, then you can take steps in your own time to improving it especially as it did such a wonderful job in the first place!

    • Liz Jarvis May 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      I think it’s wonderful that you found the pregnant shape so beautiful – unfortunately though many women don’t feel beautiful, particularly if they’re experiencing problematic pregnancies.

  • This Mid 30s Life May 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Each to their own – if someone wants to go ahead with surgery to make them feel better, I’ve no issue with it. For me, I’d do anything to avoid going under the knife so even if I hated my body (which I don’t) I could never do it.

    Personally, I loved my pregnant body. I was less thrilled about it afterwards, and it will never be the same as it was – but it was hardly perfect to start with. It never will be perfect either.

    I think we should just focus on being healthy and happy. Much more fun. But I do revel in the odd fat day, it’s a woman’s right.

    • Liz Jarvis May 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      I think my issue with surgery is when there are underlying emotional issues which aren’t sorted out first.

      I quite enjoyed being a Babamama and I agree with you we should focus on being healthy and happy.

  • Ruth McAllister May 5, 2011 at 8:32 am

    I’m proud that I breastfed both my children; the first for 13 months, the second for 7 months. But my boobs bare the strain of that now: flappy. I sometimes wish for how they used to be, but that would be wishing my children away. Of course pregnancy changes you. My boobs changed and I lost weight (yippee), and it sorted out my polycystic ovarian syndrome (double yippee). We should not expect to stay the same throughout the whole of our lives. We’ve alot to owe to the wonders of nature!

    • Liz Jarvis May 5, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      I feel the same way as you (although bit jealous of the losing weight thing).