Matrescence: body

Note: This post contains descriptions of pregnancy and post-partum. It may be triggering for anyone who has struggled with infertility, loss or traumatic and difficult birth/post-partum experiences. These experiences are my own and I acknowledge that they are not universal.

The first thing to change was my body.

My expectations of pregnancy were cliché: nausea, morning sickness, random cravings, and of course the inevitable growth. But what I didn’t expect was the fatigue. It hit me sharply and unexpectedly, like an alarm clock after a sleepless night. Honestly for me, the fatigue was the worst part of the first trimester.

And then came the growth. My pants and tops got tighter. My shoes got tighter. My rings got tighter.

There was now only a certain part of my wardrobe that I could fit in to. I started packing away clothes that no longer fit. It was like packing away a part of my life that I wasn’t sure would ever return.

But I expected this right? I knew my body would change.

Photo by Leah Kelley on

Fast forward to just after the birth. Talk about a lot of changes to your body.

When you’re pregnant, the physical growth is gradual. It is almost imperceptible day-to-day. You have time to adjust to your growing body; to become acquainted and understand how it feels.

Then all of a sudden you’re in another version of your physical self. Not your pregnant body and not pre-pregnancy either. My post-partum body felt foreign, uncertain. I felt like I was a stranger in my own body.

At the time though, I don’t think I gave it too much thought. I was too busy trying to figure out how to parent. And I had an equally powerful appreciation for how strong my body was to go through pregnancy, birth and now feeding and sustaining a baby.

But months later when my body had mostly healed from birth, the feelings remained. My tipping point came when I was set to attend a friend’s wedding.

Photo by Lukas on

I was about three months post-partum. I needed something to wear for the wedding. Everything I owned that I would have worn to a wedding either did not fit anymore or wasn’t breastfeeding friendly. Having a newborn and our families interstate meant that I left finding an outfit down to the last minute. Of course.

It was now less than a week before the wedding and we were now interstate. I had ordered a dress online but when it arrived and I tried it on, I felt so frumpy it’s not even worth a simile. So I searched through as many shops as I could (remember shopping in person? That was fun.) and found few options.

Long story short, I ended up crying my eyes out one night at the fact that I could not find anything to wear that I felt comfortable in. Amongst the downpour I realised that it wasn’t just about the clothes.

I didn’t know how to feel beautiful in my new body. I didn’t know how to feel comfortable in my new body. I didn’t really know who I was in my new body. Not yet anyway.

I can’t claim to have always been secure about my body image, but I never anticipated this new arena of insecurities to emerge the way it did. Having a ‘mum bod’ was challenging how I saw myself and all in a pretty short period of time.

Photo by mododeolhar on

It’s been a few months since that night and my body is still changing. I feel a bit more at home in my body now and it’s not because of my current size or shape.

I’m trying to give myself permission to do things big and small that make me feel a little more like me. Like buying myself a new pair of jeans that actually fit me now. Or making some simple adjustments to old clothes to make them more breastfeeding friendly.

As I continue to put away clothes that don’t fit me right now and make or find new ones that do, I hope I can always see myself in the changes. See myself in this season of life no matter what I look like.

I did find something to wear to our friend’s wedding. I could breastfeed in it and I had a really wonderful time. It was our first event as a family and when I look at the photos now, I can see how beautiful we all are. Mum bod and all.

Attending our first wedding as a family of three

Have your own experience of pre- or post-partum change? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a reply below or email me at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s