“I am a mother. I am tired, broken and sore. I have lumps, bumps, marks and jiggly bits.” So begins the relentlessly honest blog from Julie Bhopal, a nutritional consultant and 2-time mother from New Zealand. In our society we are constantly confronted with pictures of women, who shortly after giving birth, in record time, have ‘their old figure back’ and pose in bikinis. However the reality for most women, who don’t have an army of nannies, personal trainers and diet-chefs, is quite different. To help these women not feel alone, Julie started ann honest photo-project after the birth of her second son.
Over a period of 14 weeks after her delivery, Julie photographed the often hidden and unspoken reality of birth and the effects on a woman’s body. “The body changes during pregnancy, extremely actually. It’s scary, it’s hard, and it can be downright disgusting and upsetting, but that’s real and normal”, wrote the mother.
The 1st photo shows her just 24 hours after the birth of the little Sahen “you can still look and feel like you have a watermelon (or two) inside you. It is often sort of lumpy and squishy too. I gave birth vaginally and it feels like a truck, not a watermelon, ripped through me.”
To the photo taken 2 days later, Julie commented: “Everything leaks. I mean EVERYTHING. I am a mess of body fluid. I am wearing not one but two enormous maternity pads, inside granny panties to try and contain the postpartum bleeding. Golf ball sized blood clots keep coming out. I have to keep these to be inspected and make sure it is not part of the placenta. Where has my dignity gone?”
But for all that, Julie has been abundantly rewarded: “I may never run a marathon again, don’t think my pelvic floor would survive, but I will run the parenting marathon day in and day out, my boys are so darn worth it – my god are they worth it!!”.
For all the new mothers, this blogger has an important message: “You may not look like the next Victoria’s Secret Underwear model, but focus on how you feel. Be kind to yourself and your body, you will look like how you are meant to when you feel good. It may take some time. It took me a lot longer to feel good following the birth of my first son then this time around. Doing what is right for you and your family takes courage, takes strength and as a mother, you have both. Nourish and love from the inside out and do not forget: You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are a mother”.
Julie Bhosale shows unedited and honest photos, and speaks openly about how motherhood REALLY affects the body – and that it’S perfectly okay and natural. Share these photos with everyone you know, and show all the mothers that they’re not alone!