Hating My Body (Shantel)

age 23
1 pregnancy
3.5 post partum.

I have always loved my body for the most part, I’ve always been attractive and confident. It is very difficult to see myself the way I look after I had my son because this isn’t the me that I see when I think about myself. I honestly think my belly is hideous it is the worst stomach I’ve seen out of anyone I personally know that has been pregnant. I have seen worse on the internet, but honestly not too many seem worse than mine. My boyfriend claims to not mind at all but I know he does, he rarely have sex anymore and I cant help but think its because of my stomach. I hate it and its really hard to have confidence. I weigh 124 right now i used to weigh 110 so Im really not that far off weight wise but its wrinkly and saggy :( I would wear a size 5 if it were not for my belly and i have to wear 9s.

the first picture is a nude picture of me right before I got pregnant.
the second is of me while I was VERY pregnant. not sure exactly when but it wasn’t long before I had Connor.
the rest are all of my 3.5 months postpartum.
please excuse all my clothes on the floor lol
me with clothes on
and the last is of me and my baby boy Connor

Updated here.

10 thoughts on “Hating My Body (Shantel)

  • Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 7:25 am

    You look great hun!!!.. your only 3 m pp. Look at my pics.. I looked the same at 3 m. Now I’m 4 years still a bit saggy but confident now in ny skin.. blessed and tortured

  • Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    First of all, Connor is adorable! Such a big guy for 3.5 months. Second, 3.5 months! That’s NO time at all, and you’re already just 14 lbs away from pp weight. Please give yourself some credit. Your belly doesn’t look terrible. When you’re only 110 pounds, even 5 lb makes a huge difference in appearance (I know because I’ve been between 110 and 115 all my adult life, except when preg and postpartum, and 5 lbs is a lot for this weight range). So, after you lose some more weight, you will be surprised as to how your belly looks. Mine looked an awful lot like yours, and now it’s flat and toned. It did take work, but what you have isn’t forever. In another 14 lbs, it will be flat. Maybe it’ll never be the SAME, but the rest of us isn’t the same, either. Be patient with yourself! Also, your BF may be refraining from sex bc he’s also adjusting to new fatherhood; don’t blame it on yourself!

  • Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    You are hot! Your BF is not thinking anything about your stomach, I am sure it is about your confidence. You look amazing, really, and any man would tell you so in a heart beat. don’t be so hard on yourself!

  • Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Firstly, you and your baby are gorgeous. I love the photo of you at the end with him, smiling together. That’s motherhood. You look so happy.

    I could speak about feeling good about where you are right now and hopefully other people will but I also wanted to empathise with the changes you’ve gone through. It can be hard to come to terms with where our bodies are after we’ve had babies. However, things do and will improve, especially as it’s all new. 3.5 months is nothing in terms of postpartum recovery (it takes at least 9 months before things really start to come together with me). The only thing I would say is that I think you might have a slight diastasis in your lower abdominals (this is where the muscles don’t come together, which basically means you have a thinner and weaker layer of mucscle which your abdominal organs below push and pouch again. This is possibly why your stomach is slighly pouching and you’ve got the vertical fold/crease underneath your belly button. I had a diastasis after the birth of my twins and my stomach looked quite similar to yours. Ot wasn’t until I’d closed the diastasis through specific exercise that it really improved. Google diastasis recti and Tupler Technique and you’ll find really good advice on the right exercises (steer clear of normal abdominal exercises like crunches as they make it worse). The good news is that you can close the separation. It took me about three months to do but the improvements started showing after a couple of weeks.

    I think we should feel happy in our skin and love ourselves as that’s a true gift we can give our children; growing up with confident, happy mothers. If part of that confidence is tied up in how our stomachs look then so be it. If that makes you feel happier then that’s good and right for you. I know I feel happier and more confident when I’m physically strong. No one is going to tell me I don’t look good enough and my stomach isn’t beach perfect, as it once was. The answer is it’s good enough for me. That’s my great source of confidence and happiness – that I’m passing onto my daughters.

    I guess I’m trying to say, in a very long and roundabout way, is that there ARE things you can do to improve your stomach if you want to. It’s very early days and I do think things will really improve (seriously – sorting my diastasis and doing pilates at home in front of my tv did wonders for my tummy after twins!). Be kind to yourself, enjoy your lovely, gorgeous baby boy and TALK to your boyfriend. He’s trying to say the right thing at least. Maybe tell him you don’t like how your body is at the moment but you’d love his support whilst you heal (becuase your body is still healing three months on) and get strong again.

    I promise you all will be well. Love your baby and love yourself and all will be well.

  • Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Please, don`t be so hard on yourself – it`s only been 3,5 months since you gave birth. t took me 2 years befor I felt that my body were mine again after having my son. Big hug!

  • Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 11:43 am

    OMG I HAVE A SIMILAR belly button line like you…that’s my least favorite feature on me, but u are only 3months pp..i’m 6 years..and tho i do crunches, its there, but then again i have 4 daughters…i’ve learn to accept tho i dont i like it. you’re beautiful and your tummy will go down more, mine did! Congrats and best wishes!

  • Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Firstly, I want to say it is GREAT you are so close to your pre pregnancy weight already! That gives you a huge advantage!

    Second, I want to say my stomach looks a lot like yours. I am only 5’1. I gained 80lbs and saw 200lbs on the scale day of induction. My son came out 9lb 13oz. I have TWIN SKIN without ever having twins. Saggy and tons of loose skin and stretch marks. There is NO tightening that without cosmetic surgery. Yet, I got over it. There were still days I thought, WHY ME? Why couldn’t I just bounce back? But, for the most part, I didn’t think about my stomach so much. I stopped thinking I was ruined and ugly forever. How? I focused on the things I COULD change! I had 40 lbs to lose at over a year post partum. I began P90X and started to focus on the positive transformation of my body – my legs got firmer, less fat. My butt lifted some. My arms looked nicer, and I lost the “fuller” look around my shoulders, chest and back. All around, I was starting to look really awesome! My abs even started to firm up, but yes… there was still loose skin. Some people get all the luck, NOT ME!

  • Monday, February 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Remember. Like everyone else is saying u r only 3.5 months pp. Give it.a while. And with working out and doing excersise that foucus on toning. Like pilates . U will to a 5 in no time and see awhole new tum tum in thre mirror. Remeber u r not alone. All of us mothers have postp. Bodies. U r beautiful no matter what.

  • Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I know exactly how you feel. I’m pregnant again and due in two weeks, actually. I had a 9lb son. I’m 5’1 and gained 50 lbs with him. (I was 140 pp) and I got “twin skin” below the navel because of an abdominal seperation.

    It took one year for the sag to thin out. I still had a mild “Butt” line from navel to pubic bone but aside from that, I was relieved I looked sexy in clothes again. And even more relieved my boyfriend loves me. He said, “After watching you push our son out with such amazing fast feat, how could I not love you??

    Unfortuantely, baby girl here is 7lbs and I have three weeks to go. She’s also hanging out dead center of my navel and I have an anterior placenta this time. My skin cracked above the navel now and is presently feeling like it’s tearing apart. I can only assume my “butt, twin skin” is extending to an inconcealable part…above a belt line. And sure I’m feeling sad about my body all over again, that’s why I’m on here. To find support.

    But what I can reassure you is, I did NOT look great 3mo pp. I looked like you. BUT the muffin top goes away and the silver lines thin out and the skin will pull back in over time. All I had left was that dent like you have but the sag was almost gone by the time I got pregnant again. But it wasn’t fast. Give yourself a year minimum and then try to be hopeful and kind again that it may take a little more and some parts never go away but you won’t look like that forever. At least not to that degree. Chin up. Peace and love. (And I will try the same)

  • Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I think skin wrinkles and sags more when you try to lose wright too soon after a pregnancy … You have to give your skin time to slowly shrink back . If you start losing the weight too fast it makes the situation worse .
    I think two years is a reasonable time to go back to per pregnancy weight ..
    3.5 months is very early and things will look better but don’t rush it and give your skin time to retract .
    I had that look around six or seven months pp and now it’s very very mild but my girl is three years old now . It took about that long to go back to flat ..
    Good luck lady !

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