I was resigned to the fact that my body would change after giving birth – after all I had carried and birthed an 8lb 8oz baby.
Of course, as many people reminded me, having a baby is obviously worth the changes but I still feel pretty crap about waving goodbye to my lower abdominals.
Fortunately, I didn’t put on excessive amounts of weight (thanks to a combination of pregnancy yoga and 3 months of constant nausea) but I was all front bump and at 32 weeks my skin began to stretch beyond its capability and I could feel the stretch marks smirking at me. I was really gutted, especially as my mum didn’t get any and I had used the recommended bump oil.
My skin had such a glow during pregnancy but post-birth the inevitable happened – my hormones went crazy causing clumps of my (already thin) hair to fall out and my skin to go oily and dull.
Throw in some dark circles from all-night feeds and you get the picture. My little boy is obviously 100% worth it and lots of these things corrected themselves gradually and naturally over the course of the first year.
However I still needed a bit of help, so I tracked down some great products:
Best for stretch marks
I could tell that stretch marks were inevitable when the skin on my tummy started to itch. So I started googling “Why me?!!!!” and “Why the hell don’t celebrities get stretch marks”. Celebrity bikini bodies didn’t really help my self-esteem at this stage, and on top of the raging hormones this caused a couple of weepy moments for my pre-baby body.
I did come across an article in which Miranda Kerr mentioned using rosehip oil on her skin to prevent stretch marks. Maybe this could be my elixir and turn my body into that of supermodel… not that it was like that before! However prevention was too late for me by then, but I have started using Pure Potions Rosehip Oil (£18.99) and my stretch marks are definitely fading – yay!
Although saying that, they may just reappear as and when baby number two comes along…
Best for the face
I have long been a fan of the natural probiotic range of products from Aurelia, so I turned to this brand when I found that at six months post-birth my skin was still veering between oily and blocked pores/dull and dehydrated.
Best for those dark, dark circles
I tried numerous products that claimed to diminish dark circles and was really disappointed to find that many of them just didn’t work.
Even undereye concealers didn’t do the trick. Initially, I put it all down to continual broken nights but when we started sleeping through the night and the purple bags were still staring back at me I knew I was going to need a bit more than a good night’s sleep to shift them.
Finally, I came across Dermalogica total eye care (£39.20) – a lovely lightweight product that can be used day and night and has an SPF for extra protection. It really has helped and my dark circles aren’t quite so dark any more.
Best for dull, thinning hair
I didn’t worry too much about my hair falling out, mainly because I was too tired to care and even now with a 1 year old I find that just washing my hair on a (semi) regular basis is a bit of a luxury.
It did start growing back once my hormones settled down post-breastfeeding, but it still seemed dull and lifeless and in need of a boost.
Personally, I found that pregnancy hormones were awesome for naturally combating spots and sweat, so it was a bit of a shock when I then turned into a walking BO machine post-birth.
Thankfully this was a short-term issue, caused by pregnancy hormones leaching out and an inability to shower (practicality and pain wise) with a newborn baby.
I wish I had known at the time about this wonderful natural aluminium-free deodorant from Moogoo.
It actually works (my husband who walks to work in the city can even vouch for this) and is a great alternative if you are looking for something more natural whilst you are breastfeeding.
Do let us know if you have come across any other super-duper products for new mums.