The only time stomachs are interesting

pregnancy tummy

Goodness me, aren’t post-baby stomachs everywhere on social media at the moment?  It seems a few celebrities whipping up their tops to take a ‘telfie’ (tummy selfie) has inspired loads of other women to do the same thing in some weird this is what a REAL woman looks like kind of way.

Don’t get me started on the real woman tag. I’ve written about it before but in a nutshell, if you breathe and have XX chromosomes then you are a real woman; whether you do or don’t have stretch marks, wobbly bits, big bazoongas, itty-bitty bums, tummy aprons, or chook legs, or are a size 6 or 26. It’s a boring and unnecessary term.

Quite frankly, it’s all a bit of a snooze-fest if you ask me (even though you didn’t) and I just wonder why would women feel the nee—um, hang on a tic. I think I can take this in a new direction because if we’re talking about post-baby stomachs, let’s chat about IMMEDIATELY after you’ve grown and birthed an entire human being. That is interesting…

I suppose I can thank Hollywood for giving me the youthful and naïve impression that stomachs flattened out fairly soon after birth. As in, a few hours afterwards kind of soon. (I know — what an idiot.) It was only when I was 23 and visited a work colleague in hospital after she birthed her firstborn that I saw A LARGE STOMACH encased in a hospital robe. Could not believe it. That wasn’t like the movies! She still looked pregnant! *gasps*

Recently, I was watching my favourite television series (British drama Broadchurch) and saw something refreshing. God love the Brits for not shying away from reality, because one of the main characters had a new baby and in subsequent episodes over several weeks, was shown with a definite post-birth belly present under wardrobe. What a nice change.

With that in mind, here’s a picture of my tummy. Just ignore that something-something super-duper lame something-something I wrote a couple of pars ago:

two days before kitty

This was taken two days before I had my daughter. I was 23 kilograms heavier, uncomfortable, suffering badly from pelvic girdle pain, tired, cranky, visiting the bathroom 17 times a night, and (according to my husband) snoring — hence sleeping in the spare bedroom. Let’s not mention wearing a style of nightie usually preferred by pensioners. And some women feel sexy and attractive during pregnancy? PFFT. Surely the pained expression taken 17 months ago indicates that’s a big fat no from yours truly.

Anyway, I digress. Scroll back up and look at the size of my belly. Dear 24-year-old self, how on earth could you expect it to whittle down quickly? You twit!

Here’s a telfie again (far out, who am I?) of what I was rocking three weeks after giving birth:

three weeks after kitty

Yep, like my colleague all those years ago, it was a LARGE STOMACH that still looked pregnant. Surprise!

Now, every body is different during pregnancy. One of my girlfriends only put on eight kilos and has a slim frame. I asked her if she had the wibble-wobbles for a few weeks and guess what? The answer was yes.

Therefore, I can deduce from a detailed study of two women, that even if your babies were baked in the tummy-equivalent of a caravan (i.e. standard weight gain or less) and did not require plush surrounds (i.e. me), the jelly-belly is there in all its mooching glory for a while after giving birth.

I believe the correct name for it is a fundus.

For those reading this who’ve had children, it IS pretty fun, isn’t it? All the nurses and doctors palpate it whenever they see you, and sheesh, even I couldn’t stop prodding it; just floating around under the surface of your skin, all velvety and soft. It’s an odd sensation. (SIDE NOTE: But not quite as sensational as how rock-hard your chesticles becomes once the milk bar commences production, which is absolutely worthy of discussion and marvel with family, friends or strangers even though you’re normally quite a prude. *telling for a friend*)

And there you have it. In all honesty, the only time I think a stomach is interesting is during pregnancy and pretty soon after birth. I don’t care if you’re rocking a muffin top or a six-pack in the months or years following: they’re as dull as bottoms to look at, which is why I’ll draw the line at posting a pic of my tummy these days and leave that to others (I’m looking at you, celebs) who feel they must.

Oh alright, I’ll just give you a hint: it’s much smaller, very pale because it never sees the light of day, there’s a bellybutton smack bang in the middle that looks a little less like an O and more like an ~ these days, and two babies grew in there. The end.

Yours in fundus fun,








About the Author
Ngaire Stirling
Owner and Founder of Brisbane Kids, Ngaire grew up in Brisbane and lives with her husband, 3 kids and too many animals. She has marketing and teaching qualifications focused on the early year of schooling. She loves long summer days, bright starry nights and working on Brisbane Kids.

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