I Remember the feeling I had after Paul's Birth - when I was finally allowed to take a bath... I looked at my body in the mirror and I did not recognize it. Ok so the florescent lighting and clinical white hospital bathroom did not really help with the look and feel of the situation... It was hard to take in..

I inspected my body in shock and looked at every piece of stretched skin - Every part of cellulite - each part of me feeling more tender that the previous. I honestly felt broken, and ugly - a little bit like I had been destroyed. And that is speaking harshly - I know that now - But in that moment I was able to mourn my body and what it was before child birth for the first time.

Having a baby is so confusing - you will never be the same again, and there is nothing that can prepare you for it, but nevertheless when they place that baby in your arms and instinct kicks in and even though you have no idea what your doing, in many ways you automatically just cope. And allot of the time we moms don't get the time to fully comprehend what happened to our bodies because were just so busy focusing on keeping this tiny human alive.

Although your body feels broken it can be fixed - and it happens differently for each of us - it looks differently for us all. Some of us are lucky enough to return to the before - some look better than before , others have a whole 'new' look -

I've said before that after Paul I didn't wait long enough to get back to things - and in many ways I feel like there was a lack of information out there 4 years ago regarding postpartum recovery. There was the general rule of thumb, but for people like me who wanted to get back to it fast, because we love exercising and training so much - I felt like there was a bit of a gap. So everyone told me to just relax and recover - I didn't know what that meant, so I tried to do it my way.

It hurt - it was hard and sometimes I felt like I was doing more harm than good... Never the less I persisted. I strongly believe my Pelvic floor never recovered fully. and I still struggle with it allot. Read a bit more about it here: My first Run after birth

But looking at pictures of then - haha I feel like I was looking great! haha I'd love to look like that even now! But here are some pictures.

About 6 weeks PP
Won my Mothesday 5km trail race in 27min, Crazy -don't think I can do that again, lol

With Lily I took more pictures and was not as active after birth - We were in Lockdown - so I took the time to heal and take things easy. The recovery felt harder and I enlisted the help of a personal trainer to bust my but and get me ready for Otter in 3 months ( the Race was 7 months PP but I only did strength training from 3 months more or less) Here are some belly pictures after birth:

Postpartum with Lily was hard, because I was at home with a Toddler and a newborn and my breastfeeding journey was off to a terrible start - Lily had such a bad latch - I for sure thought we were gonna stop Breastfeeding b 4 months if we didn't get our shit together.... It was terrible...

I believe the lockdown was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to relax and enjoy the time with the kids, but also helped allot because no one else on social media could really go running, lol - so no FOMO or pressure from there for me. I started doing some online Video's as per my Running Coach at the time - Brendan Lombaard. And then I enlisted the help of a personal trainer close by to keep me on track - LivFitWoman by Jessica - I loved training with her and financially I wish I could have kept it up! Definitely check her out!

I think the hardest thing for me recovering postpartum the second time around was mentally and also the dynamic shift my family went through. I started a YouTube series called 'Baby2Otter' and had such high hopes to share every detail of my journey with you guys but, life just got crazy, mentally , physically en financially. So I'm still planning on finishing the series - and the Postpartum part is just a hard bump to move over - everything involved into getting to race day- was just crazy. My next post will go into a little bit more detail on that -

Postpartum is hard - We tend to loose ourselves in motherhood - But I promise you'll come out stronger!

Happy Running



Here is the first video of Baby2Otter if you are interested:

written by

Jani du Toit

Mother, Blogger and Pattern maker from Pretoria

Age group: 30
Club: ASICS FrontRunner

My Disciplines
Half Marathon Trail 10k

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