Can I talk to you about this issue? I can only relate from the lense of my own experience but I know the post-partum belly affects people in different ways.
As I began to grow at about 12 weeks I was excited and still in disbelief. By 20 weeks I had a nice round bump. Knowing I was carrying twins I'd slather the Bio Oil on after every shower in the attempt to not be too disfigured. Now, can I share something unique with you? In the flat we were living in during my pregnancy - in Hong Kong - in the master shower was a large mirror. Yes, you read that right - inside the shower! Throughout my pregnancy I would marvel at my belly and now I look back at that as a gift during that time period. But, I also cautioned myself about what that same tummy would look like in the mirror once they came out.
I made it all the way until 38 weeks and then had the girls by c-section (read my birth story). I suffered minimal stretch marks only really around my belly button area which got stretched so thin my husband thought maybe they'd poke through! My c-section scar is nice and neat and small and barely noticeable. But my belly button - destroyed. I mean wow. I have diastasis recti (where your abdominal muscles separate down the middle), and an umbilical hernia (where my intestine is poking through said separated muscle). It's knarly to me folks and something that hasn't improved with time. Probably surgery to fix it and remove some excess skin could be in order but I still need to lose a little weight.
I only gained about 25 lbs in my pregnancy (I swear they took everything I had and I was trying to gain weight in the end). But to this day I still carry that extra 25 lbs and try as I might I can't lose them. I'd say half of that resides in my tummy area. Can we say mummy tummy? It's a real thing. Do I envy those women who pop out a nice tiny baby and bounce right back like nothing happened? A bit. But I had a good pregnancy and I grew two new lives. I'm thankful for the experience of having twins and everything it took to get there (see my fertility journey) and I'll take the mummy tummy if it means I got my sweet girls.
In the beginning, right after you have your twins you will feel like a tiny supermodel but look like the average 6-7 month pregnant woman. With all that weight and bulge gone you'll feel so light and slim. But looking back at pictures I'm like whoa nelly - look at that belly! Oh, and cramping as that overly distended uterus comes back down to a more normal size - worse than my c-section that's for sure. So be prepared for that!
Maybe you'll be like that friend I knew who had twins and waltzed into our moms group all tiny and put together and fashionable with her newborn twins and sat and nursed them and didn't miss a beat (see my breastfeeding journey). Maybe you'll bounce back like that! I however was a hot mess most days, flabby and barely dressed. It's ok, just go with it. You're keeping two tiny humans alive. Something that may help is a compression band. Something to help support those weak and stretched out muscles as they heal and come back together. Especially after the c-section. I wish i had gotten myself a band from Belly Bandit or something like that. Maybe it would have helped. One thing I know is that my back continued to ache because I had no core at all and I was carrying babies around in a carrier or just in my arms. Support would have been good. my-breastfeeding-journey.html
That being said - I'm always on the quest for improving myself and I continue to work on it. Embrace where you are and love yourself and what your body has done because having kids changes you. But don't ever give up on yourself.
Hi! I'm a mom of 5 year-old fraternal twin girls. While I'm by no means an expert - I do have stories to tell and ideas to share.