7 pairs of trousers & not 1 pair fits: the realities of a post-pregnancy body

Everyone knows that once you become a mum online shopping is infinitely easier. No attempting to navigate the ridiculously narrow aisles in clothes shops run by beautifully dressed women. No rushing out of a shop red-faced as your child screams blue murder. No trying to squeeze into a changing room cubicle. No awkward explanations as to why you left the shop when your child was holding a pair of socks you hadn’t paid for. You get the gist: ordering online is the way forward.

However, there are pitfalls to this method. You can’t see the style or fit and you can’t work out whether the sizes look like they come up big or small. It was these shortcomings that led me to a sad situation. I had ordered 7 pairs of trousers, a few in an optimistic size and the rest in a realistic (but larger than I would like) size. Not a single pair fit. Even (I can’t believe I am admitting this) the maternity trousers I had ordered just to make sure I wasn’t in this situation. Yep, trousers made for pregnant women don’t fit me.

A pile of folded trousers

I am ashamed to admit I cried. I shed a few tears because suddenly my body was considerably bigger than I wanted it to be and the reality of my wobbly tummy was dawning on me. I have never been a dieter, I’ve not worried too much about my weight or size but suddenly I am reduced to tears because my belly is too big to do some trousers up? How ridiculous!

As a woman and a mother you are continually bombarded with diet and weight loss tips. ‘Lose the mum tum!’ the adverts cry. Magazines run features on ‘How to get your pre-pregnancy body back’. It starts in pregnancy when you are told the importance of moisturising and given free samples of stretchmark cream. Post birth in hospital they give you a booklet with exercises to do, as if that’s on your mind in those hazy hours post-labour. The media is full of stories about celebrities who lose the baby weight within a few short months. Why are we so horrified at showing any signs of the changes our body has gone through? Are stretch marks where we made room for these babies to grow really that offensive? Is having a wobbly tummy the worst thing when it means a healthy baby?

I was crying over a few pairs of trousers. I needed to have a word with myself. This body has grown and birthed a beautiful baby boy. It now feeds that boy, keeps him growing and healthy and strong. This body allows me to lift, cuddle and rock my son to sleep. It allows me to walk around the park pushing a buggy, lets me stroll on the beach with him in a sling and it is this body that I dance ridiculously with when I am having a bad day and want to make my baby laugh. I need to LOVE this body. I need to sing it’s praises and rejoice in it.

The trousers don’t fit. So what? I am going to put my comfy leggings back on, pick up my son, throw him into the air and smile. My body is wonderful and impressive and strong. I am lucky and grateful and proud.


I’m very pleased to say this post originally appeared on Huffington Post.

Cuddle Fairy
Diary of an imperfect mum
Rhyming with Wine
Pink Pear Bear

45 thoughts on “7 pairs of trousers & not 1 pair fits: the realities of a post-pregnancy body

  1. My youngest is five weeks old and my eldest is eleven months old, I have had many of the same feelings this morning as I tried to squeeze into my jeans! Throughout my pregnancies I never really worried, and being pregnant for a considerable amount of time its only just dawned one that I don’t look like I used to! This post has made me feel much more positive, I am lucky! Time to enjoy it!
    Great post 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such an honest post, I remember post pregnancy putting so much pressure on myself to try on jeans that fitted my body from before pregnancy, it was such an emotional time, looking back on it now it was silly when you consider how much your body goes through. #bloggerclubuk

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thank you. A friend said to me to remember it’s just one moment in time! It’s true, we will never look back on these baby days and think ‘I wish I had tried harder to lose weight’ or ‘I should have worried about my tummy more’ are we?! Thanks for your lovely comment and for reading, Ellen

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post on HuffPost and here. We never know what’s going to knock us whether it’s seven pairs of trousers not fitting or 8 new grey hairs BUT I love your final points. Our bodies are so impressive, amazingly so in fact. Mind bogglingly so. You get my point. We all win whatever size or shape at this moment we are. #BloggerClubUK

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  4. I don’t know why, just I never struggled with losing baby weight. I was lucky, I guess. I suspect it stems from a slightly warped relationship I have with food and diet after being quite overweight in my early twenties (and I didn’t have any excuses then but far too much cake and pizza!). Your body is amazing, and even though it’s hard to love it some days (and okay not to all the time) you are absolutely right; it has done and is still doing an incredible thing in carrying, birthing and feeding a baby. You deserve to feel good about yourself, and I really hope you can. #BloggerClubUK

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    1. Ah thank you for your lovely comment. I seemed to lose a lot straight after the birth but put some back on – breastfeeding makes me hungry all the time!! But yes it’s not always easy to appreciate our bodies but we really should. Thanks for reading, Ellen

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a full bag of clothes that I should really go and have a look at before I deam them as not fitting. I last sorted them a month after pregnancy into I’ll never fit in them again! I think I might now. Great post, well done on getting it in Huff. (I’ve not been clothes shopping in over a year!) #triballove #BloggerclubUK

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  6. I have to admit I’ve mostly given up on trousers. Leggings all the way for me – so much more comfy and less hassle about trying to guess what size I’m supposed to be. I love your final reflection on being proud of your body being wonderful and impressive and strong – sometimes we need to stop and remember just what our bodies have been through to be where they are now – and these gorgeous little people are so very worth it! (even if being a few pounds lighter would be very nice too!) #triballove

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Louise! I think that was part of my problem as I live in leggings, dresses or stretchy skirts so wearing something which you have to actually do up around your waist was inevitably going to end in tears! Thanks for reading, Ellen xx


  7. Great post! I’ve been living in elasticasted waists since giving birth, much more comfortable& slightly less time to put on! My body has definitely changed shape but I know it took 9 months to grow the bump, it will take at least that for it to disappear! Well done for sharing such a positive message about a delicate subject. #stayclassy

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  8. My wardrobe of choice is leggings and baggy t-shirts they are so comfy!!! But seriously I try not to think/worry too much about my weight, you are right it’s health that matters… I love this post. TY for linking it up to #FamilyFun 🎉

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  9. You beautiful lady, its 5 years later and my stuff still doesn’t fit and I haven’t Kate Mossed off my mummy tummy. I need the energy too much to diet and trying to piggyback 3 stone of child up a hill from school is my workout. I cant completely castoff my uncomfortableness with my new figure, but that is socially induced vanity, I feel I should be something different. Like you said we made people and hey now I have boobs. Upside. We think you are amazing and leggings are the clothes of goddesses #Familyfun

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  10. it never changes, my kids are teen and pre-teen and I still have days where nothing fits (i’m not sure I can still blame baby weight can I lol?) and anyway leggings will always be much more comfortable, wobbly belly or not! 🙂

    Ps I literally just done the ‘walking out while kid in pram holds socks I haven’t paid for’ when I had my nephew the other day! mortified!! haha #fartglitter

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  11. Mother has really been trying to tone her tummy with running and diet (goodbye, bread) but in her more thoughtful (hungry) moments she is proud of her amazing tum that housed me. A lovely post x #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I still can’t fit into my pre pregnancy jeans or trousers (actually any of my clothes) and a fair few trousers I wore during maternity too! My body was stretched beyond recognition in the last few weeks of pregnancy, I went 2 weeks over, my tummy muscles completely split open (and unfortunately it seems they are destined never to return to normal leaving me with an obvious pooch and baggy skin still 16 months later) my stretch marks even stretched and started to bleed I was so ready to pop. I went from 8stone to 12 stone (or maybe 13, who’s counting really)…BUT….I have a wonderful healthy little boy, and that is the one thing that gets me through those horrible, teary eyes moments standing in front of the full length mirror. I have friends who were in bikinis a couple of months after giving birth – I’ll probably never wear one again, and sometimes it is hard to accept. It’s a shame we are always so bombarded by negativity and diet recommendations. I’m still breastfeeding and that’s a good enough excuse not to need to diet for me 🙂 #Fartglitter

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ah completely agree. This is a great reminder for all of us Moms, we need to remember that our body gave life and is still giving life every day, breastfeeding and carrying and teaching our little ones. As you’ve said, it all starts with those moisturising samples and then follows you with ‘How to get your pre-pregnancy body back,’ you know what, fuck my pre-pregnancy body! That pre-pregnancy body was nothing compared to what my body can do now! : ) Thanks for sharing with #StayClassy!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post! I lost the baby weight quickly but skin is stretched and I seem to put weight on more easily now. But somehow I think I’m fitter than I’ve ever been because the twins keep me so active! It sounds as though you, too, are a very active and involved mama, and that is so much more important than your waistline!

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  15. This is such a lovely post, yes it’s traumatic but you are so right. I’m only tackling it 3 years post second baby! My wobbly bits had wobbly bits but I didn’t let it bother me. Now I just want to be fit and healthy just to be able to run about after them and not embarrass them at the school gates, looking damn hot in my jeans would just be an added bonus! 😉 #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I am 3 months post natal so definitely feeling this at the moment! I also did what you did with the trousers – I ordered myself about 6 pairs of jeans recently and same: not one pair fit. I am now squeezed in my old ones with a hairband to extend the button, it does not feel attractive! But unlike last time I am not putting pressure on myself post baby no 2. I really do think the body naturally won’t budge that weight for at least a year – with baby 1 I did every diet and exercise plan going and it made no difference but suddenly fell off for no reason 18 months later (and I decided to get pregnant again, ha!) so like you I am just proud that I birthed another amazing child and not worrying too much about it this time #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry I’ve only just seen this, silly spam filter! Well it’s good to know it’s not just me, haha! That’s really interesting, perhaps I will be able to wear trousers again in another 6 months or a year ha (probably to then get pregnant again too!!). We definitely have to cut ourselves some slack. Thanks so much for reading, Ellen

      Liked by 1 person

  17. What you describe is the reality! I had the same experience – three times! Once after each child. What we see on tv & on the media is not reality! I lived in leggins for years – just enjoy your baby. Don’t stress. Oh and I found a pair of dressy trouser with elastic waist – best thing ever. Thanks so much for linking up with #BloggerClubUK – sorry for the comment delay, I had no electricity & hence no wifi yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

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