The Postpartum Model

postpartum model

I did a photoshoot for A Model Recommends (my beauty and fashion website) last week – it was an ad feature for a new clothing brand called AND/OR. I have to say that I was slightly terrified, because I am still very much in “postpartum” mode – there are still bits of black adhesive on my stomach from the c-section wound dressing, for Pete’s sake! (To be fair, I could spend an hour or so picking them off with my nails, but I have neither the time nor inclination, so I’m waiting for the glue to just fall off when it’s ready. Which I would have thought would be round about now, seeing as though I have a hot shower at least once a day!)

Anyway, yes: the postpartum model. Good God, modelling is hard enough when your body hasn’t been stretched by two babies – it’s an absolute minefield when you’ve recently given birth. Here are some of the things that happened to me before, during and after the shoot. Things that could only happen, really, to the sleep-deprived, mind-addled, leaky-boobed postpartum woman. (The shoot was at my house, so that was handy. Also, I was – am – married to the photographer, so he knew that if he said anything remotely irritating I’d smash him over the head with a frying pan. This made things infinitely more bearable. Also the fact that I insisted we shoot inside, rather than outside as planned, because it was really cold and it would have made me miserable as hell. If only I’d had so much control over things in years gone by!)

postpartum body

Leg Shaving. The hairs on my legs were around half an inch long. I don’t need to shave my legs much, as my hair is fair and quite fine, but it had been around four months since my last shearing and so I was pushing it a bit. At 8.15am I started trying to run a bath so that I could get in and shave my legs; I finally got in the bath at 1pm, having fed the baby twice, cleaned up sick, studied the brief for the job, gone to the GP for a health check, returned, had a call with the accountant, re-run the bath and eaten a hurried lunch of leftover quiche and half a Tracker bar. I had made a big – BIG – deal over this bath because I have only had one bath since Christmas. Pregnant, I was too huge to fit in it and/or lever myself back out, postpartum I didn’t want to soak my scar. So yeah, I was really looking forward to this bath. Also, it was a necessity because one of the shots for the ad feature was me in a pair of shorts (crikey) and I don’t do any retouching to any photos for either of my websites, or social “platforms”, so the leg hairs had to be culled. Anyway, I finally got in the bath, put in my oils and unguents, did a face mask, got out, basted myself in firming body lotion, took off my face mask, applied serum and moisturiser, did my makeup, got into my shorts, and guess what? I HAD ONLY SHAVED ONE OF MY LEGS.

Wonky Boobs. As we started shooting, I realised that one of my boobs was about four times the size of the other. This was because one of them had been fed from and the other was engorged with milk. But the baby was sleeping! Cue me sneaking off to the loo to siphon some excess milk into the washbasin and even up my breast sizes. Imagine doing that at a studio shoot! Oh, the glamour, the glamour.

Breast Pads. I didn’t want to ruin the clothes samples with leaked milk, so I had to pop some breast pads into my bra, which made my boobs look even huger than they already are, which meant that I had to pose with my chest concaved in, which was made all the more difficult by the fact that I had to also make my stomach concave. So basically I had to pose in ways that made my entire torso retract into the far distance, whilst keeping my head in shot.

Breathing In. I had to breathe in so much that at some points I thought I might pass out. In the olden days, if I breathed in that much, my belly button would feel as though it was touching my spine. These days, if I breathe in, I can barely see a difference. Still, I had to do something with my deflated beach ball of a stomach, so I used a shoehorn to shove some of it down inside the jeans and then placed my arms strategically across my body. True pro, me.

If you want to see the final pics for the ad feature then it’s over on A Model Recommends here – the clothes are really gorgeous, the denim is incredibly flattering, if you’re looking for some wardrobe staples..

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27 Comments

  1. denbee
    March 28, 2017 / 12:40 pm

    The last sentence on the Breast Pads para had me laughing heartily. You look bloody fab tho!

  2. March 28, 2017 / 1:31 pm

    That behind the scenes has me in tears. Oh, the glamour!

  3. Gill
    March 28, 2017 / 1:34 pm

    If you get bored of waiting for the adhesive marks to come off, did you know you can get something called Zoff adhesive remover which is a bit like nail polish remover and it basically just melts the bits away!

  4. Anja
    March 28, 2017 / 1:53 pm

    Muahaha, one leg? Us Mamas really have glamour down to a pat, don’t we? Love love love the honesty as usual and the resulting photos look ace!

  5. March 28, 2017 / 2:21 pm

    Too funny Ruth! The bit about equalising the boobs had me hooting!

  6. Lina Tessy
    March 28, 2017 / 8:33 pm

    hahaha, you shaved one leg?? lol at least you made an effort!
    after having my baby years ago, i remember one morning looking at myself in the mirror and nearly screaming at the amount of hair i needed to plug from my eyebrows!
    well done mama, you gotta do what you gotta do 😉 and you look gorgeous doing it!
    x

  7. Charlotte
    March 29, 2017 / 9:56 am

    Despite all of the above you still look amazeballs – much better than I would have looked just after having a baby!! The clothes are lush too – especially that dress.

  8. Ciara
    March 29, 2017 / 11:33 am

    I’m 8 weeks pregnant and am loving your blog! Think it may become my new bible x

  9. Hannah Richards
    March 29, 2017 / 11:34 am

    This had me in fits of laughter! So nice to hear an honest representation of motherhood at its finest! You look fab as always.

  10. Emilie
    March 29, 2017 / 11:34 am

    Love your blog – and that you only shaved one leg! Haha. Currently 26 weeks pregnant and really enjoying reading your posts. You look amazing. xx

  11. Louise May
    March 29, 2017 / 11:34 am

    You look fabulous and loving your honest account of postpartum life xxx
    Enter me in the comp please!

  12. Laura
    March 29, 2017 / 11:37 am

    This made me giggle!! I love your blog posts! I too looked forward to a bath once my c-section scar has healed, twas an anti-climax though as our bath is tiny! Roll on new bathroom next year! Xx

  13. Tessa
    March 29, 2017 / 11:42 am

    Thanks for being so down to earth and sharing the realities of life after two! This made me laugh! Xx

  14. Mandi
    March 29, 2017 / 11:44 am

    7 weeks away from greeting baby no.2 (will be 20 months apart just like yours!) and I can only dream of looking this great afterwards. I miss wearing ‘nice’ clothes, feels like I’ve been pregnant FOREVER.

  15. Aislinn
    March 29, 2017 / 11:51 am

    I had my daughter 17 months ago and the thought of having my photo taken makes me break into a cold sweat! You look amazing!

  16. Jess
    March 29, 2017 / 11:51 am

    Oh Ruth! You are fab. I have a little boy the same age as your Angelica called Ted… the thought of having a newborn too makes me feel exhausted! You truly are superwoman. Love your blog x

  17. Georgina Stubbings
    March 29, 2017 / 11:53 am

    A Bath!! I must add that to my ‘to do’ list – like you too hefty to heave into a bath when pregnant and now I have zero spare minutes! It’s been over a year O_o

  18. Ani
    March 29, 2017 / 11:56 am

    God I can’t even imagine doing that after having a baby! I was such a mess after the birth of my daughter (being honest I still am five months later!!). You look fantastic though! And I really enjoy your blog 🙂

  19. Rhiannon
    March 29, 2017 / 11:58 am

    I’m a first time preggo and I’m from your hometown; friend tells me we took a taxi road home together once! Yonks and yonks ago of course!
    Anyway, interesting blog posts which are quite helpful for my pregnancy and dealing with the great “unknown”. Would love a Sleepyhead!!!!

  20. Lynsey R
    March 29, 2017 / 11:59 am

    Love this… the wonky boob siphoning into the sink brought back funny memories from early post partum life! My little one is 7 months now and I still don’t feel ‘ready’ for work… you’re doing a fab job with 2 under 2!! Xxx

  21. Cat
    March 29, 2017 / 11:59 am

    Ahhh, at 34 weeks I’m so tempted to buy these jeans as a treat for me post partum…but I don’t know what size to get!!

  22. Valerie cashmore
    March 29, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    Ha ha I love the honesty! I’m getting all the tips I can before I am thrust into the world of 2 under 2 in 5 weeks Would love the sleepyhead to hopefully make sleep a little easier (I can wish!!) x

  23. Chloe- Alice Ferrie
    March 29, 2017 / 12:02 pm

    Thank you for this post. I am a brand new mummy to my two week old daughter and I have felt insecure about returning to my ‘old self’. It is nice to read someone else having similar issues to me. Picture me kneeling in the bath whilst my husband holds newborn up to my boob whilst I try and breastfeed with shampoo running into my eyes. Not so glamorous. Your photos look fab, can’t wait for your next post on the uphill. Thank you for being honest and giving me a good chuckle whilst learning how to mummy!

  24. Kate
    March 29, 2017 / 12:49 pm

    Hilarious article, I’m three weeks postpartum so it’s really making me laugh, which hurts a little!
    Midwife recommend nail varnish remover, avoiding wound area, and it got rid of the black bits in less than a minute.

  25. Sharron
    March 29, 2017 / 5:44 pm

    Great post Ruth. Though it’s many years since I had a postpartum bod I remember it as though it was yesterday haha. Squeezing into my skinnies for the first time after giving birth to my gorgeous baby boy was a Herculean feat BTW you look amazing in those pics.

  26. Jan Shruger
    March 30, 2017 / 4:02 am

    You are such a trooper and so glamorous, love you.

  27. April 4, 2017 / 9:29 am

    This is hilarious. More posts like this please!

    The shaving one leg reminded me of one of my friends, who only realised the day after my wedding that she’d only shaved 1 armpit the day before so was dancing around all night flashine one stubbly pit. Strong look!

    Rachel x

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