“You really cannot prepare for your own journey. It’s wild. It will surprise you every day”.

Gillian Godwin

On the podcast this week, Gillian joined us for another ‘My Postbump Journey’ episode.

Gillian is a 32 year old mum of a 13 month old girl ‘Elke’ from Brisbane, Australia. We got deep on the pod and talked about her personal postpartum recovery, body shaming, mum guilt trips, returning to work and stay at home dads.

Settle in with a yummy drink and let’s dive into the interview!

Can You Tell Us About Your Delivery?

“I think [it] was pretty good. I’m happy with how everything went. I really wanted to have a natural birth and luckily I was able to do that, which was really nice.

“My labour was about five hours from when I got to hospital to when I actually had Elke. So that wasn’t too bad, either. All in all I’m pretty happy with how things went”.

Any Complications?

“No crazy complications or anything like that. I did have a little bit of a tear, so a few stitches at the end, but nothing crazy and didn’t really worry me too much in terms of recovery”.

How Was the Early Part of Your Recovery?

“It wasn’t too bad. I mean the first week or so, like everything’s obviously pretty tender. It’s just crazy what your body goes through when you give birth, but it wasn’t too bad. I think I sort of got out and about for a few walks and stuff like that quite soon after which was good”.

“In terms of returning to full on exercise, I didn’t put any pressure on myself to do anything like that. I mean, I used to love training before I was pregnant and during my pregnancy, I was still training all the time with my personal trainer. But because we had moved to Darwin, I sort of stopped seeing her because she was in Brisbane”.

“Because I didn’t really have anybody to go back to, I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself to start intense training or lifting weights or anything like that. I probably didn’t do any real training until I was about 10 months postpartum”.

What Are You Doing for Exercise Now?

“Just in the last couple of months, I’ve been back with my personal trainer a couple of times a week”.

“Still just going for walks along the waterfront and things like that. I’ve joined up to Pilates and I’ve been a couple of times, so I’m not really strict with my training or anything, but I like to do lots of different types of exercise. Just get the endorphins going, you know?”.

Do You Feel Limited Postpartum?

“I don’t feel too limited or anything now. I think at the start, within the first couple of months, I definitely would’ve been, I had like a little bit of ab separation but I think that’s resolved itself now. Cause I do feel fine when I’m training at the moment”.

How Is Returning Back to Work Going?

“It’s going really well. I’m really lucky. My partner is staying at home with Elke on the days that I’m at work, which is so nice”.

“When I go to work, I feel really good cause she’s just with her dad and you know, if he needs me, he can come to the salon easily with her and my clients love it anyway, if she was to pop in. So it’s been pretty stress free for me going back to work”.

“Really weird at the start. Cause I just miss her. I just had, you know, 10 full months of being with her 24/7. I had never left her. I never really had anyone look after her for a whole day or anything like that, but it’s really good. Now we’re into the swing of it. It’s really nice and she loves the time with her dad and they’re so, so close. It’s really cute”.

Have There Been Any Surprises Postpartum? Anything You Didn’t Expect?

“That’s a tough one. I think every day you’re surprised by what you’re going through and how much different it is to what you could have imagined, like even having close friends or family or whatever that, you know, you’ve watched go through it all before, and you’ve been so close with them and you feel like you’re going through it all with them”.

“You really cannot prepare for your own journey. It’s wild. It will surprise you every day”.

There’s a Lot of Talk About ‘Bouncing Back’ Postpartum- How Have You Navigated That?

“…I’ve struggled with fatigue and also feeling strong because before I had Elke, I was doing a lot of weights. I wasn’t muscley or anything by any means, but I’m naturally a very lanky, skinny person who always kind of looks a little bit underweight if I’m not training properly, my body, just that’s the way it is”.

“So that’s why I was kinda always on top of my fitness. To look a little bit toned is better than looking really gaunt, which I’m kinda prone to. So that was hard. After obviously not training the way I used to, I lost a lot of muscle, which made it look like I’d actually lost way too much weight”.

“I really struggled with body image from that perspective, because obviously if you lose weight people are very quick to tell you. And so I kind of struggled with that a bit and obviously I didn’t feel strong cause I did lose all my muscle. And so the last couple of months I’ve really been working on just trying to get all of that back”.

Stacey – “That’s an interesting perspective because I guess a lot of women have maybe the opposite problem where they put on more weight than they used to, and they’re bigger than they used to be. I’m sure people are quick to comment on [your figure] or feel like they’re allowed to comment on whether you look skinny. It’s so much more acceptable to pick on someone when they look a bit underweight, you know?”

Have You Had to Deal With Any of the Mum Shaming Trolls?

“Not really. I don’t think so. I mean, who knows what people really think? I don’t put a lot of personal stuff online, so people would really have no idea.“Like what I’m doing, what my little dynamic with my little family is. So haven’t really been subject to anything like that. I’m not super vulnerable online. So I don’t really set myself up to cop any people’s opinions”.

Thanks, Gillian!

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