A body positive influencer revealed childbirth was so traumatic it left her with PTSD – and slams the idea about ‘bouncing back’ after having a baby.
Hannah, who posts under the username @h0mesickhan, often shares self-love content to her 8,200 Instagram followers.
The 23-year-old, from East Sussex, previously spoke to Daily Star about how she has learnt to ‘love’ her psoriasis – an incurable skin condition that causes red and itchy patches.
However, after the gruelling birth of her son Carter, the mum noticed her psoriasis getting worse whilst she was diagnosed with PTSD.
The senior care worker has now blasted beauty ideals for women and has condemned the notion that women should aim to get their pre-pregnancy body back.
She told us: “I feel like women are pushed into believing that we have to look a certain way and be a certain way to be 'desirable' and that there is only one type of beauty, but that couldn’t be more wrong.
“We are beautiful and powerful just the way we are and we should be so proud of the individuals that we are.
"How boring would it be to be the same as everyone else? We set our own beauty standards.
“As a mother, I think the main struggle for me was two things.
“First, the 'bounce back body'. Not every person who has a child gets their body back straight away, some people don’t ever get their bodies back to the way they looked before having a baby.
“The pressure to look like you’ve never been pregnant and not birthed a baby, after actually creating a whole new life and having a baby is unreal."
She continued: “It is okay not to look the way you did before growing and birthing a life, our bodies did an amazing thing and we should be proud of the bodies we have and what they do for us.
“The stress of childbirth has made my skin very bad and it’s still really bad now, currently waiting on an appointment with my dermatologist to get more help and to try new forms of treatment to help with the discomfort.”
But, the physical part of giving birth was not the only factor to Hannah’s health. Many people often do not consider the mental effects on women who go through childbirth and are quickly whisked into the world of being a parent.
She explained: “Second, the need to always look and seem like we’re okay mentally, when actually childbirth and becoming a parent is one of the most mentally challenging and traumatic things I think I personally can go through.
“As beautiful and magical as childbirth is, so many things can go wrong, post-childbirth can cause so much stress and pressure on our minds.
The influencer admitted: “I have PTSD from my childbirth and that’s something I never even imagined or thought about getting. I never thought I would have a traumatic birth…
“I thought I needed to show everyone I was okay because I was now a new mum with this gorgeous baby boy, who of course I was and still am totally in love with, but I wasn’t mentally okay and I had to pretend and show everyone that life was 'perfect', because I’ve just had a baby, and it should be.
“But that wasn’t the case for me and I think it’s so important to not expect people to look and be okay all of the time and to understand that just because something amazing, like having a baby has happened, it doesn’t mean we can’t feel any sadness, fear or other not so positive emotions."
Hannah revealed that she had an excruciatingly long childbirth which lasted over 18 hours.
She said: “I was in labour for 18 and a half hours, three of those hours I was pushing.
"And then my son got stuck and his heart rate spiked really high, so I was rushed to theatre, prepped for a C-Section, but managed to get away with an emergency episiotomy and forceps delivery which took about two hours from start to finish.
“My son was absolutely fine, he came out perfectly healthy and weighed 9lb 4oz. He was (and of course still is) absolutely perfect!
“I lost just under a litre of blood and was very weak and poorly for a good few weeks after having him. I had to have blood thinning injections for just over a week after birth and had to take iron supplements due to the amount of blood I lost.
“It was all pretty scary, I ended up getting quite bad mental health wise after birth. I'm a lot better now with coping and I’ve accepted the whole birth side of it more now.
“It was a hectic 24 hours!”
You can follow Hannah on Instagram here.
To access more information about PTSD, you can do so by reading the NHS website here.
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