Kate Ferdinand joins celebrities in sharing the reality of post-partum bodies

Kate Ferdinand has shared her post-pregnancy body, 10 days after giving birth. (Getty Images)
Kate Ferdinand has shared her post-pregnancy body, 10 days after giving birth. (Getty Images)

Kate Ferdinand shared an image of her post-baby body 10 days after giving birth and said she didn't recognise her own body.

The former The Only Way is Essex star, 32, welcomed her second child, a daughter, Shae, with her husband Rio Ferdinand, 44, in July and shared that her newborn baby was born with congenital pneumonia.

Now Kate has shared a candid video documenting the lead up to the birth, as well as the emotional aftermath of her arrival via c-section.

In the footage, shared on her YouTube channel Blended, Kate can be seen posing in her underwear as she discussed the reality of her post-pregnancy body.

Filming herself as she stood in front of a mirror in her dressing room, Kate said: "This is what a real body looks like after giving birth. God it's been a whirlwind. My recovery has been good but I am still really emotional and I am getting annoyed at everyone because I can't do things."

She continued: “It's a lot going on. I can't believe my body created this but I also don't recognise myself or my body, it is such a big adjustment. But this is our last baby so I am just trying to enjoy every minute of things."

The reality star joins a slew of celebrity mothers who have felt empowered to share snaps of their postpartum bodies as part of the body positivity movement, including ex-Love Islander Molly-Mae Hague, singer Jessie J, model Ashley Graham, and TV star Stacey Solomon.

Most recently former Love Island contestant Montana Brown was praised for sharing a bikini photo of herself just seven weeks after giving birth to her and partner Mark O’Connor’s son, Jude.

This summer, 33-year-old Loose Women presenter Solomon also shared a series of selfies that showed her wearing bikinis, swimsuits and cover-ups, four months after she welcomed her fifth child.

Jessie J also decided to celebrate and normalise sharing postpartum bodies, posting a topless snap of herself just 11 days after giving birth to her first child.

She shared a black-and-white photograph of herself and wrote an inspirational caption about embracing her body after pregnancy, both for herself and for "any one else that needs to read this".

"Take your time. Be easy on yourself, your body AND your mind. Remember you are in recovery and don't forget to also remind those around you. Celebrate your new body," she told her followers.

However, for new mothers who aren't celebrities or influencers, seeing other women's postpartum bodies can sometimes spark insecurity or the urge to compare themselves to one another.

Watch: Kate Ferdinand talks about being judged, never feeling good enough and how meeting Rio changed her outlook

Why are so many celebrities sharing what their bodies look like after giving birth?

Georgina Sturmer, a counsellor who specialises in working with women, says that more celebrities feel empowered to show their postpartum bodies as people are more open to seeing different body types on social media.

"Our culture is changing and we talk more openly about many of the taboo aspects of our life experience," she explains. "This includes stories and images around menstruation, pregnancy, miscarriage, fertility, menopause and the postnatal period."

Sturmer adds that seeing "unfiltered, real-life images of postpartum bodies" can be help more people "expand our understanding of what is considered to be normal and acceptable as part of the rite of passage of giving birth".

"It's not just about mothers seeing these images themselves. It's also about knowing that everyone around us is getting used to seeing the reality of the postpartum body."

Why might it be uncomfortable for some women to see celebrities’ postpartum bodies?

Although the snaps shared by celebrities have good intentions and are meant to empower their fans, some people might find the postpartum period to be a "time of vulnerability" and "of shifting identity", Sturmer says.

"For many women, our sense of who we are is linked with the reflection that we see in the mirror. During pregnancy, our changing shape and size is prized in society, with images of pregnant women 'blooming' and 'glowing'," she says.

Read more: My postpartum psychosis left me so unwell I forgot I’d had a baby (Yahoo Life UK, 7-min read)

"However, there simply isn’t the same narrative when we consider the postpartum body. We might be a different shape or size than we used to be. Or covered with stretch marks, leaking breasts, or scars from birth. These changes might stay with us for the rest of our lives."

While seeing celebrities celebrate their postpartum bodies can help remind new mothers to be accepting of how they look, they can sometimes also "add to the pressure that we pile on ourselves", Sturmer adds.

"We might still not measure up to the image of postpartum beauty that they display on screen. And this could make us feel more self-critical or pressured to 'bounce back' to our pre-baby selves."

How can new mothers overcome this pressure?

Sturmer urges new mums to remember that "comparison is the thief of joy" if they find themselves comparing their bodies to that of celebrities on social media.

"While these photos might be positive in promoting real-life, unfiltered images for us all, it's important to stay grounded and accepting of your own reality," she advises.

"Remember that everyone is different, our prenatal bodies, our birth experience, and the time and capacity that we have to look after ourselves while also looking after a baby."