Words: Sarah Rohoman
Shina Pierce, from New Zealand, says she suffered from severe postpartum depression after giving birth to her twin daughters.
The now 29-year-old had always dreamed of being a mother, but for the first three months post-birth, she struggled to leave the house and would be overwhelmed by her emotions.
After welcoming daughters Harper and Nicole in 2016, Pierce’s weight had reached 208 pounds. After recovering from a difficult pregnancy and delivery, the young mother said she was less focused on her appearance, and more on her energy levels.
“I did want to get back to my pre-baby body and it was definitely a hard adjustment. Although honestly, I was more concerned about how I was going to get through the sleep deprivation than my body,” Pierce tells the Daily Mail.
“I had no energy as I was getting up every hour for the first month or two as well as that I had a second-degree tear and I found it hard to just move around or sit down. I spent the first month recovering from the tear and surgery.”
As she adjusted to life as a busy mum, Pierce began getting back into fitness and resumed light exercise by taking her daughters out for walks.
Eventually, she returned to her pre-pregnancy weight of 126 pounds and decided that, despite her stomach looking different after pregnancy, she wanted to celebrate by entering into fitness competitions.
“I’m definitely proud of it [my body] but there are definitely times that I wish that the saggy skin would disappear, I actually don’t care much about the stretch marks at all, it’s mostly the loose skin,” she admits.
Before her first competition, Pierce reveals she was initially self-conscious and compared herself to the other competitors and models, some of whom had also had children.
“I just had to remind myself that I did this for me,” she explains. “I had to remind myself the reason I wanted to go on stage was to prove to myself that I can get out of my comfort zone and that I can do anything I put my mind to.”
Pierce chronicles her journey and love of fitness on social media and hopes that her story inspires other mothers suffering from postpartum depression to stay strong and have hope.
“What I’ve learnt about my first year being a stay at home mum and postpartum, I learnt that the best thing you can try to do is stay positive as cliché as it sounds, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” she says.
“I just wanted to share that so if there were any mums or any women out there who were going through the same thing, that it is possible to get over hurdles.”
—Watch the latest videos from Yahoo—
Read more from Yahoo Style UK: