Post Pardom: The Fourth Trimester

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I’ve given birth now three times. The most recent of which taking place just two weeks ago. During these times I have documented my pregnancies and the newborn period with professional photography but never the post pardom period. I’ve also never done a breastfeeding picture even though I’ve nursed a combined total of 39 months and counting.

When I saw the Fourth Trimester Project I was so inspired by the women baring their very real post pardom bodies. Bodies that were changed irrevocably by the experience of child bearing and birth. Not the airbrushed, personal trained, perfect six week post pardom physiques of celebrities which are way too prevalent in our society through our media.

Bodies which set an unrealistic example of what the aftermath of birthing a child is actually like. Bodies which tell us to have unrealistic expectations for the future of our own bodies and leave us to feel poorly about ourselves and our newborn bodies.

We live in a society that celebrates the pregnant woman and the newborn baby and then expects the post pardom woman to hide away, to get back into shape and to get back to work in six weeks or less. We live in a society that doesn’t acknowledge the post pardom time period as an important one. Post pardom depression wasn’t even a discussion until recently when Brooke Shields went public with her own struggles.

So when a good friend of mine offered to come take newborn pictures of baby Maddox, I asked her if she would also be willing to do fourth trimester pictures of me. What I am about to share is the result. My very real body just five days after a very difficult birth with my third child.

Peeling The Onion

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I describe this series of images as peeling an onion. Here I’m wearing the abdominal binder which helps so much after birth to hold everything together and relieve some pain.

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Here you see the lovely mesh underwear they give you at the hospital after birth. The pad along the incision line is to wick away any moisture after a shower since my stitches are dissolving and also to keep anything from tugging at the steri strips which run along the incision.

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Unpeeled. Five days post pardom.

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Side view. Either from the epidural or the pitocin, I developed a skin reaction that looked like I had bug bites all over my body. The nurses first noticed it in recovery on my left side and quickly realized it had spread.

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You can see some damage to the skin from the peeling off of the medical tape which initially covered the entirety of the incision immediately following the surgery.

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Me and my new baby. This is what my fourth trimester looks like. This is real. This is beautiful. This is love. and This should be celebrated.

If you happen to be in the Jersey City/Hoboken/Bayonne area, the Jersey Shore, or the Quabbin, Worcester, Leominster, and Fitchburg areas of Massachusetts. You can hire Kasandra from The Portrait Garden Photography and Dragons and Peanuts to do your one of a kind newborn, children’s and family portraits. She will also do location shoots and is willing to travel beyond those areas for an additional fee.

You can also find her and more recent examples of her work on Facebook at Dragons and Peanuts, on instagram @dragonsandpeanuts or you can email her directly at kzivers@gmail.com.

About The Author



I am a food allergy mama of 4 boys, a former fashion designer, and a master of the five point palm exploding heart technique, keeping it Fantastico.

5 Comments

  1. tory

    You look beautiful!!! I still have my fourth trimester body almost two years after having my sweet baby boy…I feel ashamed and embarrassed about having a c-section, I am still guarded of it in a bathing suit and in front of my husband, as I feel that it shows that my body was not able to do what it should. Thank you for embracing this, as I still struggle to do.

  2. Dawn Seddio

    Thank you all so much for your comments on this post and I apologize for not being way more timely with my response as I was on what you can call sabbatical from the blog after this birth.

    I feel like two years later that I should do a follow up with pictures that show that even after two years post pardom I still have a big enough belly pouch to make me look like the baby was just born or that another in on the way. The fact is my skinny jeans were so far from fitting that I ultimately chose to toss them in the garbage.

    I think it’s actually ok to not be fully accepting of your new body for acceptance sake. I think it’s okay to not want to hit the beach in a bikini if it doesn’t make you feel one hundred percent great about yourself. I don’t think we should drown ourselves in our husbands oversized clothes to hide but there are clothes out there that are structured to compliment a woman’s figure, regardless of how she herself feels about it. If we can dress our new bodies to compliment them, than we can build confidence and begin to heal those physical wounds of a child birth and post pardom body that wasn’t necessarily what we had planned on.

    For now though keep on rocking on ladies and know in your souls that you are indeed as beautiful or more so now than ever before! xoxo

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