Beauty queen’s new trauma after ‘nightmare' birth
FORMER beauty queen Courtney Thorpe has revealed she's gone from a size 8 to 16 as she opens up about the pressure to lose her "baby weight" after the traumatic delivery of her first child.
Ms Thorpe, 29, who is married to Gold Coast Titans footballer Jarrod Wallace, gave birth to the couple's daughter, Kennedy, seven weeks ago after a "nightmare pregnancy and delivery" in which she and the baby nearly died.
She is urging other new mums to stop hating their bodies and said going up four dress sizes was "confronting" but it was important to "enjoy your baby, learn how to be a mum, and let your body heal".
"I don't mind people knowing that I'm 87 kilos; during my pageant days I was dangerously thin, a stick figure, at only 52kg," she said.
"I put on 30kg during pregnancy, and you know how people tell you the weight will fall off when you start breastfeeding? It doesn't happen."
The former Miss World Australia, who plans to return to her presenting role on Channel 7's The Great Day Out next year, said there was "too much pressure on new mums to drop weight".
In an Instagram post this week, she shared a photo of herself naked, with Kennedy.
"I am struggling with my post-baby body," she wrote.
"I avoid mirrors and photos at all cost, but I wasn't going to miss this moment of the first time I had a shower with my girl. I still don't recognise myself or feel comfortable with myself, but this photo made me realise how much it actually doesn't even bloody matter.
"I've got extra weight, stretch marks, cellulite and a big old scar, and yeah, I'm still going to struggle with all that, but hopefully, I can remember to thank my body sometimes, instead of hating it, because it made me a (sic) Mumma."
Ms Thorpe suffered severe morning sickness and said eating helped her feel better.
Kennedy was born six weeks' premature and she said they nearly didn't survive.
"Doctors have told me it was touch and go for us both, but I was in theatre (for an emergency caesarean section) so was none the wiser.
"I had pre-eclampsia (a complication characterised by high blood pressure) and lost all my amniotic fluid."
Clinical psychologist Helen Elliott said social media and "seeing celebrities bounce back" had placed unrealistic stress on new mums to be slim, and this was "taking the shine off" a hugely significant period in a female's life.
"These women are going through so much adjustment, with their body, emotions and lifestyle, and should be practising self-compassion and quietening that critical voice in their heads," said Ms Elliott, of Brisbane Wellbeing Clinic.
"When women are consumed by returning to their pre-baby weight, it's unhelpful for their mental health."
Model Megan Gale has also struggled with her weight, and earlier this year revealed she regretted signing a contract stipulating she return to her pre-baby size within months of giving birth to her son River, now 5.
"I decided not to pick my battle at the time, but I thought if it comes to a head, and people say, 'Why aren't you with such and such a client anymore?' I would say they sacked me because of this," she told the Tales from the Fourth Trimester podcast.