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You spend nine months (not so) patiently counting down the days until your baby is in your arms. And when that day comes? It’s the most amazing feeling in the world.

But, for many mums, with this new baby bundle comes a sense of loss and ‘emptiness’ that the pregnancy journey is over. Sure, you may not miss the nausea or the cankles, but you probably do miss some aspects of pregnancy, such as the baby kicks. In fact, even if you had an awful pregnancy, most mums will feel some degree of sadness once it’s over.

When Does this Happen?

Most often these feelings occur during the first days or weeks after delivery but it’s possible to miss being pregnant for months, even years, especially if it’s your last baby.

Why Do We Miss Our Baby Bumps?

Hormones

Hormones is one of the biggest reasons. New mums are hit with some pretty heavy hormonal changes. You can go from teary to euphoric in a matter of minutes. With this cyclone of emotions comes the sense of grief and nostalgia for your bump.

The new mum haze

Lack of sleep, physical exhaustion and a massive change in routine can also have something to do with it. Not to mention the responsibly of caring for a newborn 24/7. After a few weeks of sleepless nights, it’s understandable to want to return to a time when the only thing waking you up at night was your bladder.

The shift of attention

For several months it’s been all about the bump. You’ve been told to rest and relax all in the name of the bump. Now the baby is here, the bump is gone, and the focus is on the baby’s wellbeing, not on mum. Understandably, this shift in focus can be a bit of an adjustment for us mums, especially considering new mums still need help and care during this postnatal period.

Goodbye pregnancy, hello baby!

But perhaps the main reason why mums miss being pregnant is because it was a pretty important job to have! To know you are growing something so precious inside is empowering and your baby bump is, in a sense, a reminder of just how amazing your body is. While you may not have your baby bump to remind you anymore, you do have something even better – your baby. And what an adorable reminder she is!

When to Be Concerned

It can take some time to find the comfortable zone in your new life. Don’t feel guilty about missing being pregnant and don’t be afraid to talk about how you’re feeling.

If you find this sense of loss is impacting your ability to find joy in being a mum, then speak to your GP, your maternal and child health nurse or call the following hotlines:

Maternal and Child Health Line: 13 22 29
PANDA: 1300 726 306
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

Jenna Galley

Jenna Galley is a journalist, editor and commercial writer.