Strictly Come Dancing lovebirds Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez are basking in newborn baby bliss after welcoming their son Thiago earlier this month. Their son, Gemma and Gorka's second child, was delivered via caesarean on 17 July.
On Monday, Gemma shared a candid post about her postnatal recovery - and was flooded with support from her fans. Sharing a filter-free video, the former Hollyoaks actress got real about the realities of birth, looking glowing as she bared her postnatal bump in the clip below.
Detailing her two-week recovery in the caption of her post, the Manchester-born actress told fans that breast pads, an "industrial size sanitary pad" and a swollen tummy had become her new normal.
"All the things postpartum we go through. It’s very common for tummy’s to stay swollen after pregnancy and they usually stay swollen longer after a C section due to the inflammation and abdominal swelling from surgery. So don’t worry if you feel you still look pregnant as I do here. IT'S NORMAL" wrote the mum-of-two.
Opening up about how she's trying to feel like her "old self" again, Gemma shared her plans to ease herself into light exercise and focus on caring for her body.
"I’m not expecting to look like my old self for months down the line yet. I haven’t even left the house other than pottering about in the garden. I’ve been mindful to rest as much as I can to aid recovery down the line," she penned.
"Every morning I’ve told myself 'I can do this'. Every night feed I’ve reminded myself 'thousands of women are now doing the exact same as me right now' and every time I look at Thiago I thank my body for growing, carrying and birthing him. 15 days ago he was in my tummy and that blows my mind completely. The miracle of life and the human body."
Gemma's fans were quick to support her in the comments, praising her honesty and encouraging her to embrace her new body.
"Thank you for the honesty and wanting to build others up, not knock them down!" wrote a fan, as another penned: "You look amazing! You should be so proud of yourself for being real! Showing other mums it’s normal to look the way they do after having a baby and not ‘springing’ back into shape, exercise and normal life because that's not reality."
Speaking about her eldest child, her daughter Mia, upon Thiago's arrival, Gemma wrote: "Mia is already the mother hen we expected her to be. We're all home together soaking up this lovely bubble before Gorks has to leave for Strictly rehearsals next week. Thank you for all your lovely wishes. Our family is complete."