Gemma Atkinson shares 'reality' of C-section recovery as she shows candid belly snaps months apart

Gemma Atkinson
Gemma Atkinson -Credit:Gemma Atkinson Instagram

Gemma Atkinson has been praised by fans for sharing the 'reality' of her own C-section recovery. The Hits Radio host has made no secret of the good and the bad when it comes to welcoming children into the world.

Bury-born Gemma and her dancer beau Gorka Marquez welcomed their first child. daughter Mia, back in 2019. But it was a dramatic birth which left her needing an emergency cesarean when Mia's heart rate dropped after every contraction.

Hours after Mia's arrival, attention quickly turned to the new mum as she began to haemorrhage with Strictly Come Dancing star Gorka previously speaking about the horror of seeing his fiance covering bed sheets in blood. Gemma later praised the 'incredible' NHS staff at the Royal Bolton Hospital who saved her after the ordeal-filled childbirth.

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And last year, the couple excitedly welcomed their second child, son Thiago, into the world and while Gemma was hoping for a Vaginal birth after caesarean section [VBAC], she ended up having to have a second C-section and while it wasn't planned, it was a much more relaxing experience compared to the first and saw Gemma reunited with the same surgeon who delivered Mia.

Now, as Thiago nears turning 10-months-old, Gemma has shared the reality of her post-partum recovery and shared two different pictures showing her scars shortly after becoming a second-time mum and more recently as she holidayed in Tenerifewith Gorka and their two children.

"The reality of my 2nd C section. 3 days postpartum to now," the 39-year-old started the caption of her post. "The amount of messages I get from new mums asking is it normal for them to be sore & swollen after a section is unbelievable. A C section is a BIG operation. It’s essentially birth & abdominal surgery. They cut through 7 layers to get your baby out and in my opinion there unfortunately isn’t enough information about the after care.

"I was bruised, swollen & tender for a while with both mine, and I didn’t even contemplate exercising until around 15 weeks PP. It just isn’t worth it. I know some women who are so upset at having to have a section they can’t even look at their scar. When my bandages first came off I was shocked at the mess my tummy was in. It hurt when I coughed, sneezed, had a poo and when I held Mia & Thiago. I couldn’t even open the fridge without being in pain."

Gemma continued: "Now is a completely different story. Its barely visible and has turned from pink to a very pale white. It used to be tender to touch but that stopped after about 6 months. I regularly massage it myself in bed with oil to increase movement & flexibility around it. It also helps soften the scar and decrease scar tissue build up.

"Believe it or not, after I had Mia it was actually my friend who’s a PT who advised me to do that when it had fully closed. I had no clue I could but he said to me I must when the time is right in terms of healing. I then booked my mummy MOT @mummymotmanchester and they confirmed that he was right!

"So to anyone who’s had a C section or is due one, take you time postpartum. Be kind to yourself and your body and allow the healing process to take place. I strongly recommend a Mummy MOT but I know it’s not possible for everyone so try to do your own research. Online, from other mums, women’s health specialists. Ask the questions. Don’t be left feeling worried & anxious about how it looks because it will in time heal."

The former Emmerdale and Hollyoaks star rounded off post by adding: "I’m at a place where I see my scar and smile because from it I have two beautiful healthy children. It’s my permanent reminder marked on me forever. I'm so grateful to the staff at Bolton hospital for delivering my babies the way they did."

And Gemma was quickly praised for her honesty. @snailwell_shaw said: "We need more of this thank you." @gembarnsey9 commented: "Love this! I'm also a mum to my two from having C-sections and I feel the exact same! Well said." @hayleigh_russell1 replied: "You absolute legend for sharing this!"

@rosieedge wrote: "Thank you so much for sharing I'm 8 months post partum following a c section and I really beat myself over how much recovery has affected me." @cheryl_swallow shared: "Thank you for being so real & honest." @christinamanson81 added: "And some people dare to say C-sections are the easy way to give birth! Post recovery can be so hard. Thanks for sharing."