Millie Mackintosh has opened up about struggling to love her body in the months after she gave birth.
The former Made In Chelsea star, 31, was discussing her postpartum journey and admitted that she felt "ashamed" of her body after welcoming her daughter Sienna, with husband Hugo Taylor, in May 2020.
Speaking to Women's Health magazine, the new mum said: “It was honestly quite hard to see my body after a baby. And I think it is for a lot of women.
“It can really feel like a shock and something that’s hard to love, maybe – and hard to feel good about… I did feel self-conscious when I went out and wouldn’t want anything to be tight to my tummy.
“And, yeah, I did feel a bit ashamed of my postpartum body. And it’s kind of sad that I felt that… It feels good to admit that and say, yeah, I did struggle looking in the mirror for the first three months.”
Mackintosh went on to reveal that rebuilding her relationship with her body began with being honest about how she really felt.
When asked if she feels more positive about her body now, she responded: “I really do. It definitely won’t go back to being exactly the same as before and I’m okay with that… I feel more womanly, and I’m really loving it.”
Since becoming a mother, Mackintosh has regularly opened up about her postpartum body.
Last October, she shared a nude photograph taken while she was pregnant on her Instagram page alongside a ‘love letter’ to her body.
The letter was posted as part of a project called A Love Letter to My Body, which was started by a friend of Mackintosh’s who runs the @thisisfindingbalance Instagram account.
Watch: Millie Mackintosh shares her favourites workouts.
In an emotional caption accompanying the pic, the former reality TV star wrote that she has always been her "own worst critic".
“[I have] had a love/hate relationship with my body,” she added. “My hope in writing this is that I can remind myself how lucky I am to have the body I live in and to treat it with more respect and kindness.”
The star also previously received a wave of support when she opened up about how she felt about her body shortly after giving birth to her daughter, admitting it would be a “lie” if she said she felt happy with her post-pregnancy body and that comments she has received online have made things harder.
Alongside the relatable caption, Mackintosh shared a photo of herself in underwear holding her then nine-week-old daughter, Sienna.
"I try to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle and I count myself lucky that throughout my adult life I’ve felt and identified as pretty body confident but now all that has changed along with every other aspect of my life, which makes me look at my body in a totally new light and it’s been a big adjustment,” she wrote.
As well has her ongoing relationship with her postpartum body, Mackintosh has also been sharing details of her motherhood journey and has previously spoken about her experience of “the Baby Blues”, breastfeeding and her daughter being diagnosed with hip dysplasia.
In a post on Instagram in August 2020 Mackintosh said Sienna had been diagnosed with developmental hip dysplasia and would be wearing a harness for six to 12 weeks to correct the condition, which the NHS says happens when the “ball and socket joint of the hip does not properly form in babies and young children”.
Her post added that the harness had a “90% chance of totally correcting her hip, so she hopefully shouldn’t need surgery or have any issues with her movement, so we are remaining positive and grateful that we found out early”.
Speaking to Women's Health Mackintosh described the period as "a really difficult and scary time".
"The stress of going from having quite a chilled baby to a baby that’s just crying and upset and you can’t do anything," she said.
“Yeah, it was really heartbreaking… But as she’s crawling normally and doing well, we’re hopeful and remaining positive that her hips are healthy… They caught the condition early, so it shouldn’t affect her later in life.”
The May issue of Women’s Health UK is on sale from April 7.
Additional reporting PA.