Post baby photo? 'Maybe next time when your face has slimmed down'

Giovanna Fletcher, author of 'Happy Mum, Happy Baby' on the obsession with women’s post-baby bodies, hypno-birthing and more

"She literally just pointed at me and said: Oh look, mummy's still got her tummy! Then she laughed at me," recalls author Giovanna Fletcher, about a stranger's reaction to her body, eleven days after she had given birth.

The woman had approached her husband - the McFly musician Tom Fletcher - to ask him for a photograph. After laughing at Giovanna, who was breastfeeding their baby boy Buddy at the time, she then asked if she would like to be in the picture too.

“I just said: no thanks, I’ll sit this one out. Then she said: oh yeah, maybe next time, when your face has slimmed down,” she told Róisín Ingle, presenter of the Róisín Meets podcast.

Fletcher, a best-selling author, actor and blogger, has just published her first non-fiction work, Happy Mum, Happy Baby. It is an honest, upbeat and personal account of the ups and downs of being a mother to two young boys – Buzz and Buddy.

There are chapters dedicated to breastfeeding, sleep deprivation and “squidgy” post-baby bodies. She is anxious to avoid it being seen as an advice manual, saying she is “winging it” herself.

The book opens with a chapter about the miscarriage that she suffered before she had her sons. She said that when she wrote it, she didn’t know if that part would make it into the final draft.

“I wasn’t sure… but it is part of who I am, the mum that I am, it’s part of the way in which I look at my body,” she said.

Also on the podcast, Fletcher spoke about meeting her husband Tom at the Sylvia Young Theatre School when she was just 13 years old, what it was like when he found fame with McFly and how he serenaded her at their wedding.

The couple have strong social media presences and often share photographs of their children on Instagram and Twitter. Does she ever worry about sharing too much? “We do think a lot about what we share and we don’t do photo-shoots with them… I do think it’s each to their own though,” she said.

To listen to the full conversation between Giovanna Fletcher and Róisín Ingle, go to iTunes, irishtimes.com/podcast, or your preferred podcast app.