Mum proudly shows her saggy tum at fitness competitions after battling crippling post-natal depression

Shina Pierce, 29, from Auckland, New Zealand, welcomed twins Harper and Nicole with her partner Chris in December 2016 but initially struggled to cope with motherhood.

A keen fitness fanatic before she got pregnant, Shina used to train between four and five times a week but gave up her regime out of fear she would miscarry two months into her pregnancy.

But for the first few weeks of her daughters' lives, Shina had no energy and felt like a lack of sleep was affecting her ability to be a good mother.

Reflecting on that time, Shina said: "For the first couple or few weeks I’d break down and cry to a point where it was almost every day for a while for a couple of hours.

"I was so tired, I felt like the worst person in the world because I couldn’t deal with being a mother."

The mum-of-two also experienced a difficult labour which last four days and resulted in a second-degree tear.

As a result, this made it difficult for Shina to move around, yet alone leave, her home in those first few weeks.

Shina added: "I had no energy as I was getting up every hour for the first month or two as well as that I had a second-degree tear and I found it hard to just move around or sit down.

"I spent the first month recovering from the tear and surgery."

Feeling exhausted, Shina also experienced shortness of breath getting down and up off the floor which made her long for her pre-pregnancy body.

She said: "I found I was often puffed out just going on the floor and having mat time with my girls so getting up was a struggle which was really disheartening as I did remember how fit I was before and how a simple body movement like getting from the floor to standing up was never a problem until then.

"“My midwife also suggested to go outside and take the girls for a walk just to get out but I was too tired and couldn’t comprehend how to leave the house for the first three months."

However, Shina found the confidence to slowly get back into fitness by taking her girls for a walk around her local area in their pushchair and doing 15-minute home workouts.

She added: "I felt incompetent and that probably explains why I didn’t really want to leave the house for the first three months but I managed in the end.”

The mum-of-two now goes to the gym five days a week as well as continuing to work out at home.

After gaining 5st over the course of her pregnancy, Shina is now back to her pre-pregnancy weight of 9st 8lb and is a UK size 8.

In a bid to inspire other mums, Shina has been entering bikini fitness competitions and proudly showing off her loose skin and stretchmarks on stage.

She added: "I'm definitely proud of [my body] but there are definitely times that I wish that the saggy skin would disappear, I actually don’t care much about the stretch marks at all it’s mostly the loose skin."

"When all the other mums and fit models were back stage, I was a little self-conscious because most of the girls and mums’ tummies didn’t really look like they had babies at all.

"But I just had to remind myself that I did this for me, I had to remind myself the reason I wanted to go on stage was to prove to myself that I can get out of my comfort zone and that I can do anything I put my mind to."

Reflecting on her first year of motherhood, Shina added: "What I’ve learnt about being a stay at home mum and postpartum, I learnt that the best thing you can try to do is stay positive as cliché as it sounds, there is a light at the end of the tunnel."

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