Megan Fairchild Documents Postpartum Journey To “Show How Long It Takes”
The New York City Ballet principal ballerina recently gave birth to twins.
New York City Ballet principal ballerina Megan Fairchild has danced many of the great roles — in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker Suite to name a few. But earlier this month, she took on a new role: mom of three. Fairchild gave birth to twin girls and is “over the moon,” according to her birth announcement on Instagram. In her latest post, Fairchild said that she would document her “postpartum journey” to give an honest look at her experience, specifically as a professional dancer.
Fairchild shared three photos of herself on Instagram: one taken on the day she gave birth at 35 weeks and five days gestation; one four days postpartum; and another one week postpartum. “There seems to be a fascination with dancers having babies,” she captioned the post. “Particularly the physical changes the body has to go through in pregnancy and the importance of being in peak athletic shape to do our job.”
“I was initially shy during my pregnancy to document the belly and the evolution of the body,” Fairchild tells Romper. “But by the end I was really proud of what my body had been able to do and I wanted to make sure I captured the moment in time, even if it was just for me.” What ultimately prompted her to share, she says, was the realization that she’d been through postpartum training journey before, after she had Tullie. “I wanted to show how long it takes, what the body is capable of if you give it time and then a whole lot of training and focus.”
There seems to be a level of demystification as well, at least in these first three photos. All of the pictures are beautiful, and unlike many celebrity postpartum pics, all include a belly that looks like it could easily be mistaken for one that’s still pregnant.
In the caption, Fairchild went on to discuss how having the baby (or in her case, babies) doesn’t mean your body snaps right back to normal. “You return home from the hospital still looking quite pregnant. The uterus is a muscle and takes a while to shrink back down.” But, she explains, you feel the difference. “I realized how free I now feel, when I no longer had to sit down to brush my teeth,” Fairchild joked.
No, you don’t lose all the weight from pregnancy right away, but dropping even the weight of an infant, placenta, and a bunch of fluids pretty much right away certainly changes your center of gravity, a phenomenon Fairchild can already observe in looking at pictures over the course of a week. “Looking at the evolution of the body so far, what most shocks me in these pics is how you can see my change of balance shift forward again as the belly gets smaller. I didn’t realize how much I had to counterbalance the weight of that belly!”
In an earlier Instagram post, Fairchild explained that she was nervous about having another C-section. In a 2019 interview with Refinery29, she shared that her first C-section was unplanned and left her feeling unsettled (particularly as someone so used to being in total control of her body) and judged. “But [with] this one,” she wrote. “I felt more calm and actually was able to enjoy that precious moment of their arrival.”
Fairchild says she will continue to enjoy her time with her family, “soaking up every moment ... eating, sleeping, pumping, breastfeeding and snuggling” before her training begins in five weeks. We can’t wait to continue to follow her journey back to the stage at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.