It’s hard enough growing a new human in your body. Yet after giving birth, women are subjected to social media, advertising, and celebrities that say your body should snap right back to where it was 9 months ago. The postpartum reality is that every woman is unique and having a child can change your mind and body forever.
There is no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to look after having a child. Luckily, some women out there are trying to change the standard by showing off the realities of their postpartum body. These strong women are beautiful and prove just how incredible the women of the world are.
Enjoy The Constant Changes
When five-time mom Brenda Stearns posted this, she didn’t just shout out the postpartum moms struggling with body positivity. She shared: “Puberty, pregnancy, postpartum, menopause… whatever stage you’re experiencing right now, I hope you enjoy the miracle of your changing body.”
A woman’s body will go through changes so many times in her life. Whether those changes are specific actions or if they are the result of hormones or a growing baby, acceptance will make the changes exciting.
It’s Not All About The ‘Likes’
Mom of three Hayley Garnett has been a strong advocate of loving your postpartum body since she had her fraternal twins. Hayley frequently posts shots like this on Instagram with the hope they normalize postpartum bodies.
Still, she shared on this photo that some people think photos like that are just “for the likes.” Hayley quickly shut that down by saying that she shares her skin for herself, for her daughters, and for anyone struggling with body acceptance.
There Are Good Days And Bad Days
New mom Tori McCain posted this postpartum selfie but admitted it wasn’t easy. Being body positive is a decision she had to make and had to continue to make every single day. Tori doesn’t fake it though. In the post, she admitted: “I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I still don’t struggle with myself.”
Despite having good days and bad days, Tori reiterated that “Just because your body has changed doesn’t mean your worth has changed.”
Moms Don’t Always Go Into Pregnancy Feeling Confident
Meg Boggs runs a body positivity page, but in this close-up shot of her stretch marks, she admitted that her struggle began long before she ever got pregnant. Like many other moms out there, Meg outlined how she watched her skin stretch and shrivel through dieting and other health issues long before ever having a child.
Then once she gave birth, it happened all over again. It just goes to show that postpartum bodies aren’t always made over only nine months.
It Took Three Kids For Sarah To Accept Her Body
Sarah is a mom of three who didn’t fully accept her body until after her third child. When she posted this candid postpartum snap, Sarah told her story of how she pushed her body to the limit after her first two pregnancies.
Sarah even admitted that she got “this ugly tattoo” to cover up her stretch marks. At one point, she only weighed 90 pounds. Finally, Sarah admitted that after her third child she realized that she was hiding her sadness with her body insecurities.
The Perfect Belly For Little Hands To Play With
Kara is a mom of twins who shared this photo of her postpartum belly nine months after giving birth. Kara told her followers that yes, some days she struggles to “look in the mirror and show my body appreciation” but the innocence of her children’s curiosity changes her mind.
Along with the photo she posted: “My stomach is still flowered with stretch marks and extra skin. Just perfect for curious little hands to tug and pull.” We can’t think of a more beautiful way to put it.
Love The Extra Skin With All You Have
Writer, podcaster, and mother Sarah Landry is used to having her life in the public eye, but admitted in this Instagram post that the old her would never have published the photo. But being healthy, fit, and still having her loose postpartum skin inspired her to share it with everyone.
Sarah said she wanted to share the photo to help other women feel “normal” in their body and “unlearn” what women are told to feel after giving birth.
It’s Okay To Forget The ‘Old You’
Anupa King has watched her body change between two births and still admits that sometimes, she wishes for the body she had before ever having kids. And you know what, that’s okay. It’s fine to look back fondly, but what’s most important is to accept what you have now.
Anupa is heavy into fitness and sometimes feels like she’s not “working hard enough.” But in this post, she reminded us all that a postpartum body will never be the same as your old one and that’s okay.
Different Moms Have Different Bodies
It’s one thing to say that all women have different bodies and experience motherhood differently, but it’s another thing to see it. Mom Meg Boggs wanted to show the difference so that moms can hopefully stop comparing themselves to the other moms out there.
Meg reminded her followers that “you’re doing a great job, they are doing a great job, and we are all kinda just trying to figure this stuff out.” The postpartum body movement is for women of all shapes and sizes.
The “B” Word Is A Scary One
Mom-of-one Megan Galbraith spoke the truth when she admitted that the scariest part of her postpartum summer was the “B” word—bathing suit. Women suffer from body confidence in bathing suits whether they’re postpartum or not, so baring it all after having a child isn’t easy.
For Megan, she tried endless styles of bikini bottoms to cover up the parts she wasn’t confident in until she realized covering up in things that aren’t her style wouldn’t help her feel confident.
Being Body Confident Means Being Brave
For Hayley, being body confident with her postpartum self means mustering up ever ounce of bravery she has. That’s because Hayley knows that moms are brave every day because “we give our entire self to our kids—our body, our heart, our soul.”
And while we might not see the changes in our heart and soul we are physically faced with the changes in our body. It’s brave to give our bodies away to our kids and it’s just as brave to reclaim it.
You Might Feel More Confident Looking Back
When Brenda posted this photo, it wasn’t a current one. She had taken it months previously when she was only three months postpartum. You couldn’t tell in the photo but Brenda was struggling with a mild form of postpartum depression.
She felt she needed to take this photo to prove she was beautiful but couldn’t bring herself to post it until months later. It just shows that the evolution of postpartum acceptance doesn’t happen overnight.
Who Has Time To Worry About It Anyways?
For Krista Lanning, postpartum body confidence came 2.5 weeks after giving birth. As any new moms know, in those first few weeks (and the next 18 years) you’re so busy and exhausted it’s hard to take a moment to think about yourself.
For Krista, the first time she finally looked at her new body she knew it didn’t feel like what she was used to. “Who has time to look in the mirror anyways?”
It’s Okay To Be Scared To Fail
Many postpartum women will eventually return to being active in whatever form makes them feel happy and healthy. For Chelsea, her return to CrossFit was terrifying. It wasn’t that she was scared to work out postpartum, but she was scared that she might slip and fall back to a place where she cared more about the numbers on the scale than her health.
There’s a certain freedom that motherhood can have for women but it also adds new pressures. Finding the balance is what is most important.
C-Section Postpartum Is A Whole New Ballgame
Mom-of-one Tara Lynn said it best when she wrote: “Birth is birth whether it be vaginally or via c section. So let’s stop making other c section mothers feel bad about the method in which our child entered the world. We still did the hard work carrying our child for months and months.”
C-section moms have the scars and bodies to prove their bravery and suffer from the body dysmorphia that all moms do.
Sweatpants, Hair Tied, Chilling With No Makeup On
When new mom Sarah Melito posted this photo, she admitted it was taken not long after she looked at herself in the mirror and cried. For Sarah, and many other moms out there, it felt like she didn’t even know the body that was looking back at her. It was so different than anything she’d seen beforehand.
It was the postpartum movement that inspired Sarah to share her ever-changing body in the hope other moms would feel the inspiration she did too.
You Might Not Always Feel Zen About Your Body
A big part of accepting a postpartum body can be finding your inner mindfulness and accepting what’s inside. It’s not just your body that changes as a mom but your goals, stresses, and responsibilities.
Meg Boggs posted this after completing her own personal mindfulness challenge. She shared that even on days when she doesn’t love her body, she knows that the “journey is endless” and that she can struggle and be strong at the same time.
Pregnancy Set This Mom Free
While the postpartum body struggle is prevalent in many moms, others see it as a way to free themselves from their past body issues. For Ashley Fox, being postpartum made her realize the magic of her body. She was heavy into fitness and said she “literally tortured myself to fit society’s cookie-cutter standard of beauty.”
It was only once her body made her a mother that she finally stopped thinking about the scale and started focusing on the “beautiful masterpiece” that she created.
You Need To Be Able To Laugh At Yourself
Many new moms end up worrying about every little thing, including their bodies. For Bethanie Garcia, the only way she could start accepting her postpartum body was to joke about it. She posted this photo and shared: “Felt cute, might wear my mesh undies later.”
Her followers and fellow moms couldn’t help but reply that they wish they had the confidence to rock their mesh undies postpartum. Bethanie is proving you can be comfy in your new body and still feel cute.
Postpartum Families Are Beautiful Too
Podcaster Sarah Bode shared this candid photo of what her postpartum experience was like. Along with rebuilding her confidence and learning how to be a new mom in a new body, Sarah was like the rest of us and had to deal with normal family dynamics.
In the middle of the mess, the sleeping husband, and the endless cups of coffee, Sarah found a way to love her postpartum body even if it was yet another thing to learn as a new mom.