Pregnancy and labor are really hard on a woman's body. With the rise of celebrities living their lives in the public eye, we're seeing a lot of what pregnancy and post-baby bodies can be like with a team of designers, experts, trainers, great lighting, and more.
The average woman doesn't have all of those things at her disposal, though, so her recovery will likely be very different. Courageous women are taking to social media to show what things look like for the average woman. Hopefully, their shared images will help people to see reality and to not hold themselves and others to impossible standards.
Instagram Account TakeBackPostpartum is gathering and sharing some amazing stories and images.
“Mummy tummy (yes women grow body hair too). Someone recently said to me that I’d be able to get rid of my tummy pouch, I just wasn’t working hard enough, if I exercised more, and if I was stricter with what I ate I’d have a flat stomach again. Although it didn’t upset or affect the way I feel about my body, I believe it needs to be addressed nonetheless. _ My “tummy pooch” is a byproduct of three things- loose skin, an ab separation, and adhesions causing my scar to be pulled inwards (creating a dip.) It has nothing to do with my overall weight. LOTS of mothers wear marks from pregnancy and child birth and i’s a MISCONCEPTION that you can get rid of these marks through diet or exercise. You cannot starve your way to taut skin. Nor can you exercise away indented scars. Yes, you can work towards getting your stomach as flat as possible if that’s what you want, but these unrealistic expectations can be harmful. _ It’s ok to bare the marks of your pregnancy and birth proudly. The same as it’s ok to feel a little bit upset and like a stranger in your new body. It’s human. Learning to accept and love yourself as you are is a process- it’s ok if you’re not quite there yet. It’s also ok to work towards personal body goals, working out and eating healthily to sculpt your body in a particular way doesn’t mean that you have to hate the body you’re in now. On the contrary. It’s all about doing what makes you feel happy and accomplished. _ What is NEVER ok is someone telling you that you should work harder to attain an unachievable body image- so that you might fit THEIR expectations of what the female body should look like. That shit needs to be shut down immediately. If someone can’t accept your postpartum body or encourages you to change any aspect of the way you look because they don’t feel comfortable with it- that is THEIR problem, THEIR issue that needs to be worked on. It ultimately stems from their own insecurities. _ Never allow someone to make you feel bad about your body and never apologise for your body. Your body created life! If that’s not something to be proud of, to be in absolute awe of, then I don’t know what is!” @mamaclog #takebackpostpartum
As the Instagram post says:
LOTS of mothers wear marks from pregnancy and child birth and i’s a MISCONCEPTION that you can get rid of these marks through diet or exercise. You cannot starve your way to taut skin. Nor can you exercise away indented scars. Yes, you can work towards getting your stomach as flat as possible if that’s what you want, but these unrealistic expectations can be harmful.
It’s ok to bare the marks of your pregnancy and birth proudly.
Take a look at some of TakeBackPostpartum's other posts:
I wanted to share this picture... because THIS is motherhood.
“I spent Mothers Day blissfully disconnected with all my boys. 💛 Instead of posting a done up photo depicting the highlight reel version of motherhood, I wanted to share this picture... because THIS is motherhood. This picture was taken hours after Cash arrived & it shows the reality of how much your mind, body & soul change after bringing life into the world. Stretch marks, saggy skin, exhaustion, a body that will never be the same... but 1000% worth it for the reward I received. 💛 To all you beautiful mamas out there rocking the body motherhood gave you!” 👊🏼 @mandi_kamp #takebackpostpartum #birthwithoutfear #postpartum #honestmotherhood
"No matter how you birth, #postpartum is full of healing and finding new normals."
"You grew a human. You birthed a human, whether they came out of your lady bits or through surgery. You have a postpartum body. Period. End of story."
"When you’re a bigger woman, somehow it makes certain people think you don’t deserve to say you have a “real” postpartum body. . THIS. IS. FALSE. . You grew a human. You birthed a human, whether they came out of your lady bits or through surgery. You have a postpartum body. Period. End of story. It doesn’t matter what that body looks like. There is no definition of what a postpartum body is supposed to look like, contrary to what some people will try and force you to believe. You will see women who have no marks, or have 50. You will see women whose stomachs went right back to being smooth and flat, or hang down with loose skin. You will see women who have lots of fat on their bellies, or who have none. You will see women who were in great shape and toned when they got pregnant and women who were considered “plus size” when they got pregnant. Some women stayed in shape through pregnancy while others gained weight. But what do all of these women have in common after birthing these adorable humans? . They. Have. A. Postpartum. Body. . They have a story. Their story matters and it counts. They can post the photo if they want to. And not every photo will look the same. I am SO DONE with hearing that certain women aren’t allowed to consider their body a “real” postpartum body and post their love for it. . So here it is. Another lovely photo of my postpartum body." @meg.boggs #takebackpostpartum
"Love love love fresh postpartum bellies! 😍 How can a postpartum body be anything but magnificent?!"
Love love love fresh postpartum bellies! 😍 How can a postpartum body be anything but magnificent?! If you can find beauty in another woman's body then why not your own? We all share the same energy, beauty, and magic even if it's form uniquely varies a bit. -January Harshe _ Image of @thesimplefolk_ by @catfancote.capturingbirth via @australianbirthstories! #takebackpostpartum
"Who can relate? 🙋🏽 And that smile! 😊"
"Why be ashamed? A life grew inside of you that gives humanity hope of change."
"Why be ashamed? A life grew inside of you that gives humanity hope of change. You felt things that I as a man will never understand. Even when you first held your baby girl or boy it was nothing similar to when they lay in their father's hands. Your body changed and so did you. It became a look into the past of what you went through. You grew mentally and emotionally and your spirit was taken to places you didn't think it would ever go. Your breasts may sit differently. Your ass may not be as thick as it once was. But why should it be when you gave so much of yourself to help all of us. A sacrifice of sorts if you choose to see it that way. But to me your body now is exactly how it's supposed to be. So don't be ashamed. Don't hide your changes from the world that you and your sisters helped create. Be proud of your story. Be proud of your lines. Be proud of who you've chosen to be." @expressionsuntold___ _ Muse: @sereneradianceyoga Photo by @expressionsuntold___ #birthwithoutfear #dontforgetdads #takebackpostpartum
People are loving these photos.
It's clear these photos are inspiring so many.