Mum’s before and after birth photo is what bouncing back REALLY looks like

Blogger Kristen Sullivan

A mum-of-two has posted a candid pic to Instagram, coupled with an emotional caption urging women to step away from the post-baby-bounce-back madness. The internet is cheering wildly.

View this post on Instagram

It took me 4 days to decide whether or not to share this. But recently there have been moms reaching out to me based on some things I've shared, so here goes. The left pic is 3 days before I delivered Gavin (my 2nd child), the right pic is 3 weeks postpartum. I'm sharing this to show moms that sometimes it doesn't matter if you're thin, ate right and exercised during pregnancy, sometimes your body grows in such a way that simply doesn't allow you to "bounce back" in friggen 3 weeks. I feel like all I've been seeing is new moms sharing their amazing postpartum bods, 11 days after birth, 2 weeks after birth, etc. And while that's wonderful for them, for many others, KNOW that it's not realistic! While I won't be totally sure till 6 weeks, I have a strong feeling that I've got #diastasisrecti (separation of the abs), in which case I'm determined to get the PT I need to heal. I've also been wearing a postpartum corset for extra support. But in the meantime, I'm giving my body a chance to breathe. Did you SEE how far my belly stretched?! There is no race to bounce back moms. We'll get there!! #postpartum

A post shared by Kristen Sullivan (@krisrosulli) on

“Sometimes it doesn’t matter”

Kristen Sullivan says she hesitated to share her thoughts on after-baby bodies, but her strong feelings about the pressure mums are under, coupled with a number of vulnerable women reaching out to her, convinced her that it was time to open what she perhaps anticipated might be a can of worms.

Kristen’s post shows her three days before she delivered her baby Gavin, and then again three weeks after. 

“I’m sharing this to show moms that sometimes it doesn’t matter if you’re thin, ate right and exercised during pregnancy, sometimes your body grows in such a way that simply doesn’t allow you to ‘bounce back’ in friggen 3 weeks,” she wrote.

“There is no race to bounce back”

Kristen is quite rightly worried about the push for women to have sexy pregnancies and sport flat bellies just a few weeks after birth. While she’s not critical of women who manage these extraordinary feats, she’s keen to remind us that it’s the exception, rather than the rule, and in fact that body shape doesn’t have to be a huge focus in those precious postpartum days.

“I feel like all I’ve been seeing is new moms sharing their amazing postpartum bods, 11 days after birth, 2 weeks after birth, etc. And while that’s wonderful for them, for many others, KNOW that it’s not realistic!” Kristen posted.

“I’m giving my body a chance to breathe”

This mum-of-two says she’s facing some challenges as she recovers from Gavin’s birth, but she’s keen to take her time as she adjusts to life with a new baby boy.

“While I won’t be totally sure till 6 weeks, I have a strong feeling that I’ve got #diastasisrecti (separation of the abs), in which case I’m determined to get the PT I need to heal. I’ve also been wearing a postpartum corset for extra support,” she explained.

Kristen’s warning is super-timely as the big media sites seem to be dotted with images of high-profile new mums with flat tums.

Competitive baby bodies?

We think it’s GREAT that women can birth babies and celebrate their amazing bodies. What we worry about is that many media outlets celebrate the bodies that look least like they’ve just birthed babies, the most.

This trend sends the message that mums need to recover as quickly and tidily as possible, and a return to “hot bod” status is the priority. 

We loved Kristen’s post – and her thoughts on breathing space for new mums are pretty perfect, as far as we’re concerned.

We think ALL mums rule, obviously, regardless of shape and size.


What do YOU think? Is there a lot of pressure on new mums to return to their pre-pregnancy shape? Let us know your thoughts, over on our Facebook page.

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