A brilliant movement has popped up on Instagram and it offers a refreshing reminder of how differently women’s bodies respond to having babies – and that every body is amazing.
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#this_is_postpartum . A few months ago, I posted a postpartum photo similar to this for the very first time. It was the most terrifying thing for me, and it definitely had backlash. I just wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin, even though I had online strangers telling me to stop blaming being fat on postpartum. I just wanted to be the person that I needed to see while at my lowest of lows as I entered the postpartum reality. And the truth is, I felt very alone in what I was sharing as a plus size mother. I quickly realized why moms like me weren’t sharing about this topic openly on social media. So even though I knew there would be criticism, I knew it was important for me, and for others like me, to share my story. And to post the photos and talk about this. Because this is postpartum. . Towards the beginning of the summer, I started thinking about reaching out to other mothers and asking them to share with me. Asking mothers of every size and shape to stand up with me and to show that not all of our experiences are the same. We aren’t doing this alone. And today, those strong mothers are standing up. We are sharing our stories. Some of us for the very first time and some of us for the hundredth time. But every time is meaningful. Our journey is meaningful. Every part of our postpartum experience is normal and we all fall on to some part of its wide spectrum. So today, and from now on, let’s share. Let’s stand up. Let’s embrace our postpartum bodies together. Whether you’re plus size, full of loose skin, stretch marked up or scarred. All of it is postpartum. All of it counts. All of it means something. Because all of it is part of you. And you, mama, are worthy. . For the entire project, find the link in my bio and in my stories to the video for This Is Postpartum. Use the hashtag #this_is_postpartum and share your story. Be a part of the project and join the mission to help change the narrative of postpartum bodies. #esto_es_posparto . This is postpartum, and so is this (swipe to continue the loop) ?? @thefortintrio. . Tee: @themomculture
This is postpartum
This Is Postpartum was launched by blogger Meghan Boggs who lost a lot of weight prior to falling pregnant – but then struggled to come to terms with how having a baby impacted on her body. Now mum to a baby girl named Macy, Meghan told parenting site Babble body acceptance was a toughie in the months after Macy’s birth.
“Even though I worked out and ate healthy until I was 36 weeks pregnant, I still gained almost all of my weight back, putting me right back at square one. I didn’t have any complications throughout my pregnancy, but I was feeling frustrated with my body for gaining the weight back despite my efforts.”
Read more about body image:
- Chrissy Teigen would like you to see her mozzie bitten “mom bod”
- Mum’s raw post pegs motherhood as the “ultimate sacrifice”
- A little boy’s words helped his mum appreciate her “squishy, jiggly” belly
Every body matters
Noting that plus-sized mums were often left out of the conversation about how bodies look after birth, Meghan started a hashtag-led movement to include women of more diverse body shapes in the postpartum body chatter.
“I wanted mothers to feel less alone and see someone similar to them who they can relate to,” she said. “I wanted this to spread in a way where others would join in, so that the mother out there who was feeling how I felt would open up her Instagram and feel like she can love her postpartum body too.”
Meghan’s idea took off really quickly and now there are over 200 images on Instagram of women sharing their bellies, stretch marks, lumps and bumps and celebrating the bodies (and little people that got them there!)
“The truth is, I felt very alone in what I was sharing as a plus size mother,” Meghan says in the tag’s first post.
“I quickly realized why moms like me weren’t sharing about this topic openly on social media. So even though I knew there would be criticism, I knew it was important for me, and for others like me, to share my story. And to post the photos and talk about this. Because this is postpartum.”
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This is me. ❤️ These hands that hold you, they prayed for you, harder than you'll ever know. This body was poked and prodded with hope that it would become regular to have you. That stomach has carried three babies even though I just get to hold you in my arms. Those fingers have felt your tiny kicks praying you'd stay in just a little longer. Those wrists held a needle receiving magnesium and other medicine to make sure you'd be just a little stronger in case you'd come early. That bust has anxiously waited to nourish you. That skin stretched to make room for you. Every part of me was meant to be for you, it seems. The only way I wanted it, the only way I dreamed it, and here we are. Last year my word was hope, even though I went into the year believing it was hopeless to hope. Little did I know what was in store. Never underestimate God. His incredible Grace for me is so humbling. So this year my word is Grace. Grace for myself professionally and in Motherhood. Grace for my husband. Grace for others being more kind and Grace for my body that is now entirely different that's both hard and wonderful at the same time. ❤️ #inspirepregnancy #this_is_postpartum
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#this_is_postpartum —— Long before I became pregnant, I was overweight with tummy roles and stretch marks. For many years, probably since elementary school, I hated my body. I tried diet after diet and found those “perfect” girls in my class that I looked up to as my goal. The older (and wiser) I got, the more I realized how ridiculous this state of mind was. Just because I was fat didn’t make me any less worthy or beautiful than someone who weighed less. —— Once I became pregnant and my belly grew and grew, for the first time ever I felt confident in the way I looked. I know many women don’t feel this way during pregnancy, but I was amazed with my body and all it could do. —— Then postpartum came and my sweet baby was now earthside. I now have a lot more stretch marks. A lot more squish. And a lot less confidence. I’m having to rebuild that confidence I had during pregnancy and it’s not always easy, but I’ll never give up because I know I have to love myself in front of my daughter in order for her to learn to love herself. —— To me postpartum meant re-learning how to love myself and be happy in this completely different body with a completely different life. It’s the most challenging thing I have ever been through, but it’s true what they say, a simple smile or cuddle from the little one that you created makes alllll the hard days worth it. —— This inspiring movement was created by @meg.boggs and over a hundred mamas have joined in sharing. Please check out their stories by searching the hashtag #this_is_postpartum. And better yet, join in and share your own story.
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#this_is_postpartum When I found out I was pregnant with triplets I remember scrolling through pictures of other triplet moms before and after pictures wondering how much my body would change. Would I have stretch marks? Would I ever feel comfortable in my own skin again? Would I hate my post baby body? • The truth Is my body changed.It changed a lot. I may have “bounced back” (whatever that really means), but my body is not the same, I am not the same. Everything changed. • There comes a point in our postpartum journeys where we have a choice to make. Will you choose to embrace your wounds and love your body for the miracle it did to bring life into this world OR will you be your biggest critic constantly feeding yourself lies about your new body? The reality is in order for us to fully embrace our postpartum bodies we must change our perspective and how we see ourselves. • Yes, my body has changed. Yes, it has taken time for me to feel beautiful, strong, sexy, and confident in this new body. But I prayed for these wounds. I longed for these tiger stripes. There was a time during my infertility where I would have had c-sections over and over just to have a baby in my arms. When I look at my hope wounds I will remember the other women out there waiting, hoping, wishing for the same kind of hope wounds. I will choose to embrace them for what they are because they are apart of my story and brought me my miracles. • My friends @th3littlestavenger and @thebirdspapaya said it perfectly “This, what I am holding in my hands, is a result of my successes.” • Whoever you are and wherever you are in your postpartum journey, always remember you’re beautiful, your body is amazing, and your a great mama. This is postpartum, and so is this: @she_plusfive (swipe and tap to see her story) Tee: @themomculture . Repost @thefortintrio • • • • #thebump #teamSELF #selflove #postpartum #motherhood #pregnantandperfect #inspirepregnancy #fitmomsofig #pregnantchicken #ig_motherhood #birthbecomesher #stopcensoringmotherhood #aheadofthecurve #bodypositivity #csection #scars #LoveAnyBody #postpartumbody #fitness #loveyourself #postpartumdepression #tummytuck #triplets #birthwith
“It means something”
Meghan hopes starting a dialogue about the value, vulnerability and variance in post-baby bodies will help women feel more supported and less alone.
“Our journey is meaningful,” Meghan writes. “Every part of our postpartum experience is normal and we all fall on to some part of its wide spectrum. So today, and from now on, let’s share. Let’s stand up. Let’s embrace our postpartum bodies together. Whether you’re plus size, full of loose skin, stretch marked up or scarred. All of it is postpartum. All of it counts. All of it means something. Because all of it is part of you. And you, mama, are worthy.”
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This is my #postpartum. This is my journey. This is my story. I was once told after my failed vaginal delivery that I didn't know what "real labor felt like." I struggled with that idea because I had been in labor for 72 hours, pushed for over 3 and then had to undergo surgery. I felt weak, I felt like a failure. After another failed vaginal delivery attempt with my second, the representation of the scar changed for me. It is a mark that I will remember forever as being two amazing and beautiful moments where my life changed. Having a c-section didn't make me a failure, that's just how my postpartum journey and story began. A c-section scar doesn't define weakness, it's a mark that represents an amazing moment of life. I embrace it because this is my postpartum journey and I wouldn't change a thing. In my 30th year, I've come to realize the hardest and most challenging moments in life are the ones that shape us for greatness.❤ #this_is_postpartum #mypostpartumstory #csectionmama #csectionstrong #postpartumstrong