I had my first (and so far, only) baby when I had just turned 25. Despite gaining 30kg (that's around 66lbs! yikes!) I definitely, for some absurd reason, thought I'd be walking out of that hospital in my pre-pregnancy jeans.
Newsflash: THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN! In fact, those jeans didn't fit me for about 5 months.
It was 2016 and the whole mummy-blogger-influencer 'thing' was REALLY taking off. Every time I opened my phone, I saw new mothers in swimsuits, slinky PJs, and just generally looking fabulous and like they'd not even had a baby at all, like ever.
While this ABSOLUTELY is no shade to them and is by no means a 'bad' thing, it isn't ALWAYS a realistic experience for everyone. In fact, it isn't always even realistic AT ALL.
While I spent the first days of my daughter's life mastering breastfeeding and trying to work out how to fold my stroller, these mamas were photoshopping and perfecting their postpartum Instagram feed - because it was their job to do so.
There job wasn't to show the bad or the 'ugly'. Just the good. The very, very good.
I didn't understand. I just couldn't get it through my head that what I was seeing on my phone wasn't always an accurate depiction of that woman's life. Thank god, I know now, but unfortunately, it took until I turned 30.
Luckily, some women on the internet are showing the 'other' side of postpartum - the one we don't always see. The one with the stretch-marks and the cellulite and the discolouration.
Check the images out below!
“Exercise And Eat Healthy During Pregnancy They Say. That Way Your Body Will Bounce Back. Yeah Right!"
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“I Used To Weigh Myself Every Morning"
"So Many Women Have Said To Me “You’re So Small After Having 5 Kids!”."
"These Stripes Mean I Carried Life Inside Of Me. I'm Not Ashamed."
"The Only Post Baby Bodies I See On Instagram And The “Perfect” Ones."
"I’ve Been Battling With Myself About This Post All Day Trying To Get The Courage To Share."
"The Internet Will Make Us Believe That Women Give Birth And Instantly Jump Back Into Their Old Jeans."
"Postpartum Bellies Are One Of My Favorite Things... The Physical Remnants Of The Life It Was Just Growing. Still Enlarged, Yet Vacant."
“How Is This Considered Ugly?"
"When You Fit Back Into Your Prepregnancy Jeans But Your Heart Starts To Sink Because All You Can Think Is “My Body Will Never Be The Same”."
"I Felt Nervous Yet Empowered To Share With The World A Part Of Myself That I Had Hidden From Lovers In My Lifetime."
"Taken 3 Days Postpartum."
"Was Not Quite Three Weeks Old Here. I've Been Working Up The Courage To Share This Photo For Quite Some Time."
"Days Old Throwing It Back To My Most Exhausted, Anxious, Overwhelmed Self"
"Mummy Tummy (Yes Women Grow Body Hair Too)"
"I've Never Felt So Good In My Own Skin Before Now"
"Nothing But Sheer Amazement, Thinking About How That Little Body Fit Inside This Stomach, Just Two Days Ago."
"Postpartum Is Framed In Terms Of Losing Baby Weight And ‘Bouncing Back.’"
"Louise, 29 Weeks After Giving Birth."
"This Is My Postartum Body. 10 Weeks After The Birth Of My Beautiful Daughter"
"Time Will Push You To Your Limits, Faster Than You Want It To, Aging You In Ways That Make You Ache, Slow Down, Grow Tired And Weak."
"5 Weeks Postpartum."
"I May Be A Little Softer But Ultimately I Am Stronger And These Marks Just Remind Me Of Where I Once Tightly Held And Grew Emilia Ren. This Body, Me, I May Not Be The Same But If She Can Find So Much Comfort And Safety In This Body, I Will As Well."
"There’s A First Time For Everything And This Is My First Showing My Mom Body That I’m Falling In Love With All Over Again "
"Just Before Giving Birth, At 45lbs Over My Pre-Pregnancy Weight, I Was Pretty Concerned About How I May Feel Towards My Body Post-Partum."
"Mother Nature's Artistic Legacy. If It's Gorgeous On Her, It's Gorgeous On You."