She turned a pair of drab hospital-issued underwear into a symbol of joy.

By Christina Oehler
January 31, 2020

Most women expect their bodies to drastically change while they're pregnant. The surprise often comes after the baby arrives—and a new mom's middle doesn't instantly shrink back to the way it looked before pregnancy.

This body frustration is something lots of new mothers share on social media. But one mom who delivered her baby late last year took to Instagram to explain how happy and joyful she feels in her high-waisted, hospital-issued postpartum underwear—her belly still large and distended.

Jasmine Steiner, from Ashland, Oregon, shared the photo of herself in the hospital, shortly after the birth of kid number three in November 2019. The 27-year-old posed in the postpartum underwear and a bra while holding her newborn, and she paired the photo with an inspiring caption.

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“Such a calm feeling this time post partum,” she wrote. “There isn’t a feeling of surprise this time around when I gaze upon my empty yet pregnant belly.”

Steiner said that after her second pregnancy, she understands that a body won’t “poof” itself back to the way it was before, and this time, she’s not worried about her shape after giving birth. 

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“I’m not flustered by the curves that haven’t yet flattened because I understand more fully the feat my body has pulled,” she wrote. “I am truly in so much of a happier place this time around because my focus isn’t on what my body isn’t doing but reveling in what my body has done, what nature has done and what I’ve done in this journey.”

Steiner explained that instead of trying to push herself to change her body immediately after pregnancy, she focused on living in the moment and finding happiness in the exciting new addition to her family. 

“I’m blissfully tired and my heart filled with joy not because I’m meeting some expectation I’ve made for myself or I’m living up to a societal expectation of me,” she wrote. “I’m blissful in what is in this moment and the fact I’m healthy with this 8.5lb baby in my arms.I am postpartum. Again. And in love with it more infinitely than ever before.”

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Her post clearly resonated with her followers: the new mom received over 11,000 likes and 400 comments, many from moms who praised Steiner for her message and share their similar experiences. 

“Yes the first time postpartum the still look pregnant belly is such a shock, I expected a belly still but not that much belly to remain,” one woman wrote. “The following round is much easier knowing what’s ahead.”

“Love this so much,” another person shared. “I’m pregnant with my third so this is honestly so beautiful to read!” 

Here's to more moms sharing their raw, real postpartum photos to inspire the rest of us.

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