7 New Moms Get Real About How They Learned to Love Their Postpartum Body
Their attitudes towards body image completely changed after giving birth.
Most moms are prepared to bring home baby. What many aren't ready for is welcoming a new body. Giving birth is no easy task, but for these women, having children provided them with a fresh perspective on their bodies. And whether or not you’re a mom, knowing your own strength and beauty is universally inspiring. Below, seven influencers who opened up about how childbirth changed their attitude towards beauty standards.
The former Bachelorette noticed significant changes in her body after her second pregnancy. Last week, she talked about how she didn’t “bounce back” the same way after giving birth the first time around.
“My body has changed in many ways, but I think my biggest insecurities lie around my stomach and my chest,” she wrote in a blog post on her site, AliLuvs.com. “I definitely have a pouch of belly fat that wasn’t there before I got pregnant with Riley and the skin around my stomach is extremely loose. I can grab a fistful of it with my hand and stretch it out. It’s the weirdest thing! Sometimes I wonder if it will ever go back to normal. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Either way, I’m learning to be kinder to myself every day.”
The wellness influencer admitted she didn’t feel comfortable enough to take many photos during her first pregnancy. But now, she writes that she has an even greater appreciation for the beauty of childbirth.
“Your hormones are are at an all time high making you feel legitimately crazy at times, your inner thighs rub together like nobody’s business and this is without factoring in that summer heat, you pee every 20 minutes (literally) and occasionally pee when you sneeze/cough or laugh too hard (truth, at least I do), and the pressure you feel in your stomach is so overwhelming you actually feel like you could physically tip over any minute," she writes on Instagram. "With all this being said...I feel a different kind of beautiful than I’ve ever felt in my entire life this pregnancy.”
The yogi and mom of four gave birth to son Romeo, and promptly followed her tradition of taking a mirror selfie within 24 hours of giving birth. In the post, she talked about why she feels it's important to de-stigmatize postpartum bodies.
“We all come in different shapes, sizes, and health experiences... but given the right love and care, we can feel really good within our skin,” she captioned one Instagram post in May. “We just have to be patient and kind with our bodies. … I have so much respect and admiration for the human body... I hope that intention shines through and we can inspire each other to be healthier and happier.”
After welcoming baby Mia, the fitness influencer opened up about experiencing body image issues. And while she says she almost didn’t recognize herself when she first looked in the mirror, her perspective has since completely changed.
“I just have so much more respect and appreciation for what my body is capable of,” she told Health. “I had no understanding of it before, but I literally grew a life, which is amazing. So the little things that before might have gotten to me don’t anymore. I don’t care about the stretch marks; I have flabby skin and cellulite. I also love the way I look now.”
The blogger gave birth to her daughters Mia and Everly three years ago. In a recent before-and-after photo, she reflected on coming to terms with how pregnancy and delivery changed her body.
“Although I felt a deep sadness for the mushy, stretched, bruised and swollen condition my body was in, a part of me felt excitement and renewed,” Venditti, who has also opened up about suffering from postpartum depression, wrote on Instagram in May. “I was so thankful that my body had done the job it needed to do: carry my babies to full term. I looked at it differently than I ever had before.”
The Victoria’s Secret Angel clapped back after seeing a series of photos of herself in a bikini shortly after giving birth to her son Ariel. Calling beauty standards “sometimes impossible,” she shut down the trolls who tried to ruin her beach day.
“I’m not ashamed to show my [postpartum] tummy, I am proud actually,” she continued. “I carried my son for 9 months in there, I think I’ve earned the right to have a little tummy … is it because I’m a model? Well we are normal people too so let me enjoy the beach in peace please.”
When her 5-year-old compared her postpartum belly to “bubblegum,” Dallas-based blogger Janene Crossley laughed it off in an endearing Instagram post about loving her body.
“I’m 100% proud of this post-partum body, with its jelly abs and shriveled up skin,” she wrote. “It made me a mother. Here’s to all the bubblegum belly mamas and, hopefully, when these girls have bubblegum bellies of their own. #embracethesquish.”