"Your body has changed, but guess what? So have you."

By Christina Oehler
November 12, 2019

Pregnancy means carrying around a tiny growing human in your belly for nine months—so it's not exactly a surprise after you've given birth and realize you don't recognize the body you see when you look in the mirror. Katie Watkins, a mom of three living in Toronto, understands this.

She wants other new moms to adjust to this reality, so she took to Instagram to encourage women to stop thinking they have to lose weight or get back in shape and instead celebrate the beauty of the post-baby body.

On October 30, Watkins shared a photo of herself lying naked in the bathtub. But it wasn't just the stunning photo that caught the internet's eye. Her emotional caption sent a powerful message about body peace and acceptance. 

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“I feel very vulnerable sharing this photo. Like a little bit terrified. But when I was in the bath today I realized it was the first time I was really alone with this new body of mine,” she wrote. “No baby to distract me from it. No clothing to hold me together. Just me.⁣”

She went on to say that although she had seen her postpartum body before after the birth of her older two children, the change in her appearance triggered by her latest pregnancy still took her by surprise. 

⁣"That’s when I realized that there would be many women - either in the same spot as me or about to be here - that may not have seen their own bodies like this before," she continued. "Who may be slightly horrified to come face to face with it in their first moments alone with their postpartum body."

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She added that she hoped women will understand that this is normal, and that their bodies may never look the way they did before pregnancy again. 

"Your body has changed, but guess what? So have you," she wrote. "And the ways you have changed as a human are SO much more significant than the changes to your body.⁣ And no, you don’t have to like this new body of yours, but you do have to love it. You have to be grateful for it, and you have to show it kindness.⁣"⁣

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"Maybe for you that means embracing it exactly as it is. Maybe it means feeding it foods that make you feel good. Maybe it means moving it and strengthening it. Maybe it means rest."

Watkins explained that she wanted new moms to know that giving themselves the love they deserves is the most important thing to focus on. 

"Not on bouncing back, but leaping forward with only love in mind," she finished her post. Here's to leaping forward. 

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