Why these mums are showing their REAL postpartum bodies on social media

Having a child is a wonderful experience for many mums – watching your child grow and become its own person, experiencing many firsts and loving someone more than you ever thought possible.

But what about the toll childbirth takes on your body? As many mums know, your body doesn’t just magically snap back into place postpartum – at least not for the majority of mums.

With the power of social media, it’s often easy to think that you’re alone in your struggle to accept your new body, especially if you’re scrolling through constant images of new celebrity mums back in their pre-pregnancy jeans just a few weeks after childbirth.

But thanks to Instagram account @takebackpostpartum, mums are sharing what life is really like post-baby, giving inspiration and comfort to mums all over the world who no longer have to feel alone in their daily struggle.

Run by January Harshe, the account features mums sharing real images of their bodies after pregnancy, and it’s powerful!

One image shared by January says: ‘Self-Care Tip: Unfollow every account on Instagram that makes you feel like you need to be someone else’.

The caption beside it reads: ‘Everyday. Be mindful. Approach social media with mental health and self care in mind!’

“Mummy tummy (yes women grow body hair too). Someone recently said to me that I’d be able to get rid of my tummy pouch, I just wasn’t working hard enough, if I exercised more, and if I was stricter with what I ate I’d have a flat stomach again. Although it didn’t upset or affect the way I feel about my body, I believe it needs to be addressed nonetheless. _ My “tummy pooch” is a byproduct of three things- loose skin, an ab separation, and adhesions causing my scar to be pulled inwards (creating a dip.) It has nothing to do with my overall weight. LOTS of mothers wear marks from pregnancy and child birth and i’s a MISCONCEPTION that you can get rid of these marks through diet or exercise. You cannot starve your way to taut skin. Nor can you exercise away indented scars. Yes, you can work towards getting your stomach as flat as possible if that’s what you want, but these unrealistic expectations can be harmful. _ It’s ok to bare the marks of your pregnancy and birth proudly. The same as it’s ok to feel a little bit upset and like a stranger in your new body. It’s human. Learning to accept and love yourself as you are is a process- it’s ok if you’re not quite there yet. It’s also ok to work towards personal body goals, working out and eating healthily to sculpt your body in a particular way doesn’t mean that you have to hate the body you’re in now. On the contrary. It’s all about doing what makes you feel happy and accomplished. _ What is NEVER ok is someone telling you that you should work harder to attain an unachievable body image- so that you might fit THEIR expectations of what the female body should look like. That shit needs to be shut down immediately. If someone can’t accept your postpartum body or encourages you to change any aspect of the way you look because they don’t feel comfortable with it- that is THEIR problem, THEIR issue that needs to be worked on. It ultimately stems from their own insecurities. _ Never allow someone to make you feel bad about your body and never apologise for your body. Your body created life! If that’s not something to be proud of, to be in absolute awe of, then I don’t know what is!” @mamaclog #takebackpostpartum

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Another mum shared an image of her stomach and stretch marks, with a child’s feet resting on her belly, she wrote: ‘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.’

Take a look at some of the inspirational women sharing honest accounts of their postpartum bodies below – and remember you’re not alone.

This mum is in no hurry to ‘snap back’

‘Squishy belly, big sore boobs’

#realitypost Unwashed, unbrushed hair, soft and squishy belly hanging out, big sore boobs and red throbbing nipples, breast pads sticking out everywhere, bags under my eyes and sore arms from holding a 5kg 4 week old half the night. But a full heart, a smile still on my face and all the love for this little guy. Shout out to all the new mamas. You are doing amazing and an absolutely incredible job. {@ah.fitty} #takebackpostpartum _ Our Kansas City and San Diego #findyourvillage evebts are in a few weeks! Each have a few tickets left. We also opened the last tickets to SYDNEY Conference! Grab one while you can! ❤️bwfconference.com❤️ You do not need to be pregnant. _ Post via @expectful. #birthwithoutfear #postpartum #dontforgetdads

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‘Bleeding cracked nips’

Yup. This kid is upside down. Trying to unblock a milk duct 😂😂 Post partum looks a little like this 👊🏽 ✔Tired as fuck ✔Leaking tits ✔Infected and blocked milk ducts ✔A floppy gut ✔Uneven boobs ✔Tears (quite a few) ✔Covered in baby shit, vomit and piss ✔Bleeding cracked nips ✔Pretending you are listening to your 7 and 9 year old but you don't know what the fuck they are saying ✔Eating and drinkng more than you did when you were pregnant As you can see its super glamorous and I wouldn't change it for the world. Also this need to "bounce" back ? Our bodies carried a human for 40 weeks, birthed the bloody thing, the last thing we shoukd worry about is loosing weight, or getting back to normal, or trying to be a hero and do everything. I learnt my lesson with the first two. It does sweet fuck all for your mental health Thank your amazing body for doing such an awesome job. Don't expect too much from your self and remember this too shall pass. From a blistered nipple mumma xx @benessa_v #takebackpostpartum

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‘Society does not define me’

Who can relate?