A mum-of-three has taken to Instagram to share a very ‘raw’ and honest snap of her body post pregnancy, to show what a ‘fourth trimester’ body really looks like.
Elise Raquel posted the snap on Instagram, sharing the reality of a post-birth body in its ‘most vulnerable state’ with her 37.2k followers
My post labour photo has been shared a few times on the internet this past week. And although I received a huge amount of support and had so many mothers share their own postpartum stories, I also saw many people question my decision to share such a personal photo publicly on the internet. So I thought I'd explain why. When I was pregnant with Peyton I really had no idea what post birth was really like, and you don't fully understand until you actually have a baby! I was one of the first of my friends to get pregnant, so I didn't have that support group to ask all those TMI questions about pregnancy and birth. My doctor was more concerned about setting a medically unnecessary induction date rather than explaining to me what post birth would be like! No one told me the reality of the fourth trimester. I had no idea you could still look so pregnant even after giving birth. Everyone told me I was young, I would bounce straight back, and I believed them. Just like many women do, I too used to look up to the media, celebrities who would show off their supermodel like post baby bodies just weeks after giving birth! I thought thats how it would be for me too. So when I went home from hospital four days after giving birth, still looking six months pregnant, I thought I must have done something wrong. How come I didn't look like they did post baby? How come I didn't bounce back straight away like everyone said I would? How come it took me a year to fit back into my pre baby jeans? Well, because for many women, and for me, this post baby picture that was painted in my head just wasn't realistic! There's so much pressure from society and from ourselves to look a certain way post baby, but for many that's not the case, and that's ok! I posted that photo because I wish someone had posted a photo just like mine when I was pregnant. I wish that someone had told me what realistically might happen to my body and to my mind. The fourth trimester is such a taboo topic. I want other mums also walking in my shoes to know that they're not alone. That whatever their postpartum journey may be, it's ok, it's normal and it should always be priaised! I did it for me, for you and for her!
Writing in the caption, the new mum said: ‘It’s a strange feeling to look down and still see a bump, even though you’re holding your baby in your arms.’
‘I had no idea you could still look so pregnant even after giving birth. Everyone told me I was young, I would bounce straight back, and I believed them.’
She went on to explain how it’s taken her three babies to finally realise that a postpartum body isn’t something to hide, adding: ‘I am beyond proud for what this body has given and sacralised.’
The inspirational mum called on other women to understand that there’s so much pressure from society and from ourselves to look a certain way post baby.
‘I wish someone had posted a photo just like mine when I was pregnant,’ she admitted.
‘I wish that someone had told me what realistically might happen to my body and to my mind. ‘
‘The fourth trimester is such a taboo topic. I want other mums also walking in my shoes to know that they’re not alone.’
‘That whatever their postpartum journey may be, it’s ok, it’s normal and it should always be praised!’
Following the post, the positive and thankful comments rolled in: ‘I LOVE IT. I’m a new mama and you are bang on when you say nothing prepares you for the post birth,’ posted one follower.
Another simply wrote: ‘You are seriously my hero’.
This follower was very honest about how little she expected with after birth: ‘I honestly didn’t know anyone had a bump after giving birth. I have no clue what any of this looks like and it’s exactly what I’m wondering about. Thank you.’
What do you think? Did you ‘bounce back’ or did you have a bump for a while after birth? Let us know in the comment box below.