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The New Body of a First Time Mom (Anonymous)

April 4, 2007

I am 23 years old and have a beautiful 5 month old daughter. Before pregnancy, I weighed 124 pounds (I am 5’5”) and was generally happy with my body, although I have always been self-conscious of my hips and legs. During pregnancy, I loved my belly but got worried when my legs started getting bigger along with my waistline. I only gained about 8 pounds until my 6th month of pregnancy, but by the time I gave birth (at 38 weeks) I had gained 46.5 pounds, putting me at 170.5 pounds. After giving birth, I lost about 30 pounds in the first 3 weeks but have been “stuck” at around 140 pounds since. My post-partum feelings about my body are mixed. I know that, as a woman, I have been blessed with the ability to carry and birth a child, and I love my daughter more than anything in the world. I am, however, extremely self-conscious about my legs and bum, which seem to be where all my extra weight is being carried. Before pregnancy, the one part of my body that I really took pride in was my flat stomach, and now that that’s gone too, I feel like my young body isn’t so young anymore. My husband is the most wonderful man and he tells me every day how beautiful I am and how much he loves me, but I can’t help feeling a little guilty that he cannot enjoy his wife’s pre-pregnancy body anymore. I tell him not to look at my legs while I’m changing, and I cover my behind as I’m walking away from him. I also tend to compare my body to other women my age, which makes me feel worse because there aren’t a lot of girls in their early twenties who have had kids. I used to be a size 5, and now I’m a size 10 and still wearing some of my maternity clothes. That definitely doesn’t make me feel good about my body sometimes. I hope that I will learn to be proud of my body no matter what the circumstance, and this website has certainly helped me in starting to make that transition. The first picture is of me pre-pregnancy. The second picture is me at 34 weeks pregnant. The third and fourth are of my stomach and breasts 5 months post-partum (I am breastfeeding which is why I always have lop-sided breasts!). The fifth and sixth pictures are of the stretch marks on my breasts and inner thighs (I haven’t met anyone else who got stretch marks on their legs from pregnancy). I also got slight stretch marks on my hips and above my bum, but they didn’t photograph well.

Please do not use the photos without the permission of the photographer





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33 Responses to “The New Body of a First Time Mom (Anonymous)”

  1. bonnie Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Oh, *I* have stretch marks on my legs from pregnancy. Even down on my calves! And I also have them on my upper arms. You are definitely not alone!

  2. Thea Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    I have stretch marks on my inner thighs, hips and only one on my stomach! the ones on my hips are the worst. You look great! think of the few extra pounds as being more feminine, thats what my husband tells me.

  3. martina Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    I have them on my legs as well (down to my ankles)! Until now I had never come across anyone with them on their legs from pregnancy. :)

  4. Maijken Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    you look beautiful. i hope that someday you’re able to accept your body as it is. you created and nourished life within you. that’s a miraculous thing. i, too, have done this. and even though i’m a lot bigger than you are, i find my body to be that of one happy mother. (my post on here is on march 14th, titled inspired, if you want to look)

  5. jennifer Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    i received stretch marks on my legs, just behind my knees in the first trimester, i didn’t get any on my stomach until the last week

    i like the belly ones but the legs ones drive me crazy, i miss my smooth legs

  6. anonymous Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    No wonder your husband says you’re beautiful…it really isn’t a stretch to see why!

  7. Crystal Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Your post really resonated with me. I am a 24 year old mama of two girls and I’m pregnant with my third right now. I totally understand your feelings about your body and comparing yourself to other women in their 20s. Being a young mother can be a challenge, especially when most of your other friends and peers are not in the same boat of responsibility as you, but it is so rewarding as well. You are not alone in this, even if it feels that way sometimes. Much love to you~

  8. Ange Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 12:48 am

    You could be talking about my body, but I’m 33. I have stretch marks on my calves, thighs (including inside my knees), stomach, sides and bum, and lots on one breast, no many on the other. I gained about 15kg in my pregnancy (37 lbs??) but my stretch marks between my knees started at 6wks! 20 months later they have faded almost completely, so be kind to yourself and give yourself time. And what a wonderful thing it is to bring life into this world, nourish it in the months beyond and have a husband who thinks you are sexy no matter how you feel about yourself! I know that I’m lucky for these things, and so are you!!! :)

  9. Abby Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 5:46 am

    We are the same size pre-pregnancy and post pregnancy. =) I could have written that submission myself!
    *I* think you look great.

  10. tanya Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 6:15 am

    Oh I have tons of stretch marks on my upper thighs. I can barely wear shorts. I also have them on my calves as well.
    I use to be very very embarrassed of them, but honestly for some reason they are easily tanned away, and I feel that it isn’t worth hiding EVERY part of my body and being uncomfortable in the heat.
    You look really good for just having a baby, and eventually everything will fall into place.

    I totally understand your feelings for looking at other women, that was and still is me. It makes you feel better to know others have them, on the other hand it makes you feel worse to find someone who doesn’t have a single one and looks amazing.

    In the end we are all beautiful, don’t let that become a habit of constantly judging yourself. I know personally how hard it is when you do that.

  11. Lindsay Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 6:37 am

    I also have a lot of stretchmarks on my legs – pretty much every where on my body. The thing is you can’t care what people think of you, it is an amazing feeling to be comfortable in your own body. I know its hard to let go but when I look at you I see a beautiful post pregnancy body with an awesome stomach! You look great!

  12. Tasha Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 9:56 am

    Look at you! look at that butt! I love it! lol baby got back ;) and that’s a good thing!

    I have stretch marks on my inner thighs, outer thighs, a TON on my butt, and even some on the back of my legs behind my knees (and of course, the ton on my boobies)!

    I think you’re defintely beautiful :D

  13. Laurie Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 10:30 am

    You look great! Five months postpartum is still early. I was “stuck” at 10 lbs over my prepregnancy weight for the entire 14 months that I breastfed my daughter–nursing just made me really, really hungry. It came off once I stopped breastfeeding with a bit of exercise and a nutritious diet. The stretch marks fade, and like someone else said, eventually everything falls into place. Don’t be hard on yourself or your body–you’ve accomplished a tremendous and beautiful thing.

  14. carolyn Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Sweetie, you look beautiful. You’ve got curves that are lovely. I wish I had your butt.

    Mine is flat and its fallen down my legs.

    My stretch marks were red like yours, but now they’re silver.

    Really, you look great.

  15. michelle Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    I got stretch marks just on my upper legs just under my underwear line. I think they are a bit strange and I have one in my inner thigh. Oh the places that have to stretch to make a baby! Haha. You look beautiful!!

  16. Samantha Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    I also have stretchmarks on my hips stomach, innerthighs and backs of my calves by my knees. I think the leg stretch marks were caused not so much by weight gain in my legs but from all the sweeling I had very high blood pressure. I had three children from the time I was 20 til 24. Now I am 28. It doesn’t do any good to look at other twentysomething girls most of them haven’t had any children yet. You look great, you look better than I do, don’t sweat it so much.

  17. Autumn Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    I have stretchmarks all over my thighs, down to my calves.
    i haven’t met anyone with them on their legs either.

    your breasts and stomach look great!

  18. chantal Says:
    April 5th, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    i have stretch marks on my upper thights front and back. i play with them a lot cuz they’re never going away!

  19. Stephanie Says:
    April 6th, 2007 at 7:29 am

    I have stretch marks on my legs as well. If it makes you feel any better – and I truly hope it does – mine are waaaay worse than yours – they go from the top of my thighs, past my knees. I sympathize with how you feel about them because I am extremely insecure about mine but what can we do right? Please try to remember – you are beautiful!

  20. Cherry Says:
    April 6th, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    I have stretch marks on my breasts, stomach, hips, arms, thighs, calves, behind my knees, my butt, my pubic area… basically everywhere!!! I had my son at 16 and am now almost 22 and I am about 30 pounds more than I was before I had my son, but I have never loved my body more. I think I’m going to post pics soon. This website is great!!!

  21. chantal Says:
    April 11th, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    when i said “play” i meant i run my fingers across them cuz they are so WIDE some of them

  22. Emily Says:
    April 22nd, 2007 at 11:38 am

    I totally understand how you feel…I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl eight weeks ago, I feel so grateful to have carried a healthy baby. But, I find myself weighing myself endlessly, and staring at my stretch marks, and huge ass, and hips. I was always thin, but gained nearly 65 pounds during my pregnancy. I lost 35 pounds in two weeks, and have not lost any since then. I am trying to give myself a break, but it can be hard at times. Anyway, your stretch marks don’t look bad at all…I would trade with you in an instant. Whew, that felt good…thought I would share my stuff too!! this site is really cool!!

  23. Rachel Says:
    April 25th, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    OMG…………I could have wrote your post…! I had the most horrible stretch marks around my hips and thighs. And I’m stuck w/ weight just like you! About 15 lbs to go and it’s been almost 20 months since I had my daughter! I know exactly what you’re going thru!

  24. Sarah Says:
    April 27th, 2007 at 8:26 am

    Hey, I thought I’d write cause I am 24 an am about to have my 4th baby,my oldest will only be 3 1/2 by the time he is born. I do the same as you about looking at girls my age. I will have to show you my pictures when I get some done. I would kill to look like you!! I killed my body I never gave it any time to recover. My husband loves my new body He says it’s so soft and that I was too skinny in the first place. He wishes I wouldn’t even notice the differences, so easy for a man to say :)

  25. Kim Says:
    May 9th, 2007 at 9:56 am

    Your body looks better than mine did before i was pregnant! Count yourself lucky! I am ony 20 though and know how you feel in regards to looking at other women of the same age… But you look great so keep smiling!

  26. Seth Says:
    July 19th, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    IN my opinion you look incredible. You really have no reason to be ashamed of you body.

  27. Daniella Says:
    October 27th, 2007 at 2:04 am

    Hi,i’m 38 weeks pregnant and i have so many stretch marks all over my legs just under my bum and all the way down, a bit on my hips and in one of my breasts, makes me feel very uncomfortable around my husband, i know he loves me but i feel so depressed about my body, i wish i didn’t have them, they look so bad.
    I think i put on too much weight, i was 54 kg before pregnancy and now i’m 74kg.
    So you’re not the only one there with stretch marks…i guess some are more lucky then others…

  28. Jess Says:
    November 14th, 2007 at 3:36 am

    You are gorgeous! I’m 20yrs old and almost 37weeks pregnant right now and I’ve got probably double..if not triple the amount of stretch marks on my thighs and I was super thin before too! I feel ya girl! :-)

  29. thalita Says:
    November 27th, 2007 at 10:11 am

    you r so not alone ! Im 21 yrs old and 38 weeks right now. I just got back from the clinic and im soo disappointed w/ my self , i gained 65 pounds and i was just like you , 5’3″ and 125 lbs. im getting so depressed right now thinking about losing all this extra extra extra weight, and i also got stretch marks same places u did. Im so scared of how my body is going to look like after the baby is here but imma start going to the gym and hopefully i might go back to 125…or close.

  30. Colin's Mom Says:
    December 6th, 2007 at 7:51 am

    I just wanted you to know, that I have stretch marks on my legs, butt and tummy..i have gotten used to the ones on my tummy, but yea the legs bothered me..and i gained 60lbs! I am only 5’1..luckily my tummy doesnt look as bad as i thought..but hang in there over time i am sure we will love our bodies again

  31. Patricia Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    I just had my first daughter on Nov. 16, 2007. Iam 33 years old. I feel the exact way you do. That is how i read your post. I’ve been feeling really down on the dumbs about my body changing and being a good mommy to my beutifull daughter. I to was in very good shape i have always been. I was a size 8 up until i had my baby girl. I always worked out and kept my body in good shape. Now i’m still wearing maternity cloths and i will not go buy any cloths until i can fit back into my sixe 8 jeans. I’m almost there but still i’m not sure if i’ll be there in the next month or so. I hope i can love my body for what it is. I tried to excersise but it is so hard when you have a full time job being a mommy.

  32. Genny Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    As I read your post, I was thinking that you could have been me talking. I have almost the same measurements as you do/did except that I’m a little bit taller. I understand that it’s stressful to gain weight and not lose it quickly. I never lost much weight while breastfeeding, I always kept about 10 pounds on until I stopped and I’ve had 4 kids now. I also think it’s annoying that everyone tells you to love your new body because it’s sort of a grieving process when you lose your old figure. My advice is to eat healthy, exercise and get a great hairstyle. You may not be a size 4 again, but when you realize that the average woman in the U.S. is a size 14, you will probably learn to be happy with a size 6 or 8. The stretch marks fade and your skin will shrink back to where it was. It just takes a while. I’d say not to get too crazy about it until 18 months has passed. Good luck.

  33. Steph Says:
    July 28th, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Two things: First, you are beautiful right now just the way you are! Yes, you are different than you were. But this “different” is still beautiful!

    And second, I got stretch marks from my upper thighs all the way to my knees. You’re not alone. They will fade to a shimmery silver with time.

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