Am I Still Beautiful? (Anonymous)

I am 39 years old, wanting to accept my changing body, 3 pregnancies (3P/2B), both birth were vaginal, My “normal size”, 160cm, 55 kg (110lbs). Breast 32B,

I was 37 at the time I was pregnant with my second baby, I did gain a lot of weight and when I was 39 weeks I weighted nearly 76kg (150lbs), and I am only 160cm, 5 ft 3 in – I did look like an elephant, but somehow I liked my body, I was adored by my hubby and he was regularly taking pictures of my growing body.

Disaster came after I gave a birth … 5 months postpartum I still looked like I was pregnant, (First 11 pictures), stretch marks on my belly was the worst, my breasts got saggy and my nipples changed shape. My hips and legs look like I was 20 years older that I am, WHAT TO DO !

~Age: 39
~Number of pregnancies and births:3/2
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 12/2, I am 2 years PP

Is There Any Hope For Me? (Anonymous)

Age : 24
Number of pregnancies : 1
Child’s age : 3 months old

I am a first time mom.
I do not know anything about pregnancy as I am far away from my family.
I was depressed the whole time and I felt so lonely.
From 120 pounds I went to a whooping 193 pounds.
I am 3 months post partum and now 154 pounds.
I’ve got tons of stretch marks on my hips.
I said to myself it was ok because they will surely fade in time and I thought it was normal. However, weeks after childbirth I have noticed so many on my legs. On top of my thighs, back of my thighs, right inner thigh, back of my knees, and both calves.
I am devastated and I feel so hopeless. I cannot sleep and eat well.
I have been on Google for remedies and such because I really do not have knowledge about it. I just thought that it would only be on the tummy area. And you’ll only get them if you scratch. Luckily, I found this site. Its a relief to realize that I am not alone with this but still I feel so hopeless.
I am very happy with my baby but it hurts to look at myself. I feel so wrecked and damaged.
Do I still have any hopes?
Will I ever be able to wear shorts or dresses in time?
I have so many things on my mind to say here but I am so down because of what happened to my once flawless legs.
Thank you for reading my submission.

Journey To Loving Myself (Anonymous)

What beautiful, brave women you all are for opening up and bearing your hearts, minds and bodies here on this site! I have been reading stories on here to learn and prepare for some of the physical and emotional changes I may experience after I’ve given birth since I have no previous experience to draw on. I look at you all with utter awe and admiration, and in my opinion you are as feminine as it gets and I feel so proud to be about to join your ranks.

I am only part way along the motherhood journey, approx. 6 months pregnant so far. I am 30 yrs old and this is my first baby. I haven’t developed any stretch marks on my tummy or breasts as yet, but I have gained some weight on my thighs and my bottom, and developed a few varicose veins on one of my legs as you can see in the pictures.

I don’t have a picture-perfect body by magazine standards, but it’s mine to live in and so I do treasure it, especially now that I’m pregnant – it constantly amazes me. I don’t really feel sexy in the same way as I used to, but I feel more womanly and powerful in my body than ever and therefore sexy in a whole new and much deeper way.

I have not always felt as free and loving toward myself and my body. I had painful experiences with my body image, depression and anxiety in my teens and early 20’s. Over the years since recovering though, I have come to see my body more as a way I can express my spirit and receive/share with the world around me, than a purely physical form that defines me, and is either “attractive” or “unattractive” to the world.

Reading many stories I really feel the grief expressed by different women about what they once were and are no longer since having babies… the permanent features that they can never change or undo (without surgery, or even with the help of surgery)… and the unrelenting sense of pressure/expectation from partners, society or just themselves to improve or restore themselves to their former glory, as if now they are less than they were and lacking in various ways, even though they have just become SO MUCH MORE.

I feel the pain particularly as many women talk about taking wonderfully healthy actions like being physically active, eating consciously, trying to be positive and proactive without experiencing any tangible results and the frustration, self-loathing and hopelessness that ensues. Wonderful, extraordinary women feeling like they need to take all sorts of extreme and harsh measures, even against their own intuition, to eliminate the ways in which they horrify themselves. I don’t judge one single one of you, because I have felt these things about myself in the past, without even having the excuse of having had a baby and the very real physical changes that come with that. I simply wish you did not have to suffer that shame/pain/grief/self-loathing, when you are actually so incredibly worthy and deserving of boundless honour and admiration.

My pursuit of perfection when I was younger, although I didn’t know I was doing it, eventually led to complete exhaustion, self-loathing, anxiety and ultimately depression. My self-esteem was blown apart and my perception of myself shockingly distorted. I shudder to think what effect pregnancy might have had on me at that time in my life and how I would have dealt with it.

I was fortunate to have a lot of professional guidance, loving supportive people around me and I was quite committed to being well again, but even still it was a long road to learn the lessons and tools for loving myself that I needed to be healthy and happy. I eventually was blessed to discover the power of a beautiful guided meditation process for healing called “The Journey”, which is all about uncovering the unconditional love that resides within you and allowing it flow through you. You learn to see yourself through the eyes of an innocent child/best friend/loving parent all mixed together and effectively let go of so many unhealthy ideas about what determines worth in the world – incredibly healing. Out of everything, learning this was what made all the difference for me, and still makes the difference for me now.

For someone who was ridiculously diligent, self-disciplined and compulsively trying to “fix”/”improve” myself, learning how to relax all that mental pressure, stop forcing myself constantly and just surrender to the knowledge of how extraordinary I already was WITHOUT BEING PERFECT was the most powerful key in my journey towards healing. I gradually learnt how to accept myself exactly as I was BEFORE I was better, healthier, more attractive, more capable, successful, etc. My life’s not perfect and nor am I, by my whole life has become much easier and more beautiful, and I feel beautiful just as I am.

A line in the post called “I Want My Body Back” (Anonymous) is what ultimately inspired me to share some of my story with you all here. The line was: “I just want to love myself for what I look like now”. I wanted to share the way that I learnt how to give myself that gift of self-love for her, and for all of you beautiful women who deserve that gift too, just in case it helps in any way.

I hope it’s ok to quote a couple of ladies who’ve posted here on this site – these are just some of the most beautiful and uplifting words I have read and I will hold them in my heart as I continue on my journey of becoming a mother:

“I was beautiful then and I’m beautiful now… Size does not equate worth, or love, or beauty…” (It’s oK To Feel Beautiful – Jennifer)

“Tears running down my face… This body was the look of true beauty, of work and reward, of suffering and love.” (My Post Partum Body – Courtney)

Thank you for all of your stories.


I have lost 15lbs since last post. I am now 13 months PP. I don’t know if there is any more hope to this belly. I am semi-satisfied with my body. However, I want to try some lotions & exercise & see if that will make a difference. Because I have yet to REALLY devote any time or effort to making changes with diet, & target-ing specific areas to work out. As you can see, some pictures I am tightening my belly, & it looks a LOT better when I make a muscle with it. I am hoping to get it that way thru exercise. Also, my husband says if I want, he’ll pay for me to get a tummy tuck. I am unsure at this point if I really want to go through with it, because, what are my motives? As a Christian, I don’t know if it’s right to care as much as I do with how I look, shouldn’t I just be satisfied with what I have, and not soooooooo consumed!? Ugh!.. I am happy with my husband, he is the only person that “has” to see me naked, & I can wear a one piece to the beach!!!!! Who caresssssss! I don’t think I’ll really get a tummy tuck. I just want to be healthy, and in shape. :)

Young Mother of Two, Nearly Six Years Postpartum (Anonymous)

Age: 28
Pregnancies: 2
Births: 2, both vaginal.
I have 1 girl age 9 and 1 boy age 5.
Nearly 6 years postpartum.
Height & weight: 5’1 3/4 (those 3/4 totally count) & 124lbs.

Like many of you here, I’ve never liked my body. I was a teen mother, pregnant at 18. Before I had kids I struggled my my self loathing, but for different reasons than most. I was too thin, before my wonderful girl I was 87lbs. I did everything I could to gain weight, I ate donuts every day put butter, mayo & cheese on everything I could, tried to be as inactive as I could bear. I was still boney and angular, I felt I looked like an 8 year old, not the woman I was. Who could ever want me, when my body was covered in points? I wore baggy clothes to hide myself and carefully avoided touching people so I wouldn’t stab them with my angular hips and boney elbows. I panicked when people tried to tickle me, because if they touched me they would know how disgusting I was.. Just a walking skeleton. No one could ever love bones, my hugs would comfort no one. When I wore a bathing suit I wore T-Shirts over them so no one would see how my breastbone protruded from my chest and spent the whole time in the water or pulling the shirt away from my body in hopes no one would notice my child form. Well-meaning people handed me pamphlets telling me that there were people who would help me with my anorexia that I didn’t have. I tried wearing multiple layers of stretch pants under my jeans to make myself look thicker, but the biggest pair I owned were size 3. People still handed me pamphlets, brought me plates of food and watched me to make sure I didn’t go anywhere after eating. I understood how they felt, I looked sick and how could that just be the shape I was without starvation. Boys called me “Breastless” as a nickname and teased that I would be a virgin all my life because I wouldn’t ever look like a woman. Teenagers suck.

Eventually I found someone who didn’t see me that way and to make a long story short, we got pregnant. I got stretch marks all over my lower back and breasts, big ones. My face swelled up like a balloon. Towards the end of my pregnancy I got some matching ones on my hips, belly & thighs. My skin never stretched well, got stretchmarks on my tiny hips at 12 and all over the back of my calves one summer. So although I coated myself in greasy cocoa butter 3 times a day, it wasn’t surprising that I got stretchmarks while my girl was growing. All in all I gained 47lbs, my obgyn was thrilled, due to my low prior weight they wanted me to gain a lot. She was born (6lbs 9oz) and I made the mistake of looking into a full length mirror when she was a week old and burst into tears. As time went by, my stripes faded and I got less swollen looking, my weight dropped to 105. I couldn’t understand why my tummy never went away, although I was pretty happy at being able to finally put on some weight and look more normal. I even got boobs out of the deal, although breastfeeding made my areolas stretch much bigger than they used to be. I was pretty ok with the way things turned out, but tried to make sure E never got a good look at my new stomach.

Nearly three years later we got pregnant again, this time a boy. A few of my stretchmarks deepened, my face got swollen again, but all in all not too bad. Except for two days where my legs swelled up like sausages and I got stretchmarks all down the length of my legs. They were so dark and friend kept asking me what happened to my legs, did I fall? It was summer and I wore shorts and skirts in an attempt to keep cool. There was no hiding them. I carried him lower and bigger than my first, everyone swore I must be having twins. The heaviest I got was only 4lbs more than I had gotten with my daughter. Although my the first thing my mother-in-law said when she saw him was that he had my double chin. Two months after I turned 22 he was born and weighted a healthy 7lbs 6oz. The weight took a lot longer to lose and my goal was never to be thin, just less belly. Two years later I was down to 117 and had gotten pretty good at concealing my still loose tummy. However, my stomach is still the thickest part of me and it never really gets better. I lose weight it gets saggy, I gain any it starts there first and people ask if I’m pregnant.

Now it’s been almost 6 years since I had my boy and I’m the heaviest I’ve even been without being pregnant. Admittedly I have been eating more junk food lately. It seems that now that I’m approaching 30, my body is finally gaining weight, much easier than I though was possible. I don’t really care about the number on the scale, my doctor says my BMI is right where it should be.. But I feel fat now. I know I’m not but clothes just don’t fit right and seem to always make my stomach look big. I think because I used to be so thin, it’s warped how I see myself. After all I’m 6-7 sizes bigger than I was before, so feeling bigger than I was is inevitable. I could work out more, but I’m afraid I’ll get too skinny again. I never want to be that girl again, but I wouldn’t mind loosing the stretch marks and maybe being a little more tone. I’ve got hips now, but also a muffin top. My husband (the same guy who was the only one to call me beautiful) insists I look great, but I can’t believe him even though I know it could have been worse. I’ve thought about having more kids, but we can’t afford it, two is enough for now. There’s also a part of me which is terrified as to what another baby would do to my body.

This is what I look like today and even though there’s a few things I’d change, if I couldn’t I’d be at peace with it. There’s more to my story, but I tried to keep it more about the physical changes that came with my children.

This is Me (Leanne)

23 years old, 1 pregnancy 1 birth, daughter aged 4

I fell pregnant a month after my 18th birthday. It wasn’t planned and came as a total shock, but once the initial shock was over, I was happy. I prepared myself mentally for everything that was to come; except the changes to my body. I developed stretch marks at around 22 weeks. I remember seeing one in the mirror for the first time and thinking ‘Oh no, I’m going to have that scar for life!’ but I wasn’t prepared for the dozens upon dozens of stretch marks to follow. By the time my beautiful girl was born, I was covered. I was so happy and thrilled to be a mother that at first I put them to the back of my mind, but as she got older and time went on the more I focused back on myself. I hated my body. I was over-weight, covered in scars, my breasts had dropped after breast feeding and I felt like an old woman. But I didn’t give in to my negative thoughts. By the time my little girl was one years old, I’d joined a diet club and was exercising more and began to slowly lose my baby weight; that’s when the turning point came. As my friends and family complimented me on how much weight I’d lost and how healthy I was looking, it spurned me on. I didn’t go over the top, but just kept to what I was doing and still enjoyed precious time with my daughter. I accepted that I could lose weight if I tried but would never lose the scars. Once I accepted it I started to love my body again. I’m now 23 with my confidence back. My scars tell a story of the most important journey of my life and make me who I am. For the first time since I had my daughter, I wore a bikini on holiday last year. Yes, I don’t have the beach perfect body, but I’m a young woman, who wants to wear a bikini and why should I let worries of what other people may think stop me? As a woman, the greatest thing you can do is bring life into this world, why be ashamed of the signs that have proven you did just that!

Mother to 10! (Anonymous)

4 birth children, 5 adopted children, ages 17-11.
pregnancy number 5, 7.5 months!

As a teenager, I remember distinctly saying I would never ever have children. I still sometimes wake up and wonder what exactly happened? My mission for my adult life has been to be a child advocate and take in children who were in foster care like I was as a kid. I would not change a thing. However, being pregnant at 38 is much different from 19, I have found out. Not that it was super easy at a younger age, I just have enjoyed being a “younger” mom and sometimes being mistaken for my older daughter’s sister rather than mom. I wonder how my tenth child will feel when I am showing up to his high school games looking like a little granny, well I probably will be a granny and have some grandkids in tow more than likely. Not that I really care, I will yell till my dentures hurt probably.

I was very intrigued coming across your site, as I have been reading in my “free” time about the recent onslaught of media and celebrity pregnancies, browsing through sites and looking at airbrushed photos of the “stars” on covers of recent mags bearing all in their pregnancies. No one really can get away from looking like humpty dumpty I have decided, and I say that in a good way. I almost decorated my stomach as an Easter egg this past holiday but did not have enough energy. Every pregnancy I have been anemic, a little challenge with a brood at home.

With 4 teenage daughters my hope for them is to be able to love their bodies, through their lifetimes as they change from girls to women. A VERY difficult thing to do in today’s society of plastic. I applaud every woman who has taken the moment to share her story, her tribulations and excitement on her gift of life. I have my own worries as becoming a mother to 10 children and raising my new son, I would love to be free of blue veins, ( I have had a botched vein removal, and hemorrhoid surgery- owie!!!) and to have my breasts back to the size they were in high school. No one told me that breastfeeding would cause my breasts to get smaller, lol. And after 4 children treating me as a cow, it saddens me that I have been the smallest cup size in the house, going from a C cup to an AA cup. After this 5th bout of breastfeeding I think I will just have 2 nipples probably. That is a downside of what happens but I am okay with it, and excited to be able to experience the intimate time of breastfeeding again with my soon to be born child.

To be pregnant is one of the most amazing wonders of the world, to feel like your body is overcome by some alien being who you love and dream about before you meet their tiny eyes. To sacrifice your vanity to bring a blessing into the world. Nothing comes close in my opinion. All that said I will be a little insecure when summer comes and finding a swimsuit. I love the sun, summer and water. I remind myself no matter what I am thoroughly blessed to have my children, a wonderful committed partner who will be an amazing father to this little one, and jeans in the back of the closet will fit again someday. I will just have to have patience on when that someday actually turns out to be.

Keep your heads up and your hearts open… beautiful women we all are, all shapes and sizes, changed bodies and all!

“A mother’s joy begins when new life is stirring inside… when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the very first time, and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone“ By Author Unknown

My husband loves my body, why can’t I? (Anonymous)


Today I am 17 weeks postpartum.

Just a little background- I had always had self image problems. I remember puking in middle school until high school were during my junior year I met my now husband.He immediately was putting “meat” on my frail 80lb body. I am 5’2”. So I was really starved and needed the help. My husband and I have been together for 7 1/2 years now. Yes, do the math we met when I was 16. And my husband is 7 years older than I am as well.

During my pregnancy my Mother in Law who lives 2 hours away would say how “huge” I had gotten. I ended up almost destroying our relationship. I didn’t get ONE stretch mark until 32 weeks. After I had my beautiful baby girl I was proud of my baby and my body after the birth. This body created life. Something so beautiful! My husband and I were crazy for each other and our baby! We couldn’t keep our hands off each other- Just as we were just before birth and before I was carrying our baby. I had the birth I dreamed of. I managed the pain and had a natural birth. Our plans came together and we worked together beautifully during the birth.

And then life hit and my mom was in the room after I had taken a bath during the day after having my baby. “Oh my god, your stretch marks are worse than mine” I was still positive then- It had barely been 16 hours. I brushed it off. We come home and I still embrace them. I began nursing her and she grew like a weed! almost 3 pounds in 13 days! After she was a month old I began scrutinizing my body in the mirror. My legs had large amounts almost to my knee cap and my stomach had plenty as well. Ugh. I tried Mederma and used it religiously and would ask my husband if they looked any better.

Months later she still says my stretch marks are worse than hers because I have them on my legs as well. I can’t get over this. I have lost the 27 pounds I gained during pregnancy. And most of the marks have faded. She does ultrasound cavitation you may have seen it on Dr Oz. Anyways she has done that on them as well. And they look somewhat better. But I am to the point now I DO NOT want to be around her. I wear clothes that cover my mid section so she doesn’t have to see a roll or a mark. It’s the same in public as well. I will feel like a goddess at home in my clothes while nursing etc and then when I leave I feel like everyone knows. Everyone sees my marks my scars. They see my tattoo along with the scars and probably think yep she will never show that off again.

I want to wear my stretch marks with pride. My husband LOVES my body now. He loves rubbing it. Hell, He keeps me up most nights rubbing me and shaking my ass begging me to love on him and kiss him. He constantly wants to make love. And I can’t get over my body while making love. He wasn’t like this before- I swear- we loved one another but not like this. It is really like he is obsessed with me now. Why can’t I feel this good about my body if he does?

I am still in the process of healing my mind from the scarring. But, I come to this site often and love to read and look at photos and I figured why not. I could help someone else and it might help me as well. I want to feel like a goddess when I leave my home even when my husband isn’t beside me telling my how beautiful I am. I am afraid if I don’t fix my mind now it could take a toll on our relationship. If you don’t love yourself no one else can love you either.

Photo #1- 2010 photo I took for my husband before we got married.
Photo#2- 38 weeks pregnant- I gave birth just 2 weeks later but I remained the same measurements
photo #3- 3 months post-natal
Photo #4-3 months post-natal side view

Sad Moments (Anon)

Previous post here.

Hello SOAM I nvr thought id be writing soi soon, but I’ve been having some real sad moments the past few weeks, where I’ve come real close to giving up hope, with thoughts of me never regaining the confidence I once had. I’m 2 months post partum and felt better when I was 3 weeks. Some persons who see me, knowing I recently gave birth can only comment on how fat I’ve gotten. That really hurts. And even when others tell me I don’t look like I had a baby just 2 months ago, the “u look so fat” remarks are what settle.

Right now I’m at my boyfriends house, and without thought, I’m living part of a nightmare I had when I just found the stretch marks on my belly. Where I couldn’t find my self undressing in front of him any more, I’m sure he notices, We don’t live together, its a long distance relationship, so seeing each other doesn’t happen often. This visit is the first in a long while, and I’m not very excited. I just want to go home. Home, where I can be alone, and be sad by myself. Where I don’t have to worry about killing his vibe for me. Where I can look in the mirror and criticize my body.

Having a baby changes everything. I never thought it’d change so much. Never knew such a happy event could make me feel so down. I can’t help but feel extremely sad when I see the way my body went to a whole new dimension right before my eyes. It is still too early to give up hope. But some days that is exactly what I feel like doing. I evn gained weight and inches :-( . My breast are now sagging. One is way bigger than the other, I’m no longer sexually appealing.

Because of all that, I’m slowly loosing my libido. The last time we had sex was in April, at that time I was still very sexy. Now that I’ve delivered a 8lb 4oz baby, and my body gone, no doubt, my hole is bigger and he’ll hate it. He’s a man. How much longer can he go without sex? Will he enjoy it the way he did? I’m nervous. I’m sad.

Being a mother is great, knowing my baby is being nourished from the one breast tht he loves, makes me happy. Knowing tht my now ugly belly kept him safe gives me closure, n makes me know it’s like this for a beautiful reason. But at times I can’t help but feel sad.

Over the weeks, since I’m a mom, I notice that all young moms aim is to look like what they used to. I think its sad how we allow society and celebrities to dictate what we look like wen we hv kids. And hv us worried, and stressed out.

Its as if we are slaves to beauty, when true beauty comes from within, from us bearing our children. I’m greatly affected by my changed body, and there isn’t much tht I could have done differently, I would not have done anything differently. Nothing’s more important than having a healthy baby.

I’ll start exercising soon, I’m afraid I’ll get sick if I over exert my body. And then I won’t be there for my baby. So far my bf doesn’t seemed bothered by the way I look. He still assures me tht I’ll soon look the way I used to. Embracing my mommy bod, cellulite, stretch marks fat, not being able to wear a mini skirt cuz of stretch marks on my calves and thighs, not being able to wear a bikini anymore isn’t easy and I know I’ll nevr look the way I used to but I have the hope of coming close.

Ps thanks for ur encouraging coments in my previous post – Sad but not giving up hope.

1st 2 pics: me in April
3rd pic: pre preggo breasts
4th pic: breasts now
5th & 6th: belly n boobs
7th pic: me sitting down
8th pic: me in clothes
9th pic: me n my hunny bun
10th & 11th pic: thigh stretch marks
12 & 13 pic: calf stretch marks

How can I love my new body? (Anonymous)

~Number of pregnancies and births:1
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 4 monnths PP

I got pregnant at 16 with a beautiful baby boy. hes my world.. before getting pregnant I weighed 115 pounds and I am 5″6. wasnt fat looking just normal size. After i had my son i was breastfeeding for about 2 months. I liked it but i was so busy taking care of him and everything and he was very colicy i had to stop at 2 months. I never ate hardly anything due to always cleaning and stuff when he slept which was a bad idea.. now i currently weigh 98 pounds. i had some stretch marks before pregnancy on my upper legs and outter lower legs around my knees.. due to growth spurt and gaining alittle weight when my dad died. now i have them on my butt,boobs,stomach,behind my knees,calfs,and lots on my inner legs.. if i didnt have these stretch marks i would be so happy… i try bio oil,cocoa butter, bio lotions, baby oil, vitamin e oil , etc… i will continue using bio oil to say i atleast tried hard… but i really wish they would go away!! i look at them all the time… they make me really upset and cry sometimes. i also use a dermaroller on them… it hurts but its worth it.. i find it made them look alittle better. my boyfriend and i always argue he says they “arent that bad” but they are!! they are ALL over my inner legs.. and i really want to wear shorts.. *sigh*

Updated here.