Update January 2022:
Since those early months postpartum, I have added another sweet kiddo to our family. My son is about to turn 3, and I am almost 1 year postpartum from my second. Not much has changed physically since my first – besides becoming more active. I am now 26! Here are some update photos. I’m not the same woman I was in my first post – I’m so glad. I have come to grow and release much of my harsh words to myself. Here are photos of my bodily changes between 5-10 months postpartum after my second. My advice is to accept this journey where you are – & know that you will continue to change inside and out. Wear the cute outfit, bathing suit, don’t give up on exercise if you loved it before, don’t consider yourself less worthy of good health. I started a workout program just because I love fitness. I found myself almost depriving myself because I knew it wouldn’t “fix my loose skin” but I realized… so? It helps me be a healthier happier person – shouldn’t I invest? So I did. Best wishes my friends.
I am 34 years old, and I have had two children. One by home birth and the other in a hospital, both vaginal delivery. Now 9 and 7 years old. Often I have felt guilty about my body. When I am in a room of other moms I often feel ashamed of “looking good”. I don’t subscribe to fad diets, or crazy gym routines. I simply live. I am a BJJ purple belt and it took me 10+ years to get there because being a mom took all of my personal time. This picture makes me feel proud because it is a beautiful piece of lingerie given to me by my husband that actually fits me! Being “small” I have a very hard time finding clothes that fit me. I submit this because I want other moms to know it’s OK to love your body without guilt, even if some women try to shame you for being who you are because they dont feel confident in themselves. We are ALL beautiful! And ps. I am offended when your husband flirts with me, its embarrassing! Stop looking at my body as the cause, It’s his loyalty that is a shame. You don’t know me, you just see my physical form. I am more then an object.
I’m currently 24. I have had two pregnancies and have two beautiful boys 1 year and 20 days apart both delivered vaginally. I will be 3 months postpartum in 11 days. I am writing this post because I am working hard to become comfortable in my own skin again and want to love my new body. In college I had so much confidence in crop tops, short shorts, bikinis etc…. Again, I am 24 years old so if this sounds immature I apologize. I love fashion, I love wearing things to compliment my figure and my midriff used to be my favorite part of my body. My first son left me stretch mark free, well on my stomach only, I developed a couple on my hips and some deep in my upper inner thigh area (yes I cried, my husband said that he didn’t care, yada yada all the things men say to comfort you.) My thoughts on his response…. No matter how vain it sounds I thought, “well at-least my stomach is OK.” Well then came my second baby boy and now I feel ruined. I am still young and I’d like to dress in all of the things I felt able to wear before, well a bit more conservative of course out of respect for my husband and children, but I am scared that strangers, yes people I owe nothing to, will stare…. Ugh this sounds so stupid…
I am about 30 lbs overweight now and just got the “okay” to resume exercise. I have diastasis recti so my pouch didn’t go down as fast as it did after my first pregnancy but I am working on closing the gap through physical therapy. I am eager to get toned again, but now I fear that weight loss may enhance the appearance of my stretch marks that, in person, look like deep horizontal tears in my abdomen area (although exfoliation has evened the texture out a bit), plus the light discoloration (which I’m not sure if it will fade into my skin color because as an African American woman I found my belly looks darker for a while after birth), and may reveal sagging skin, which I’m not 100% sure if I have any, but the ab separation is about 3 fingers wide so that may contribute to sagging. Also, my belly button looks soooooo weird to me now, but that’s not a major issue for me, it seems to be shifting back to place lately… I’m probably hallucinating.
Anyway, I remember as a child, my mother showed me her stretch marks and said that her body was ruined, so that replays in my head, plus one of the first questions she asked when I was pregnant with my first was if I had developed any, which I hadn’t on my stomach. I find myself, in between bathroom breaks and nap-time for my babies in the mirror obsessively checking them as if they’re just going to disappear all of a sudden. I am exfoliating like crazy in the shower trying to fade them as fast as possible…. I’m considering a spray tan, yes I know I have dark skin already but I’ve read it could even out your skin tone and disguise scars regardless… I look at clothing online and automatically feel like I’ll never be able to wear what I like again without looking stupid. I have decided to get a tubal ligation because I honestly do not think I can handle anymore changes to my appearance. I know that beauty comes from within, but to me when you feel good about the outside, your self esteem is boosted… But maybe that’s just me. I know I have a long way to go and I will not allow myself to regret my amazing boys. But am I ruined? Can I still dress as a 24 year old? Is my body now disgusting? I need to know. Will it get better? Please help me ladies, I know it is all in my head, but I can’t seem to break free from this mentality.
Hello, im 36 and have 2 beautiful children ? aged 12 and 7.
My first pregnancy came at a time of such a huge loss. Only months before a huge part of my life passed away and the grief was immersurable. The pregnancy brought to us such excitement. I neglected to think what i ate would forever change my body. I thought i could eat what i want and at the end the weight would drop off and all would return to normal! Yikes was i delusional. Little size 8 grew to a 16!! Im short so the weight gain caused stretch marks on my tummy, breasts and my thighs and even calves! I had dark marks all over my tummy and i was so ashamed of my naked body. I was so depressed but so in love with my bundle of joy. He brought so much love into our lives that helped with healing such a broken heart.
I got post natal drepression and PTSD and lost a lot of weight fast. My stretch marks faded to mostly indented silvery lines i went Back to a size 8 by time he was 1. My once were gorgeous perky boobs were saggy and unrecognisable. My nipples had grown so much bigger through pregnancy and not returned to the size they had been. My tummy was more like a bobbly pouch. I hated my breasts so much i tried to wrap them with long cloth so they would be pressed hard against my body so i didnt notice them as much.
5 years later i was pregnant with my second son. I didnt gain as much weight with him and loved my milky boobies that were huge! It gave me a bit more cinfidence however during breast feeding i put on a lot more weight and have yo yo’d ever since hovering between a size 8 to 12. At the moment im a large 12 but hope to get back on top of healthy eating and exercise to drop the extra weight.
I have obsessed about my boobs and dream of having breast augmentation. I’ve researched other women who have gone through with it and love their results! But because finances won’t allow it i will accept what i have for the time being ? im grateful i naturally birthed 2 beautiful boys and was able to nourish them with breast feeding. The first had BM for 5 months due to complications and the second till aged close to 2 years old.
I love being a mother! i have a love-hate relationship with my body’s appearance however mostly im grateful and in awe of what it can do! Birthing and raising children has been the biggest blessing i could ever be bestowed and im forever grateful for such a privilege ?
Huge thanks to all the mothers sharing their stories on this page. You have helped me more than you can ever imagine! It helped me normalise my mother body and accept it. Xxx
Wow. Just wow.
I was scrolling through my bookmarks and stumbled across a post I made on this site that I haven’t thought about for years – titled ‘I can’t stand to look in the mirror.’ (July 2010)
The title alone was like a slap in the face.
I actually cannot believe that the sad, lonely person who wrote that 8 years ago was ME.
How much has changed in those few short years!?
My 18 month old and newborn are now 8 and 6, I have kicked my lousy husband to the curb and am no longer suffering from depression. I got a great new job, moved cities – and am seizing LIFE at every opportunity.
Am I now 100% happy with my body? Of course not. I still dislike my hips, I still have wobbly bits – but the difference is now my focus is on fitness, and trying to better myself rather than on ‘getting my pre baby body back.’ I train about 5 times a week and eat clean (well most of the time!)
I am writing this post today, to tell every one of you GORGEOUS mumma’s out there that you CAN do it. Whatever your goal is!
Want to wear a bikini this summer? Buy one, get a spray tan and ROCK it! Want to be able to run 5k? Start with daily walks and then increase over time.
Happiness is a choice, and our children DESERVE to see their mums happy and confident!
If you are feeling like I was feeling 7 years ago, remember – things can only go UP from this point.
First photo is from my previous post – 3 months pp. unhappy, hating my body. Other 2 pics are today, much more comfortable with myself both physically and mentally.
I am 30 years old and I have two children, ages 8 and 6.
The story of how I learned to be ok with my body again after kids is a long one. Similar to many on this site. When I became a single woman with children I thought, “No one will ever love or want me because I am hideous.” What I have learned in the last two years of being single is that is a bunch of hogwash!
I stopped focusing on achieving perfection and instead began to focus on my overall health. I’m 5’7 and I went from 210 lbs with 37% body fat to 150 lbs with 24% body fat. I have maintained this weight for a year. I have fitness goals I am continuing to work towards.
My body is healthy. It isn’t perfect and it never will be. Sometimes I still struggle with knowing this, but I remind myself that there are more important things in life than having a perfect body. I remind myself to be kind and when needed I remind myself that it’s ok to cry over what I have lost. I remind myself how far I have come and ultimately I remember what my children have told me over the years:
“You’re beautiful Mommy!”
“I want to look like you when I’m older Mom.”
“Mommy, I love your tummy so much. It’s soft and squishy and ahhhh… I just love it!”
The ways their eyes light up when people tell them they look like miniature versions of me.
I see them watching me and I am proud that even in my darkest days I have never once exposed them to the emotional turmoil I felt inside. I have not talked down about my body nor have I hidden it in shame. They know we eat well because it’s good for our bodies. They know we are active because we want to be strong and healthy. And I know that they are always watching. I never want them to go through what I have gone through and so that is what motivates me to keep working towards loving myself as I am. Am I 100% there yet? No, I am not, but I am getting there.
I am a 22 year old mother with 2 babies 12 months apart. After my first was born I had an identity crisis. I looked into the mirror and I didn’t know who I was any more, I didn’t recognize my body, I was depressed. Then I had my second and one day I realized I am beautiful because this belly and stretchmarks are given me to me as a sign that I have been blessed with children, a constant reminder of how my life has been beautifully changed into a mother. It is different than my young, tight pre-baby body, but it is just as beautiful because this is my young, beautiful baby stretched mommy body. I am no longer just a beautiful young woman, I am a beautiful young mother! However, I have learned something important through the process of my body turning into a mother and that is, it is ok to grieve. I grieved my old body because it was over, gone, never to be the same again. It is a reality that so many of us women have to face. We may lose the weight, work hard and gain back muscle but somethings will never be what they used to be. The mere fact that we are now mothers means our lives are forever changed. But now it is time to move on and embrace the future as a beautiful Mama!
12 months postpartum with my second