What do you see when you look at this photo? A mum who is scarred for life? A stomach ruined? Or an incredible story of love, etched into the skin?
Can you see beyond the jiggly bits and past the saggy skin? This mum does. And her pic is sending positive postpartum vibes across the Instaworld.
Okay ladies, it’s time to talk about stretch marks. Despite what many believe, stretch marks aren’t a sign that your body is weak, that your stomach is ruined, that your bikini days are over.
Sorry, but no. Stretch marks are a sign of strength, a symbol of love, a powerful reminder that you are always going to be someone’s mum, forever. Stretch marks and all the rest of the goodies that come with giving birth are your stamp into the mummy club. It’s about time we embrace them, accept them and love them for all that they represent.
Love your stripes, ladies
Hayley Stavenger, the proud mumma in the photo below is one of the mums paving the way for the ‘stretchmark love’ movement. One week ago Hayley welcomed her twin girls – Ramona and Ruby – into her family. Alongside her beautiful postpartum pic, she has shared some powerful words that we all need to keep in mind.
“This morning Archer [Hayley’s toddler son] asked me what’s wrong with my belly. I told him that all of my babies leave marks on my belly so that I never forget for a second that I grew them in my body all on my own and that they exist earthside with me now! A forever reminder, whether I’m truly confident having these marks or not, it’s no doubt a testament to the miracles my body has made.“
“So much more matters”
This isn’t the first time a new mum has embraced her beautiful curves and mummy stripes. Photographer Tiffany Bourke also shared a stunning postpartum pic and message on Insta:
“Our bodies are important to love, but not so important to invest so much hate into. SO MUCH MORE MATTERS. Be healthy. Be strong. Make a change when you can. Be you. Be unafraid. Ignore the rest.
It’s okay if someone thinks I’m not pretty. I’m not here on this planet to please their eyeballs. I am worth so much more and so are you. Baby Quinn agrees.”
Then there is Julie Bholsale, who shared a candid look at what a mum’s tum goes through during those first three months postpartum.
She writes, ” I am a mother. I am tired, broken and sore. I have lumps, bumps, marks and jiggly bits. You too are a mother. You are also tired, exhausted, broken, sore, have lumps, bumps, marks and jiggly bits.
For most of us, our bodies change, and change a lot. It is scary, it is hard, it can be downright disgusting and upsetting but it is real, and normal.”
Stop with the whole ‘bouncing back’ BS
Earlier this year another new mum, Kristen Sullivan, showcased her incredible stretching stomach superpowers, once again proving that new mums have some seriously hidden talents.
“I’m sharing this to show mums that sometimes it doesn’t matter if you’re thin, ate right and exercised during pregnancy, your body grows in such a way that simply doesn’t allow you to ‘bounce back’ in friggin’ three weeks.
There is no race to bounce back mums. We’ll get there!!”
The message behind all of these images is the same – sure, your body may have taken a beating, but, your babies are more than worth it.
Hopefully these brave mums will inspire all mummas out there to let go of the stretch mark shame and embrace the beauty behind them.