Captured just hours after childbirth, an Australian mom of three has shared a photo of her post-labor belly in a gesture she hopes will help other mothers know they’re not alone in the postpartum journey.
On Instagram, Elise Raquel spoke candidly about the “pain” and “flood of emotions” she felt following the birth of her daughter, Willa.
Though she couldn’t have been happier with the arrival of her third child, Raquel said, “It’s a strange feeling to look down and still see a bump, even though you’re holding your baby in your arms. It’s not easy to go home with a baby and still have to wear maternity clothes.”
During her first pregnancy, Raquel said, she was certain she would just “bounce back.” But in the post, she admits that’s not what happened at all.
“I didn’t, I never have in fact. With each baby, I’ve gained a few more kilos and a few more stretch marks,” she said.
Point being: That’s OK! Regaining confidence after childbirth is no easy process. As women, we are endlessly bombarded with messages about how we’re supposed to look. It’s important to remind ourselves that bodies are meant to change, especially after something as significant as childbirth. Posts like Raquel’s do a great job at uncovering this reality.
Her post concludes: “I am beyond proud of what this body has given and sacralised. I am thankful that my body is able to carry and birth babies naturally.
“I am NOT ashamed of my (many) new stripes and my postpartum body. And neither should you! Let’s celebrate postpartum bodies, in all their glory. The female body is incredible and I am so proud of what mine has done!”
More power to you, mama!
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