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21st Oct 2018

Take Back Postpartum: The Instagram account every mum should follow

'Postpartum. Parenthood. Solidarity.'

Orlaith Condon

Add this one to your ‘followed’ list.

Despite the fact that more and more women are sharing pictures of their post-baby bodies online, there is still a huge stigma attached to it.

Yes, embracing postpartum bodily changes can be a struggle, however, one place that is both celebrating that struggle and highlighting how beautiful the changes can be is @takebackpostpartum on Instagram.

The account acts as fan page to mums and the battle scars they bare after welcoming children.

Here are some of their most inspiring stories.

"Comment with a ? if you have any of the following: stretch marks, cellulite, a mama pooch, a papa pooch, just yer average pooch, a six pack, long legs, short legs, a big butt, a teensy butt, an in-between butt, muscles, fat anywhere on your body, dark-toned skin, light-toned skin, ANY TONE OF SKIN COLOR, a lot of facial hair, no facial hair, one arm – or two (or three!), birth marks of any kind, scars of any kind, freckles, eyelashes, a neck, etc, etc, etc. My point? ? ALL OF THE ABOVE – AND MORE – PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS THAT UNIQUELY MAKE UP YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, LOVABLE, & WORTHY OF RESPECT, ACCEPTANCE, AND (YOU GUESSED IT!) LOVE. ? There is nothing you need to lose or change or limit EXCEPT the beliefs that keep you thinking you are ONLY of value when you are losing & changing & limiting. YOU WERE BORN INTO WORTHINESS, MY LOVES. You are awe-some for existing in the body you have – and guess what the coolest part is? YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO LOVE YOUR BODY RIGHT NOW TO ATTAIN THAT WORTHINESS. You can show up with as much body-hating baggage as I did after I birthed my daughter in 2015. All that is needed is the willingness – if even for a single moment in your day! – to believe in something DIFFERENT." ? @thelindsaywolf #postpartumbody #takebackpostpartum

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“Can you feel this image? The fatigue, the weightiness, the exhaustion, the postpartum body still reeling from the effects of having been pregnant for so many months, reeling from the birth experience, reeling from the last 3 or 4 sleepless nights… The clothes that were worn in pregnancy are still clothing your body because you’re still swollen. Your innards haven’t yet moved back after baby left…. Baby gets a good latch, family leaves you alone for a brief heavenly period, and you close your eyes and completely submerge into sleep, it’s the only sleep you can get, even if it only lasts a few minutes. Gratitude swirls around you, for the partner who’s looking after food for the children, for the friends who drop off meals and herbs to support you, for the wind in the trees, that wafts in to your room and caresses your hot and sticky and cheesy skin and refreshes your mind and spirit… So much to be grateful for. So much to cry about. So much to smile about. So much to sleep off. ??Birth is like being hit by a freight truck carrying life in all its madness. You survive the hit, but you’re covered in the madness of life.” ????? Words and image by @ellianagilbertphotography. #takebackpostpartum

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“Deep breaths…..this is me. This is my body. My body as a cancer survivor, as an amputee, as the mom to 3. I have the scars to show the battles I have fought, I have the stretch marks to show the babies I have grown. My body tells a story, it’s shows my journey……. And yet I have never been so hard on myself and how it looks as I have now. I’m 16 months postpartum, I’m still nursing. My stomach is still soft and my breast will never be as perky as they once were. Today I had to stop the nitpicking… I had to be kind to myself and I had to try to look at myself the way the people I love see me. I had to look at the amazing things this body has done. How can I see only faults in a vessel that has given me so much? This is MY body.” @treeoflifedoula3 #takebackpostpartum

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“This is 7 days postpartum. I’m rocking out in the mesh undies from the hospital {They are the best, send me all the mesh undies please}. My body has done a beautiful thing. It has carried a 5th child into this world. My uterus and stomach might not ever be “the same.” Nor should it be after the journeys it’s been through, the stories it can tell. A gift denied to many women. For every woman complaining of stretch marks, or a newer heavier body, there is a woman out there who would trade places in a heart beat to be able to carry and raise a child. I have been the complainer before, the downer of my body. Loving my postpartum body is not something I did easily. It took years of life, loss, appreciation, understanding, stories from other women… Other women played a HUGE role in my self love of my different body. It’s amazing the gift of the lady village and the openness and rawness of those who have gone before us or are going with us, and the change it can make on the way we see ourselves when we share openly. My baby is only 7 days old. My body is supposed to look exactly like this. However my body also might not ever go back. Nor should it have to. I just want to be healthy and strong for my children. Eat healthy to have energy to be present in their lives, be the teacher and guardian they each uniquely need, loving them unconditionally every step of the way. Having a larger stomach won’t make me any less of a mother or any less deserving of self love and body appreciation. Rock out with your mesh undies out and self love the crap out of the gifts your body has allowed you to experience. And give yourself grace. Self love is a daily practice. We have to work hard to change our inner voice. Don’t you give up. It takes time for it all to come together. Just keep swimming. If baby Quinn decides one day to grow up and have children of her own, I cannot wait to celebrate her beautiful, ever changing body with her.” ?❤️ @tiffanyburkephotography #takebackpostpartum

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