We're totally here for this empowering Instagram account celebrating women's post-baby bodies

Post-baby bodies

“I may be a little softer but ultimately I am stronger and these marks just remind me of where I once tightly held and grew Emilia Ren. This body, ME, I may not be the same but if she can find so much comfort and safety in this body, I will as well.”
[Photo: Instagram/@whenalexsmiles via @takebackpostpartum]

Post-baby bodies

“When I was pregnant with Paisley, there was always one thing that I would obsess about that scared me more than giving birth for the first time, #postpartum #depression. I would lay awake at night in fear of what emotions I would have after having her. Would I love her? Would I hate her? Would I feel resentment for what my body just went through? These are all very real thoughts that I had and I couldn’t get them out of my head. After dealing with depression and #anxiety my entire life, I was certain that going through it postpartum was inevitable. Then I had her and I felt….fine. In fact, I felt better than I had in my entire life. I felt happy and strong and powerful like I had just done something no other human ever could. Maybe it was just the #oxytocin talking but it was a feeling like I was floating on a cloud. Then days and weeks and months went by and the exhaustion finally set in. Around 6 months postpartum I started feeling defeated. Like if I didn’t get some kind of break soon then I would end up breaking myself. I remember sitting in my truck, tears streaming down my face because Paisley did a number of things that day that made me question whether or not I was a good mom. I felt this way for a couple weeks and then I finally was able to pull myself out of it. I’m not a doctor so I’m not sure if it was #PPD or not, but what I do know is that whatever you’re going through be it exhaustion, PPD, #PPA or even just feeling tired—you are GOING to get through this. Ask someone for help. Tell them you need their support. Take some time to practice self love and self care. You can’t pour from an empty glass. I know it’s hard, but you aren’t alone and you should never feel like you aren’t worthy enough to get the help you need. You are beyond worthy. You are the warrior goddess Mama that birthed that beautiful baby and you deserve every ounce of support and love that you can get. Don’t give up.”
[Photo: Instagram/@chloeandpaisley via @takebackpostpartum]

Post-baby bodies

“NOT anorexia, it’s a thyroid issue. I don’t know what it says about me that I got this thin and didn’t think there was anything wrong. Last Friday, I had a bulge in my neck that finally got me to the doctor. I’m STILL waiting on blood work but my doc thinks it’s Graves. If you just had a baby and have lost an inordinate amount of weight, feel like you are on cocaine, are suddenly heat intolerant, and can’t stop losing hair, and feel like your husband is being a dick it might just be your thyroid!! Get checked ASAP.” [Photo: Instagram/@jennyandteets2 via @takebackpostpartum]

Post-baby bodies

“This is a picture I most likely will not keep up for very long. This is me, at the peak of my postpartum depression. I asked Shiloh to take a picture of me, so I could remember how far I’d come, if I ever came out of it. I was lower than low, I wasn’t even myself. Looking back at this photo I remember perfectly the pain I felt, the dread in waking up everyday, the physical pain that engulfed me from thoughts in my brain. I had never known consuming, mind altering emotion such as this that flooded every fiber of my being, making its way through my veins like a plague. This is what postpartum depression looks like, or at least what it did for me. I didn’t want to leave this life, but it seemed like the only way that would rid me of the pain I was in. I didn’t ask for it, it wasn’t welcome. But there it was, and I kicked its fucking ass and beat it to the ground before I let it consume me, or much worse, take my life.”
[Photo: Instagram/@themanifestingmamma via @takebackpostpartum]

Post-baby bodies

“Love love love fresh postpartum bellies! How can a postpartum body be anything but magnificent?! If you can find beauty in another woman’s body then why not your own? We all share the same energy, beauty, and magic even if it’s form uniquely varies a bit.” – January Harshe
[Photo: Instagram/@thesimplefolk by @catfancote.capturingbirth via @australianbirthstories and @takebackpostpartum]

Post-baby bodies

“I spent Mothers Day blissfully disconnected with all my boys. Instead of posting a done up photo depicting the highlight reel version of motherhood, I wanted to share this picture… because THIS is motherhood. This picture was taken hours after Cash arrived & it shows the reality of how much your mind, body & soul change after bringing life into the world. Stretch marks, saggy skin, exhaustion, a body that will never be the same… but 1000% worth it for the reward I received. To all you beautiful mamas out there rocking the body motherhood gave you!”
[Photo: Instagram/@mandi_kamp via @takebackpostpartum]

Post-baby bodies

“Well, I know a lot of you guys are probably thinking ‘why would she post this picture’, but, it took me 18 months to get here, 18 months to not cry when I look in the mirror, 18 months to finally feel beautiful in my own skin again! No one warns you about the dark sides of motherhood and pregnancy.. no one gives you a heads up on how much you change physically and mentally after you become a mother. It’s been a long and hard postpartum ride for me.. 18 months after my first son and 5 months after my second son I feel like I can finally see the light ✨ and it genuinely feels amazing. Cheers to you mamas who are battling postpartum depression and still getting up everyday for your children! Cheers to you mamas who still cry about the marks on your skin from birthing your perfect babies! Cheer to motherhood, cheers to knowing that this too shall pass! And things will get better.”
[Photo: Instagram/@alexandrabrea ©2017 by Alexandra Kilmurray All rights reserved via @takebackpostpartum]

Post-baby bodies

“Expectation: a cute pic of me and my husband at two of our best and oldest friends wedding!
Reality: a cute pic of me pumping in the bathroom during the reception and ZERO cute pictures of me and my man just keeping it 100, y’all.”
[Photo: Instagram/@aimingforaugust via @takebackpostpartum]

Post-baby bodies

No matter how you birth, #postpartum is full of healing and finding new normals. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. And takes time. More than six weeks. Postpartum is just the beginning… (words by @januaryharshe [Photo: Instagram/@tashs.things via @takebackpostpartum]

When you’ve just had a baby, once the initial shock of bringing home a tiny human begins to fade, your focus may likely switch to ‘getting your body back.’

Because even though motherhood means that life as you know it will never be the same again, we somehow expect our bodies to be.

But, growing a baby for nine months, then giving birth to that baby and all the impact that has, is bound to take its toll.

Doesn’t mean we’re ready to talk about though.

Well step forward Instagram account @takebackpostpartum, a wonderfully honest collection of images of women’s real life post-baby bodies.

Not only does the Instagram account sprinkle body positivity by encouraging mums to share images of their baby and birth battle scars, it actively urges women to celebrate them.

Set up by mum and blogger January Harshe, the project is proudly flying the flag for post-baby body acceptance by making a stand against the glossy ‘bounce back’ images splashed across social media feeds.

Fed up with advertisers using the #postpartum hashtag to promote unrealistic post-birth body goals, January asked other mums to join her in ‘taking back’ the tag by flooding it with images of real post-baby bodies.

And while there’s certainly no shortage of post-baby bumps and blemishes being shared, mums are also using the platform to open up about the warts and all reality of new motherhood.

“Postpartum is full of hormones, little sleep, survival mode, and figuring out a million different things with our new babies (and possibly toddlers and teenagers on top of it),” she wrote in her initial blog post.

“It’s trying to breastfeed, getting a groove back in your marriage or relationship, and our bodies taking time to heal. It’s a roller coaster ride that is personal and different to each person and family going through it, but is also similar enough that most of us can relate on some level.”

“LET’S TAKE BACK POSTPARTUM. We are mothers and strong women. Our collective voice is so powerful that we can shake the entire world.”

Since setting up the project two years ago, the site has received thousands of posts and has more than 125K followers keen to celebrate their bodies and lives post-baby.

Swipe through to see some of the most honest and empowering shares.

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