Developing a positive body image after pregnancy can feel impossible, but a striking Instagram post is reminding women that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Mom of three Aliesha Watson posted side-by-side photos of her “tummy flab” two weeks after giving birth to her daughter Nova.
“I feel very confident in my skin after this baby,” she wrote in the caption. “Probably more so than I did with my first two, and with them at this time I weighed less, had less cellulite and all my postpartum clothes fit again.”
Describing her postpartum body, Watson added that she “lost” her butt, has “tummy flab” and cellulite and can’t wear any of her jeans. But, she wrote, “Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever been more comfortable about how my tummy looks, even before pregnancy period.”
The mom continued, “I just feel really awesome. I’m really proud of myself for so much. I feel empowered. I feel the way I think I always should have after having a baby. I’m glad I’m able to have these beautiful thoughts and feelings about myself.”
Watson told The Huffington Post she posted these photos because she believes it’s important to highlight aspects of motherhood that people “don’t necessarily want to see or share.” She emphasized her belief that mothers’ bodies are “magical” for their ability to create life.
“Of course we will never feel exactly the same as we did before pregnancy and children, but why should we?” the mom said. “Why shouldn’t we feel even more beautiful, even more comfortable in our own skin. I mean we just did something incredible. We should be able to look at our bodies, our new bodies and be proud of what we see, even if it’s not what the rest of the world considers to be acceptable, or attractive.”
Watson said she hopes her photos make people “feel” something.
“This amazing body of mine is what I was given for giving life to three children. This is what I’m proud of,” she explained. “This is my reminder, my trophy. I would like for all postpartum mommas to realize that no matter how much their bodies have changed, they did something so hard, so exhausting, so beautiful, something they should be able to look in the mirror and be proud of.”
The mom added that she wants to empower all moms, even those who did not carry and birth their children. “The adoptive mothers, or those who use surrogates have just as much a part in this, they too go through the postpartum changes even if they didn’t actually birth their babies. The changes aren’t just within our bodies ― they are all around us too.”
Ultimately, Watson wants to promote a message of solidarity for women.
“We all have a shoulder to cry on, a back to pat, a million laughs to share,” she wrote. “We just have to stand strong and stand together. We are each other’s empowerment.”
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