A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words (About "Bouncing Back" From Pregnancy)

It's time we give up the idea that someone who just grew a human should "bounce back" to their original body within just a few weeks — or ever. But in case you need yet another reminder that it's ridiculous to expect this kind of magical body transformation, take a look at the photos one mom shared of her post-baby body.
"It took me 4 days to decide whether or not to share this," she wrote in a post shared to the Love What Matters Facebook page. "But recently there have been mums reaching out to me based on some things I've shared, so here goes."
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The picture on the left is of her body three days before she gave birth to her second child. The photo on the right is three weeks after giving birth.
"I'm sharing this to show mums that sometimes it doesn't matter if you're thin, ate right, and exercised during pregnancy, sometimes your body grows in such a way that simply doesn't allow you to 'bounce back' in friggen 3 weeks," she wrote.
While some new parents are seemingly able to "bounce back" (at least, by the looks of photos shared on Instagram), some people may never get back the body they had before pregnancy. And this mom shared her photos to counteract the negative feelings new parents may have after seeing picture-perfect post-baby bodies on social media.
"I feel like all I've been seeing is new mums sharing their amazing postpartum bods, 11 days after birth, 2 weeks after birth, etc. And while that's wonderful for them, many others KNOW that it's not realistic," she wrote. She won't know for sure until six weeks after she's given birth, but this mum is pretty sure she has diastasis recti — when the two major bands of abdominal muscles separate because of the way the baby grew.
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While most women develop diastasis recti during pregnancy, physical therapist Lesli Lo told us earlier this year that about a third always have a few fingers-worth of space between their abdominal muscles. So, it's quite possible that this mum will never have the body she had before giving birth, and that's okay. For now, she's just taking time to let herself heal.
"In the meantime, I'm giving my body a chance to breathe," she wrote. "Did you SEE how far my belly stretched?! There is no race to bounce back."
Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
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