Mom shares eye-opening photos of her post-labor belly

Yahoo Lifestyle
Elise Raquel peers down at her post-labor tummy moments after giving birth. (Image via Instagram/raisingyoungloves)
Elise Raquel peers down at her post-labor tummy moments after giving birth. (Image via Instagram/raisingyoungloves)

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.”

Let’s talk postpartum bodies! I asked @belleverdiglionephotography to take this photo, just hours after giving birth to Willa, in my rawest and most vulnerable state. I was in pain and I was overcome by a flood of emotions. Elated to have welcomed our beautiful girl and so empowered and proud of what my body and I had just done! It’s a strange feeling to look down and still see a bump, even though you’re holding your baby in your arms, even after doing it three times. It’s not easy to go home with a baby and still have to wear maternity clothes. With my first I was adamant I would just “bounce back”. Everyone would say “you’re young, you’ll loose the baby weight in no time!” But you know what, I didn’t, I never have in fact. With each baby I’ve gained a few more kilos and a few more stretch marks. I used to feel the need to cover up in this newborn stage, I didn’t want to see my body in this state, so why would anyone else? It’s taken me three babies, but I’ve finally realised this postpartum body isn’t something to hide! I am beyond proud for 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!

A post shared by Formerly eliseraquel (@raisingyoungloves) on Jul 14, 2017 at 3:12am PDT

 

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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