Moms dish on all the amazing (and surprising!) ways having a baby changed their bodies for the better.
Droopy boobs, a wider waist, streaks of stretch marks. It's not hard to see why lots of new moms view their post-pregnancy body with a mix of dread and resignation. But if growing and delivering a child leaves a physical mark or two on you, it also imbues you with a confidence and pride that comes from doing something darn near miraculous. We asked moms on Facebook to list all the reasons they adore their bodies after baby—read on and get inspired!
You learn how to embrace those so-called 'imperfections'
"Stretch marks are a good thing, a reminder that you were the sole protector of your children for nine months." —Krystal Claus
"Pregnancy and motherhood make me appreciate my body more because I no longer care about what other people think of it. I am this way for a reason—a really good reason!" —Angela Hoch
"After giving birth to my daughter almost two years ago, I realize that I'm not perfect and will never be. But she's pretty darn close to perfection, and I did that." —Erika Mekosh
"I no longer feel like I need to change anything. I'm happy with my body. I have scars that are beautiful, because without them I'd be without my daughter, and she is my world." —Katherine Seller
"I absolutely love my stretch marks. I have since the day I noticed them. It's a reminder that my daughter was once inside my belly growing beautiful and strong. It's crazy how a child changes everything in your world." —Karolina Velasquez
Super hero? More like Super Mom
"I had a negative self-image and battled anorexia in college, and I never thought I could love my body. But after two beautiful children, and now pregnant with my third, I have learned I have one body, and no matter what it looks like, my children see it as the body of a hero, and so should I." —Sheri Garvey
"I have breasts to nurture and provide food for my little one, my tummy and uterus that protected and helped my baby grow, my arms to hold and love my kiddo, my legs to help me bounce and rock my child to sleep as I held them, my head to allow me to think about what I need to do to be a good mom. I became aware that even though I wasn't as skinny or toned as I was before my little one, my body changed so I could be a mom. I've come to understand that it's not all about me anymore. I am thankful for my imperfect body because it is perfect to love and care for a child." —Laurynn Burns
You appreciate yourself
"Being pregnant has taught me how to live a healthier lifestyle. It has also made me realize and appreciate what my body was designed to do: create life. I walk a little taller because I've discovered a new part of me." —Gloria Gonzalez
"Pregnancy and motherhood taught me that if I work hard to a healthier me, the results will pay off. I am five months post-baby and learning a healthier lifestyle not only for myself but for my kids' benefit, and so far I love the results!!" —Corey Holly McDaniels
"Pregnancy and motherhood both not only transformed my body but also my mind. After two children, I realized that I have been transformed twice, and each time I have appreciated more and more what a blessing and miracle it is to create life. Also, the mental and spiritual growth is priceless and can only be attributed to becoming a mother. Being a mother is far superior to any body flaw, weight gain, stretch mark, or anything superficial. Being a mother makes me feel so strong, powerful, beautiful, and most importantly, blessed." —Christina Vargas
"I love that my kids want nothing more than to cuddle up to me. They nestle into me during bedtime stories. They want to touch me for comfort when they are scared. My children obviously accept my body. My husband accepts my body, and loves to touch and caress every part of me. If my family—who I carried in my body, who I rely on, who I love with all my heart—can accept my body with all its wonders and imperfections, so can I." —Tiffany Smalley
You have perspective
"I became at peace with my stretch marks (which arrived way before my pregnancies), accepted my varicose veins, and am finally at a place in my life wherein I can wear a bikini and not be overly self conscious because of the aforementioned 'flaws.' This body carried two beautiful babies, and it was finally time for me to love it." —Janette Sziva Fishman
"We go into pregnancies thinking only of cute maternity clothes and that bundle of joy we'll get at the end. But the body you loved—the one you flaunted—is squishy in places that can never be firmed without costly surgery. When you look in the mirror (especially when I look in the mirror), sometimes all you feel is depressed. How do we see ourselves as beautiful again? One of the strongest reminders for me came from a YA fiction book, when a minor character explains how he lost his arm. It was wounded and infected and amputated. 'An arm for a life,' he said simply. 'Seemed like a pretty good trade.'" —Hannah Trujillo
You feel sexy
"I have curves now :) And a smiling scar" —Marcia Sharp
"Motherhood body appreciation: Eyes in the back of head. Ability to fully function w/o sleep or food. I'm not just a mom; I'm still a woman and sexy." —Angela Ackerman