That body of yours is pretty awesome, Mama, and if we had to guess, we bet you don't give it enough credit. Not only did it carry and bring a baby into the world, but it's a source of natural nutrition for your growing newborn and it can lift a stroller like a pro.
But do you notice all of those amazing qualities when you look at your post-baby body in the mirror? You'd be forgiven for just seeing the stretch marks, the extra pounds you haven't been able to shed and you might even mourn that gym-toned core that you used to sweat over. Nutritionist and mom Julie Bhosale is challenging women to see past the imperfections and stereotypes and not only accept their bodies, but love them.
In a powerful blog post, she wrote: "You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are a mother. You live in a society that pushes images at you every day of women who have given birth and just 'bounced back'—great for them (truly, that is great, Kate Middleton you are amazing!)," she continued. "But this is such a small minority. For most of us, our bodies change, and change a lot. It is scary, it is hard, it can be downright disgusting and upsetting, but it is real and normal."
Even as a health professional, Bhosale says she hasn't just bounced back after giving birth to her second son. She writes candidly about jiggly bits, lack of sleep and her "lumpy, squishy watermelon belly"—while sharing photo updates over the last 14 weeks. She encourages all moms to #takebackpostpartum and share what it really means to produce life and the toll it takes on our bodies. And maybe more importantly, to give themselves a break, listen to what their body—and babies—need and learn to relish the powerful bod that can do so much.
"You may not look like the next Victoria's Secret underwear model, but focus on how you feel. Be kind to yourself and your body, you will look like how you are meant to when you feel good. It may take some time. It took me a lot longer to feel good following the birth of my first son then this time around," she wrote. "There is no one to compare yourself too. No one is walking in your shoes, deals with what you deal with. You will be judged. I am judged every day and there will be people judging me right now. Doing what is right for you and your family takes courage, takes strength and as a mother, you have both."