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Moms And Their Post-Pregnancy Bodies Are Strong And Amazing, And This Instagram Proves It

"Why would you have to feel ashamed? A living thing grew inside of you."

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These days, it's impossible to open Instagram and not see babies. But between all of those gorgeous announcement photos and well-lit newborn portraits, we don’t actually end up seeing much of what it's really like to be a new parent. Enter @takebackpostpartum, an Instagram account that collects photos and stories from real new moms — and helps them celebrate the amazing ways their bodies have changed after giving birth.

1. @twinmamadiaries

@twinmamadiaries / Instagram / Via instagram.com

"I've been wanting to share this for awhile now. Almost everyday, I receive messages from other Mums asking me how I look the way that I do. How I got my 'pre baby body' back. Here's the truth ladies - I DIDN'T. I have the excess skin. I don't have stomach definition the way I used to. My hips are a little wider. I don't want there to be any misconceptions. My body did not just 'bounce back'. Now having said that, I work very hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to FEEL good in my skin. I may not ever look the way I did before I had the twins. And you know what? I'm OK with that.

I have arms. I have legs. I can see, hear and experience life. My body has done amazing things, why on earth would I punish it?

Learn to appreciate what you have. It doesn't mean you have to stop working for what you want, just show a little self love along the way." 💕

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2. @angigreene

@angigreene / Instagram / Via Instagram: @takebackpostpartum

"Current circumstance: trapped under a sleeping baby."

3. @jessbovey

@jessbovey / Instagram / Via Instagram: @takebackpostpartum

"I still don’t think I have really come to terms with my new body, while it’s easy to adopt the attitude ‘out of sight, out of mind’ – they are definitely not out of mind.

It’s selfish I know, others are having issues falling pregnant and I’m moaning about my stretch marks, marks which without, I wouldn’t have my kids. I am truly grateful for my children.

My stretch marks are bad. They look like I’ve been attacked by a wild animal (maybe that’d be a better story to roll with). They’re deep and almost look like burns. I know they will fade over time but I think with the extent of them, it’s likely they’ll always be quite prominent. The tattoo is ruined, but I am not bothered as I hated it anyway.

I heard a quote the other day, 'For every woman who hates her stretch marks there is a woman wishing she had them”. It really got me thinking. Thinking about the new body I have. I am thankful everyday, don’t get me wrong. The stretch marks a part of me now, a part I am yet to fully accept...'"

4. @sageandnellie

@sageandnellie / Instagram / Via Instagram: @takebackpostpartum

"Will my belly button always look like a cats bum hole? 😆 It's been a lot easier emotionally but I still cry at least once a day over absolutely nothing and man my poor boobies are running like taps, everything is soaked in breast milk ... How an earth do you mummas with more than two do it? Not that I would have it any other way, I'm still utterly and blissfully in baby paradise. There really is nothing I'd rather be doing than mothering my two girls."

5. @mamaclog

@mamaclog / Instagram / Via Instagram: @takebackpostpartum

"Bad lighting. Misshapen belly button. Love handles. Wrinkly tummy pooch. Wonky C-section scar. Torn thighs. All worth it to grow and birth my little boy. I refuse to be ashamed. It's so easy to pick the photo with the best lighting, but that's not real life. Do not feel disheartened if your postpartum body doesn't look the same as the mums you see on Instagram. Good lighting and filters hide SO much. I am very active and I eat very well, but some of these marks with stay with me forever no matter what I do. And that's ok."

6. @derstillzwerg

@derstillzwerg / Instagram / Via Instagram: @takebackpostpartum

"16 months postpartum after my twin pregnancy. 30 kilograms get and lost in the shortest time. My mother's body has made three children and two births. A caesarean section, excess skin, pregnancy strips, and muscles that have pulled apart. That's me. The miracle of life."

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7. @kylie.helmer

@kylie.helmer / Instagram / Via Instagram: @takebackpostpartum

"'Value yourself for what the media doesn't — your intelligence, your street smarts, your ability to play a kick-ass game of pool, whatever. So long as it's not just valuing yourself for your ability to look hot in a bikini.' - @jessicavalenti

I cannot, for the life of me, play a kick-ass game of pool. But I did have three babies and I think that's about as kick-ass as it gets.👊🏼✨"

8. @expressionsuntold___

@expressionsuntold___ / Instagram / Via Instagram: @takebackpostpartum

"Why would you have to feel ashamed? A living thing grew inside of you."

9. @jessicasheridan

@jessicasheridan / Instagram / Via Instagram: @takebackpostpartum

"So, here is my 10 month postpartum body. I don't care if you think I'm skinny or fat or too soft or too lumpy. And I don't care what your postpartum body looks like. I don't care if you're striped, swollen, thick, thin, still dealing with extra weight or have already worked your ass off to get back all of your muscle. I care that we remember truly that it's what's on the inside that counts. That has been my journey and it's getting better every day.

All I wish for any postpartum woman is peace, calm and self acceptance."

10. @joyvictoriah

@joyvictoriah / Instagram / Via Instagram: @takebackpostpartum

"I have never loved my body more than I do now. This mama bod is more beautiful than I could have ever expected. It stretched and grew and gave this sweet bean everything she needed to thrive for 9 months, it was pushed to its max to welcome her into the world and now it feeds her with perfect nutrition, comforts her with its smell and has the perfect arms and hands to embrace her."

11. @clickinmommy

@clickinmommy / Instagram / Via Instagram: @takebackpostpartum

"Nine months in and nine months out."

12. @august.bea

@august.bea / Instagram / Via Instagram: @takebackpostpartum

"There are days when I feel pretty good about myself, and then there are days where I don't even want to look in the mirror. But every time I start feeling poorly about my body, I remind myself that I just GREW A HUMAN inside of me.

For nearly 10 months, my body changed and grew a little more every day with a growing baby inside of it. And that feeling trumps any and all of the poor feelings I have about myself. It makes me snuggle her a little harder and look at her a little longer. Because for me, motherhood isn't about getting my body back or being able to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. It's about spending every moment possible loving on my precious babe and building that special bond with her."

13. @misstarateng

@misstarateng / Instagram / Via Instagram: @takebackpostpartum

"Dear Internet, ⠀

This is what a body looks like 9 days postpartum. And no, I do not have any interest in trying to "shed 10", bounce back or get my body back. Don't sell me wraps, skinny teas or weight loss management kits. ⠀

I love this body of mine. It nourished, birthed and continues to feed my precious baby. I appreciate all that it has given me and I honour it's soft, squishy, life-giving curves. ⠀

So thank you for your concern, but we're all doing just fine here."

14. @lifewithabbyd

@lifewithabbyd / Instagram / Via Instagram: @takebackpostpartum

"The beauty is that I'm with my beautiful children and I don't have to get dressed or be put together to be loved by them. I don't have to have the perfect body. I am who I am, stretch marks and all, with a little fluff, and some squish...and they love me anyway. The beauty is that, I'm finally at a place in my life where I don't feel like I need to be perfect to please anyone. That I can enjoy and love the skin I am in.

And even though I workout a lot and try to take care of my body, that doesn't change the fact that I am still comfortable in my skin at any stage. This body did miraculous things and still is - growing, birthing, and nurturing my children. Man, I love being a wife and a mother...and being a WOMAN."

This post was translated from Spanish.

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