We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to share their postpartum bodies with us because they GREW ACTUAL HUMANS and we want to celebrate the beauty of that!
1. "Here I am less than 24 hours after giving birth..."
"...and here I am six days postpartum. It still looks like I have a cute baby bump, but I don't! It's big and squishy before your uterus shrinks back. Nothing wrong with squishy, it just feels very different from when you're actually pregnant."
2. "The left photos were taken two days before my C-section and the right ones were taken two days after. It felt like they had sewn my stomach to my kneecaps and my boobs were 24/7 milk fountains."
3. "This is what six days postpartum versus four months postpartum looks like. I had a C-section with my twins. I'm proud that my body was able to carry them to term, but sometimes it's hard to not recognize the body I am in."
4. "Here I am two weeks after giving birth to my quadruplets. I was able to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans very quickly, whereas with my older son, I was in maternity pants for six months. I am proud of my body and how it was able to carry five babies, four of them being all at once!"
5. "Here I am three months postpartum — looking back on this now (currently one-year postpartum), I’m actually really proud of it!"
6. "I posted this photo of myself three weeks postpartum on Facebook, even though I was super insecure with it. I thought, Screw what anyone thinks — this is my body now and I am going to love it no matter what!"
7. "I started rapidly losing weight after I had my baby. I had to eat 3,000 calories a day to keep myself from losing more, which is a LOT for a 93-pound person. It was rough. I know some women would be jealous, but I hated my body. I was anorexic for years and was angry that the body I almost killed myself for came after I had a baby."
8. "I have endometriosis and had to endure over 10 procedures and surgeries, in addition to countless infertility treatments. In the end, I had my miracle baby and I'm proud of my body!"
9. "I loved my pregnant body, but am having a difficult time coming to terms with my postpartum one. This was taken a day after my emergency C-section and it looks like I am still pregnant! I have multiple stretch marks all over my body, and a giant, itchy scar. My boobs feel deflated and numb from breastfeeding. I'm now nine months postpartum and while I’ve lost a lot of weight, it has been a huge emotional and physical struggle to learn to love my ‘new’ body."
10. "Here I am at one week postpartum. I ended up getting PUPPP rash, (an extremely itchy rash on your belly that has no cause or cure) at the very end of my pregnancy, which carried over two weeks after I delivered. Nothing relieved the pain except putting ice on my belly."
11. "Here I am four days after giving birth. Pretty sure my hair hadn’t been brushed in just as long."
12. "After having two 9-pound baby girls, I realized I could fit my whole hand between the ab muscles near my belly button! I found out I had diastasis recti (ab separation) and started physical therapy six weeks postpartum. I spent a few months taped up, doing low-impact exercises, and learning what I could and could not do."
13. "From left to right: 10 days, three months, and six months postpartum. I gained 63 pounds doing IVF to get pregnant. I would do it 100 times over again to have my daughter!"
14. "I was weight-shamed my entire pregnancy by my midwife. Then I was in a dark place postpartum about my self-image, but wanted to be strong for my son. Now I’m becoming a personal trainer for pregnant and postpartum women. I want women to have a safe place to work out and feel their strongest! I’m at my best physically, spiritually, and mentally and it’s all because I became a mama!"
15. "In the left pic I am two weeks postpartum and in the right I am 33 weeks. My body is nowhere near where I was hoping it would be, but it is what it is. Some days I’m OK with it and some days I’m not. But that little boy in my arms is worth every stretch mark and my lifelong baby pouch."
16. "Top pic is my first and bottom is my second!"
17. "This is one week after having my second child. I went from 150 to 132 pounds — all thanks to breastfeeding. Everyone said how lucky I was, but what they failed to see was how exhausted I was. Nursing took a toll on my body — my hair was falling out more than it should, I was constantly tired, and my doctor was concerned I wasn't getting enough nutrients. Take care of yourself, because a healthy mama is just as important as a healthy baby!"
18. "I had three pregnancies in two years and am trying to remind myself that it’s OK to not be where I was before my first pregnancy."
19. "This is my stomach six months after giving birth, with scarring from my gallbladder surgery."
20. "In the left pic I was 28 weeks pregnant, in the middle one I was 10 days post-baby, and in the right one I was three months post-baby. Proud of my mom bod and the baby pouch I will forever rock!"
21. "I gave birth to my third baby two months ago. I'm still learning to love the body that gave me three beautiful children. I'm lucky enough to have a husband that tells me every day how much he loves my body just the way it is."
22. "This is me 10 weeks postpartum. I didn't feel good and lost a lot of self-esteem during and right after my pregnancy. When I took this picture I thought I looked terrible. Now, almost two years later, I can see how great I looked. Not a single stretch mark, and my stomach went down quickly!"
23. "I took this pic 10 days postpartum. Now — over 16 months later — I still have my glorious mom pouch!"
24. "I am seven weeks postpartum and learning to accept my post-baby body has been harder than I ever thought it would be. It’s all worth it for him, though."
25. "I struggle with self-image sometimes, but try to put things into perspective: I grew, carried, and birthed two baby boys that are my whole world now. My stretch marks and scars are proof of that."
26. "The top pic was taken one week before giving birth, the bottom left was taken one day after. The bottom right pic shows a nasty infection I got after my C-section, so my scar is pretty gnarly looking."
27. "This is me eight months after my second C-section and the day before my first bodybuilding competition! I love my body at all the sizes, but I wish there was more information about successful rehabilitation for active people after a C-section!"
28. "I love my pregnancy and post-pregnancy body. By no means did I 'bounce back' to my pre-pregnancy size. I am just in awe of what my body did."
29. "Tired, bloated, and striped like a tiger. Worth every bit."
Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.