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14 People Shared Photos Of Their Bodies After Giving Birth, And It's The Definition Of Beauty And Strength

"Tired, super swollen, and in complete bliss."

A few weeks ago, we celebrated celebrity moms and their beautiful postpartum bodies. So now we want to celebrate you — our readers. We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share photos of themselves after giving birth, and *spoiler alert* they are breathtakingly powerful.

Photo of a mom after birth.

Here are 14 moms who shared the beauty of their postpartum journey with us:

*Please note that everyone's postpartum experience is different and unique!*

1. "This was five days postpartum with my fourth baby in six years. My little one had to return to the hospital due to jaundice, and I hated my body because I felt it had failed him. My emotions were all over the place, I wasn't producing milk, and I cried ALL THE TIME.

Postpartum selfie in mirror.
buzzfeed.com

"Thankfully, I felt better quickly. My baby returned home and I regained control of my body and my emotions. I'm so grateful for what my body has done for my children, and although it does not look the way it used to, I love it more than ever before."

Vbunton

2. "This was taken just a few hours after I gave birth — real and raw. Mesh panties, nipple shields, and dark circles under my eyes. AIN'T NO SNAPBACK. And I’m OK with that. This body birthed SIX kids.

3. "The internet will make us believe that women give birth and instantly jump back into their old jeans. The truth is, this is what postpartum looks like for most women. This is two weeks postpartum — uterus contractions, swollen belly, and hyperpigmentation. You know what? You are still beautiful, Mama."

"Just know that you are Wonder Woman. Don’t let anyone else make you feel any bit different."

4. "When I was younger, I’d look at my mom’s belly full of stretch marks — and wonder why it’d gotten like that. ⁣I didn't yet realize all the time, sacrifice, and strength it must have taken for her to endure a healthy pregnancy, followed by a cancerous molar pregnancy, followed by a 'miracle' pregnancy. ⁣I didn't yet realize that, to her, those marks represented her kids — her two gifts. ⁣It wasn’t until recently when I looked into the mirror and saw my belly after birthing my own two babies that I realized my belly is like hers.⁣ It is full of stretch marks that mark two of the most beautiful periods of my life.

Mom and daughter postpartum photo.
buzzfeed.com

"More and more I see my mom when I look in the mirror, and I am proud to have a belly like hers. ⁣❤️ Before there was us and our postpartum journeys, there was them: our moms."

moments_of_musing

5. "This was three days after giving birth, after an induced, 38-hour labor and an unexpected C-section. It was like nothing I’ve experienced before. I was feeling good and confident for a while until the REAL pain hit. I was terrified of the epidural, and things spiraled from there. After the heart rate dropped low three times, my doctor said we should call it quits. The rashes are from my allergy to adhesives.

Photo of red, swollen stomach.
buzzfeed.com

"There was a nice big ‘X’ on my back from the tape over the epidural port! 😂 The following months weren’t fun, but my daughter is almost a year old now and she’s the BEST!"

kbaker86kb

6. "I became pregnant with my first son at age 20. I didn’t know much about pregnancy, so I started reading books and looking up articles online. The pregnancy and birth were both pretty routine, and I did everything I could to be as healthy as possible for my baby. But nobody warned me about the postpartum portion. I no longer looked like I did before; I had excess weight and stretch marks. I didn’t see bodies that looked like mine, and I began to feel ashamed of it. I carried the shame of stretch marks and loose belly skin for about 15 years — even after I lost the weight, birthed a second son, and lost the weight again. It wasn’t until I started my healing journey of yoga and meditation that I learned to stop punishing myself and embrace what is.

7. "This was 24 hours after giving birth. What I didn’t know when I took the pic is that my son would soon be admitted to the NICU in the middle of the pandemic. He got better and came home. I am still going through therapy for postpartum anxiety and depression, but I love my son with my whole being and would do it all over again for him."

Mirror selfie of mom in bra.

8. "Here I am seven days postpartum with my son. I struggled with the new reality that he wasn’t in my belly. Even though I had him in my arms, I still found myself rubbing my belly, expecting to feel his strong kicks or his little butt nestled in my ribs. For the first time in nine months, my body was 'mine' again — and I wasn’t sure I was ready for that. Every day I became more grateful for the soft mom belly that was his cushion as we nursed, and for my sore, painful, and swollen boobs that fed him endlessly. He’s now 15 months old, and I’m still amazed at what my body was able to do and how different every inch of me is to this day."

Photo of mom breastfeeding.

9. "This is about 36 hours postpartum. I'm wearing a wound vacuum and girdle from having a C-section."

Photo of woman in hospital bathroom.

10. "I am learning to love my new birth tattoos. I’ve always been an athlete with a fit body, and now my body is curvy and full and stretched. It created a beautiful and perfect little boy who was worth every mark."

Photo of stretch marks.

11. "This is me four days after I had an emergency C-section. There is still a pouch there a year later. It’s my 'Remy pouch' — I can’t hate it because my little man used to live in there."

Photo of mom holding her baby.

12. "This is after 20-plus hours of labor, followed by an emergency C-section. His head looks so tiny here, but it was too big for my pelvis."

Photo of mom breastfeeding in hospital bed.

13. "Four days after delivery (via C-section), I was readmitted to the hospital for severe postpartum preeclampsia, which caused massive swelling. The first picture was four days postpartum, and the second was seven days postpartum, when the swelling finally went down."

Photo of mom with swollen feet before and after.

14. "Here I am 20 minutes after being closed up from a C-section with baby number two. Tired, super swollen, and in complete bliss."

Photo of mom with baby in hospital bed.

A special thanks to all the wonderful moms for sharing their postpartum photos and journeys with us!

CBS

Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity. Not all submissions are from Community users.

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