Elise Grossman is an Australian mother of three, and body image stigma slayer to humans everywhere.
In July, Elise shared a photo on Instagram of her nude body right after giving birth to her youngest daughter, Willa, in hopes of starting a conversation about realistic postpartum bodies. This week that conversation suddenly took off.
"It's a strange feeling to look down and still see a bump, even though you're holding your baby in your arms," Elise shared in her viral caption.
The post reads in full:
Let's talk postpartum bodies! I asked @belleverdiglionephotography to take this photo, just hours after giving birth to Willa, in my rawest and most vulnerable state. I was in pain and I was overcome by a flood of emotions. Elated to have welcomed our beautiful girl and so empowered and proud of what my body and I had just done! It's a strange feeling to look down and still see a bump, even though you're holding your baby in your arms, even after doing it three times. It's not easy to go home with a baby and still have to wear maternity clothes. With my first I was adamant I would just "bounce back". Everyone would say "you're young, you'll loose the baby weight in no time!" But you know what, I didn't, I never have in fact. With each baby I've gained a few more kilos and a few more stretch marks. I used to feel the need to cover up in this newborn stage, I didn't want to see my body in this state, so why would anyone else? It's taken me three babies, but I've finally realised this postpartum body isn't something to hide! I am beyond proud for what this body has given and sacralised. I am thankful that my body is able to carry and birth babies naturally. I am NOT ashamed of my (many) new stripes and my postpartum body. And neither should you! Let's celebrate postpartum bodies, in all their glory. The female body is incredible and I am so proud of what mine has done!
The vulnerability connected with veteran parents:
And future parents:
"Your post reminded me that my body did something wonderful and looks [this] way for a wonderful reason," user @mamiramey, a mother to seven children, commented.
In a second post, written in response to the attention her original post was getting, Elise addressed those who would question her motives for sharing such a raw personal photo.
This time Grossman told followers:
Just like many women do, I too used to look up to the media, celebrities who would show off their supermodel like post baby bodies just weeks after giving birth! I thought thats how it would be for me too. So when I went home from hospital four days after giving birth, still looking six months pregnant, I thought I must have done something wrong. ... How come it took me a year to fit back into my pre baby jeans? Well, because for many women, and for me, this post baby picture that was painted in my head just wasn't realistic!