"Bouncing back" from childbirth as soon as possible is all the rage in today's society. We marvel at celebrities who flaunt their flat bellies weeks after giving birth and applaud them for getting back in the game like those nine months weren't even a thing.
However, in reality, these speedy returns don't happen overnight by snapping one's fingers and are often inaccessible for a lot of new moms.
To encourage these women and prove there is nothing wrong with post-pregnancy bods, New Zealand blogger and nutritionist Julie Bhosale joined the #takebackpostpartum movement and decided to share her personal experience in a blog post called My Real Postpartum Body.
"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. 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 down right disgusting and upsetting but it is real and normal," Bhosale writes in her post.
Along with her inspiring blog entry, Julie shared a series of images that document the changes of her body over the first 14 weeks after giving birth to her second son. Here she is 24 hours and 2 days apart.
Another image shows the comparison between Bhosale being 37 weeks pregnant (left) and 24 hours after birth (right). Not much has changed, huh?
As you can see, even though the baby is already out, Bhosale says it still feels like having "a watermelon (or two) inside you."
Think it gets better after a week? Not really ...
One week after the childbirth Bhosale writes: 'Still got a lumpy, squishy watermelon belly. Still got the granny style undies and thunder pads."
Bhosale notes that her belly started shrinking only after about 2 weeks, but it still was swollen and her boobs felt 'like rocks.'
In her blog post, Julie not only lists the problems she had with her looks, but intricately describes all the postpartum body changes that people rarely talk about: incontinence, bleeding, swelling, pains, etc.
Still got 12 more weeks to go!
Motivated by her personal struggle, Bhosale wanted to speak out and encourage all new moms to be proud of their 'lumps, bumps, marks and jiggly bits.'
Bhosale received an enormous amount of positive responses from moms who were facing the same issues and pressure from society. Women thanked her for making them feel normal, inspiring to appreciate and love themselves, making them realize they're not alone, etc.