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Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor

Moms of Instagram Show Postpartum Is Beautiful

Stretch marks, breastfeeding, c-section scars — they're all part of the postpartum experience. And January Harshe wants new moms to embrace that experience rather than just get through it. Harshe is the founder of Birth Without Fear, a conference series that supports and empowers moms-to-be during pregnancy and birth. And she noticed that the #postpartum hashtag was dominated by stretch mark creams and weight loss solutions. So she decided to help refocus everyone's attention.The result was a new hashtag and Instagram account, both fittingly called TakeBackPostpartum. Moms are encouraged to share their bodies exactly how they are. And we found 10 inspiring women who did just that.

Supporting Role

5 days postpartum

Photo: @atashachretien

Discovering Beautiful

“It housed and nourished her and served a higher purpose. Beautiful.”

Photo: @TakeBackPostpartum

Postpartum and Proud

“Almost three weeks postpartum and 30 pounds down. It’s crazy how much I used to hate my stomach before I got pregnant and how much character I see in it now. No, it isn’t pretty, nor is it ‘summer ready.’ I won’t be sporting a bikini this summer or any cute crop tops but I’m okay with that. I have a lot of work to do, but I won’t be ashamed of my stretch marks. I grew a beautiful little boy in that belly and he was worth every mark. The two most important people in my life look at me with love in their eyes and that’s truly all that matters.”

Photo: @bayyyy_lee

Perfect Fit

“Chunky monkey new bebe.”

Photo: @jaclynmichele

Twice as Inspiring

“In case you were wondering how we do this: Just nurse one and nurse the other in a head lock. I can even browse Instagram!”

Photo: @j_hobbs

Embracing Curves

“Love your postpartum bodies, mamas. Feel empowered with those stripes you’ve earned, those scars that show your strength and the extra skin that gives your babies warmth and love.”

Photo: @ethereal_mama

Perfectly Powerful

“I refuse to stay silent. This is my body. It is powerful and beautiful. It has carried a baby for 41 weeks and three days. It endured 31 hours of active labor to greet a perfect baby boy. My body did not fail me when it needed the assistance of a vacuum. It did not fail me while I spent sleepless nights comforting a gassy newborn. My body has given me one of life’s greatest blessings. I will not be ashamed of any new wrinkle or mark that it now bares. I gave birth six weeks ago. This is my new powerful and beautiful body.”

Photo: @xoanchorsaweighox

Miracle on Display

“This is my body. It grew and nurtured two beautiful souls. It birthed them naturally, with strength that can only come from the lord. It continues to nourish both of them with milk in plentiful supply. Yes, this is my bikini body, my one piece body, my I’ll-wear-whatever-I-want-and-not-hide-what-I-am-so-proud-to-have-done-body.”

Photo: @cityofhearts

New Appreciation

“All my life, I’ve never been comfortable with my body. Who would have thought getting pregnant and having a beautiful daughter would lead to a newfound love for my body? Stretch marks and giant c-section scar included!”

Photo: @marleeprosser

Mommy and Me

“Something as simple as a mama’s postpartum bump and the child’s hand who once lived there is absolutely precious!”

Photo: @takebackpostpartum via @ohaiiitskelsey
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