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Kylie McConville

What Your Body After Baby Will Really Be Like

We got moms to spill on what’s different about their body after baby, and how they feel about it (trust us, there are things to look forward to!).

Wondering what your body will look like after your little one arrives? You’re not alone. Practically every mom-to-be thinks about it—a lot. That’s why we went straight to the source to ask moms who’ve been through it all what their body after baby is really like, and how they feel about it. And if you need a little motivation to get your pre-baby bod back, we got the scoop on that too. Read on for these refreshingly honest takes on body after baby from real moms.

Body After Baby: What Changed

Your body carried baby for 40 weeks (or thereabouts), shifting and stretching to accommodate your growing child, and then it underwent the exhausting task of childbirth—it stands to reason you’ll experience some physical changes once all is said and done. Curious what to expect? From stretch marks to surgical scars to wider feet, these moms get real about how their bodies changed after having a baby.

"My midsection is slightly fatter and saggier, but pretty much the same." — hollyboe94

"My breasts suffered some stretch marks but that's to be expected with a barely-A cup!" — yoniandjoey79

"My boobs are so saggy and I didn't even breastfeed! I have scars from the c-section and gall bladder removal. I have a flabby poochy stomach and some varicose veins. But I'm a lot skinnier." — hayleysmama

"My chest is larger and my thighs are a little wider." — mrsqursei33

"My post-baby body is curvier, which in some ways is nice, but my stomach is far from the flat pre-baby belly I once had." — whimseydancer

"Lots of stretch marks. Everywhere. Thighs, backs of knees, boobs, hips. My boobs look stretched, my stomach is poochy, and everything in that mid-section area seems wider. Sometimes it saddens me, but then I look at my son and smile." — amybose7754

"My post-baby body is pretty much the same as pre-baby, just a little 'bouncier' in the midsection from all that stretching and since my muscles aren't built back up yet." — bethail3

"My postbaby body is wider in the hips, I've got a stripe on my stomach, and I have a little more skin to go around, but I'm learning to accept it. All of these changes are merely my battle scars. They tell a story of great sacrifice." — harlowrose

"I feel like my weight re-distributed itself in different parts of my body! For example, my thighs used to be bigger and my love handles smaller, but now my thighs are smaller and my love handles have grown exponentially! I do feel pretty good though, and eating a healthy diet has helped keep me motivated to exercise." — coleygirl

"I'm still trying to remember how to walk without a baby inside me, how to stretch, how to run. Sex is another big hurdle to cross. Everything responds differently now. It's so weird, but fun as my hubby and I try new things together." — holyharriet

"My stomach is a little squishier than before, and my breasts are bigger. I think I actually have more muscle definition in my legs and arms from carrying around that baby weight for nine months." — maddenJ01

"My feet are actually wider! I'd thought that was a myth, but I proved myself wrong!" — betseyross04

"I don't have near the physical endurance for sports that I had before pregnancy. And 'down there' has definitely changed. But, because I ate healthily and kept up with moderate exercise, I look slimmer now than I did before I was pregnant." — topofthehillmama

"There's no comparison. I have a bit of a pooch and extra skin just hanging there now. It's a bummer. None of my clothes fit, but I refuse to buy clothes that fit me like this. I can get my pants on, but I can't button any of them. I am also breastfeeding, so my boobs are bigger, but when they're freshly emptied, they're a bit saggy. I hope that doesn't stay!" — proudmama212

"Though the numbers [on the scale] are still the same, I have less muscle tone and it's distributed differently. My arms are skinnier, but my stomach is flabbier. I fit into my pre-baby clothes, but would like to get fit again." — mamatobe5425454

Body After Baby: How Moms Feel

It’s not just appearance that’s changed for moms—it’s also their attitudes. Here’s how these women feel different after giving birth:

"I feel stronger—it's amazing what your body can do. It doesn't seem possible that a complete, perfect little baby came from inside my body!" — chicagochick78

"Mentally, it was hard to accept my new body, since I had really bad stretch marks that came only in the last four weeks." — jamesmama

"I feel like a stranger in my body. I look at it and I feel unhappy. And I miss the way it was before pregnancy." — tylertiara

"I'm amazed at how much your body stretches in the process [of pregnancy and birth]! But I don't like my postbaby body, and I'm having a really hard time accepting it." — suziequzie9

"I feel pretty normal, even though my hips are definitely wider." — tucantropez45"I'm amazed at the fact that I had the endurance to keep going, and not beg for a c-section." — mauie

"I do sort of feel like a stranger in my own body right now, but I'm sure that will change. Either that, or I'll get used to it." — lrichton89

"I have a lot more 'mommy' instincts than I thought I would. And I can run on very little sleep—though not far and not very quickly!" — kelliq9987

"I didn't realize how much my pregnant body was slowing me down until my recovery was over. I have a lot more energy and I'm much more flexible. My feet don't hurt after walking 10 feet either, which is always a bonus. I love that I had an easy pregnancy. That makes me love my body and appreciate that it was willing to give me an easy ride." — willowbelle342

"For some reason, I feel less self-conscious. Not that I don't care about getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight, I'm just not as obsessed [about weight] as I was before." — addelynbelle2009

Body After Baby: Losing the Baby Weight

Want to get back to your pre-body baby but don’t know where to start? Pick up a few tips from these moms, who dish on how they shed the pregnancy pounds to regain their body after baby. (Hint: There's no rush!)

"I didn't do anything to lose weight except breastfeed. By eating my normal diet and doing housework, I dropped nearly all the weight in three weeks." — janedough98

"I've recently started working out three days a week and have dropped six pounds." — lilysera909

"I haven't been rushing the weight loss process. I'm simply trying to take this opportunity to learn how to eat healthier and exercise more. Losing weight is just an added bonus!" — TiffanyLeigh09

"I've slowly eased back into exercising. I take walks with my husband and baby about three or four times a week. We put little man in the Ergo carrier when we walk, so that adds 14 pounds to my workout! I would like to lose a little weight, but I'm not in a hurry." — Destinymae

"I'm not trying to lose it ASAP, but I'm trying to eat better and get more active. I want to be healthier for me and my baby!" — Bearsfan56443

"I thought it would fall off with breastfeeding, but (darn Hollywood!) it didn't. I started Weight Watchers three months after my was born. The weight came off pretty fast in the beginning, but my milk supply took a big hit. I don't know if it was because of dieting, or because I went back to work around the same time." — Jasmineandjoey1292004

*Some names have been changed.

Updated November 2017

PHOTO: Getty Images