A year ago, mom-of-three Chara Jackson shared a postpartum belly photo that gained some serious attention.
The positive reaction to the candid shot of her c-section scars and bruises prompted a realization: We don't just need more realisitc postpartum photos, we need more realisitc body photos in general. So now, a year later, she's posting a followup shot.
"What [my first post] told me was that there's a need for more realistic body images out there," Jackson writes on Instagram.
She admits that her belly hasn't just changed; it's changed her as well.
"Before pregnant and whilst pregnant, I had no qualms with people touching my tummy. I was happy with its flatness and then was proud of the bump," she says. "Whenever I got the chance I would place my husband's hand on my bump—it was comforting and allowed us to feel kicks together and bond thinking about each baby. Now the thought of him touching my midriff sends me into a slight panic mode."
Sound familiar? Jackson says she knows she has nothing to be ashamed of, and that she's extremely proud her body created life three times over. But sometimes, that's not enough—especially when social media inundates her with moms who did seem to "bounce back" right away.
"Women who keep their small humans, relationships and businesses going AND find the time to exercise—you are my gurus—one day, I may follow suit," she says. "But if I don’t, that’s okay too."
Jackson certainly isn't the only mom with mixed feelings about her postpartum figure. For stories of other women learning to embrace the fourth trimester, click here.