The physical transition to motherhood isn’t always easy.
About 75 percent of women who are pregnant get stretch marks, and many women feel embarrassed of loose skin, scars, and other inevitable effects of pregnancy. Many hide their bodies or undergo expensive surgical procedures as a result.
But one mother is standing up for the beauty of a real postpartum body. Her name is Dr. Julie Bhosale, and she’s a health professional. When she gave birth, her body didn’t “bounce back,” as she notes on her website—but she used the experience to make an incredible point.
Bhosale began documenting her journey, showing how her body changed and taking pride in those changes. Rather than hide the realities of childbirth, she showed them off in a series of posts titled “My Real Postpartum Body.”
“I am a mother,” she writes in the first post. “I am tired, broken and sore. I have lumps, marks, and jiggly bits.” She then shows how her body looks after bearing two children. By the impossible standards of what we often see in entertainment and the media, her body isn’t perfect. But in a way, she’s better than perfect.
Bhosale has amazing body confidence, a great sense of humor, and a truly honest style.
In her posts, she details how she lost her energy after giving birth to her first child. Before pregnancy, she would run marathons for fun. After giving birth, she found that she could barely walk to her mailbox. Giving birth changed her body in many other ways that she didn’t expect, and she had to juggle the difficulties of those changes with her role as a new mother.
My body is experiencing a horrendous hormone withdrawal, she noted two days after giving birth. “I am more prepared for this second time around. First time, I just could not understand why I would not stop crying. The cherry on the [sundae] is that precious little bundle won’t stop screaming.”
In every post, she put her tummy on display, showing that a mother’s body can look quite a bit different from what you’d see in a magazine.
Part of her goal with this project was to show that while celebrities sometimes recover their perfect midriffs after giving birth, that’s not the reality for most mothers. Bhosale wants women to feel confident with their postpartum bodies, regardless of stretch marks, scars, and other perceived imperfections.
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With that said, Bhosale does make a few references to how the traditional media might see her body. “May have to reconsider my job as a bikini model,” she notes in one humorous post. Still, she also refers to her scar as the “feature piece” of her stretch marks, taking pride in her unique features instead of covering up.
The ultimate point of these posts is to provide support to new mothers.
You may not look like the next Victoria’s Secret Underwear model, but focus on how you feel, Bhosale writes. “Be kind to yourself and your body, you will look like how you are meant to when you feel good.”
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The posts end with a simple message: “You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are a mother.” Since Bhosale posted her pics, she’s received thousands of positive comments from all around the world. We think that this is a wonderful way to show the truth about motherhood, and Bhosale should be applauded for bringing such an important issue into the light.