A New Zealand mom is making waves on the Internet for her powerful message about post-baby bodies.
After giving birth to her second child, mommy blogger and nutritionist Julie Bhosale shared photos documenting her post-partum body for 14 weeks. Her goal? To prove that the media sets unrealistic standards for new moms.
“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 (truly, that is great, Kate Middleton you are amazing!) But this is such a small minority,” the mom-of-two wrote. “For most of us, our bodies change, and change a lot. It is scary, it is hard, it can be downright disgusting and upsetting, but it is real and normal.”
Thanks to the media’s unrealistic portrayal of what post-baby bodies look like, Bhosale told Buzzfeed that her confidence suffered after giving birth to her first child. “I thought getting my body back to how it was before would just happen and it didn’t,” she said. “I thought if I feel like this, with my knowledge of nutrition and how the body works, then imagine what other women must feel like?”
When Bhosale then had her second child, she decided that this was her “chance to make a difference and maybe help even one mom feel less alone” with her story.
“It took me a lot longer to feel good following the birth of my first son [than] this time around,” she wrote. “There is no one to compare yourself [to]. No one is walking in your shoes, deals with what you deal with. You will be judged. I am judged everyday and there will be people judging me right now. Doing what is right for you and your family takes courage, takes strength and as a mother, you have both. Nourish and love from the inside out and do not forget: You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are a mother.”
Since sharing her post-partum journey on her blog, the new mom has been overwhelmed by the amount of positive feedback she’s received. “Thank you for such an honest account you make me feel normal!!” one reader commented on her post. “So many women trying to outdo each other in a race back to the pre-pregnancy figure instead of being honest & trying to help each other out!! Thanks.”
Another said: “A really beautiful piece and it made feel so much better about myself.”
Bhosale is now encouraging her readers to share their own post-baby photos using the hashtag #TakeBackPostPartum, as a way to raise awareness of the changes women’s bodies experience during pregnancy.