baby

This Mom Of Three Started A Viral Campaign To Celebrate Postpartum Bodies And It’s So Inspiring

by Giovanna Boldrini
Giovanna was born in Rome, Italy and currently resides in South Salem, New York. In her free time, she likes to cook with her children and grandchildren.

From Kylie Jenner to Beyoncé, celebrity moms have been applauded and lauded for debuting virtually flawless postpartum bodies mere weeks after giving birth. But while there’s nothing bad about reclaiming one’s body after a pregnancy, such “snapbacks” are unrealistic for the average mom, and they can make new mothers with stretch marks and cellulite feel as though they’re doing something wrong.

Such expectations for moms and their postpartum bodies were the inspiration behind photographer Hayley Garnett’s incredible project #Celebrating_My_Postpartum. Using that hashtag, the mom of three has launched a viral movement that encourages mothers to share honest photos of their postbaby bodies and, in the process, embrace their bodies for the miracles they are.

✨Body Positivity Loop ✨ Hey Guys !!! Today I’m super excited to be sharing with you a recent passion project of mine – which is celebrating our postpartum bodies! I have asked some mamas to participate , mamas that embrace their post baby bodies and really shed a positive light on how different our bodies are Post birth ! For me embracing the change hasn’t been the easiest journey but it has been the most powerful mentally. It’s so much nicer to be able to look at myself in the mirror without wanting to turn my head . The excess skin, the stretch marks, the horrible diastisis recti- it’s part of who I am and by golly I’m going to love and celebrate myself for this physical journey that motherhood has taken me on! . . Please tap my photo to continue through the loop to @emmy__liz and help celebrate these ladies and the brave ways in which they share themselves with you, hoping that you too can look at yourself and see you how we see you . We will use the tag #celebrating_my_postpartum and encourage you all to use that tag if you share ! . . . . . #cameramama #twiniversity #twinsandmultiples #inspirepregnancy #stopcensoringmotherhood #twinpregnancy #37weeksgestation #twinmama #twinmom #magicofchildhood #ig_motherhood #p52radness #inspirepregnancy #siblinghoodlove #pixel_kids #familygoalz #cutekidsclub #momswithcameras #ramonandruby #bumpbirthandbeyond #jj_emotional #postpartum #inspirepregnancy #coi_mamamonday #thejuggleisreal #cm_kisses #clickinmoms_motherhood #cm_moms #cu_mamaandme #mothersintheframe #pk_mom

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Hayley launched #Celebrating_My_Postpartum at the end of March: “The excess skin, the stretch marks, the horrible diastisis recti — it’s part of who I am and by golly I’m going to love and celebrate myself for this physical journey that motherhood has taken me on!” she wrote on Instagram at the time.

Inspired by Hayley’s post, other moms turned out in a MAJOR way.

This body. This 21 weeks postpartum body. Full of stretch and curve. Full of love and yet full of self doubt. You did so well creating this beautiful baby girl, this beautiful human. You amaze me with what you have done. You have changed, but I will do my best to embrace you. And with time, nourish you back to the healthiest version of you. . Before I decided to post this photo, I honestly had lots of doubt. Sure, I have stretch marks and extra skin to show from this experience called pregnancy. But I also have fat. What piled back on to me after two years of getting it off pre-pregnancy. It came right back on to my body. I couldn’t tell you which stretch marks are from my previous lifestyle and which ones came during pregnancy. That doesn’t matter though. Every body is different. Unique. Special. And so powerful. From the ones who had the smallest changes to the ones who had the biggest. And some may not like this photo. Some may say it’s not your typical postpartum photo because there’s more than loose skin and stretch marks, that women like me should lose the weight since it’s not just loose skin. But women like me exist. Women like me are trying. Women like me have feelings and are real. And we are allowed to honor and love our bodies just the same. And that’s beautiful. So my self doubt and worry began to disappear. And I hope yours will too. Even if it takes one day at a time. . Thank you to @th3littlestavenger and her #celebrating_my_postpartum movement for the little boost that I needed to spread this message. ♥️

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Many moms jumped at the opportunity to get real about their postpartum bodies, and the hashtag spread like wildfire. Wrote Meghan, mother of an adorable girl named Maci: “Every body is different. Unique. Special. And so powerful. From the ones who had the smallest changes to the ones who had the biggest.”

See that belly? That faded linea nigra? See that new growth of hair and the permanent stretch marks? That posture? These are my remnants of her time inside the womb. These are reminders of the 40 weeks plus 3 days I carried her. Battle scars I earned from the 36 hour labor and birth we fought through together. This body is a testament of the countless days and nights I spend breastfeeding, rocking, carrying, soothing, playing, teaching and most importantly, LOVING her. . This body took its time to orchestrate the miraculous creation of the most special human I have ever known. This body took its time to choreograph the most incredible labor and birth, a synchronized dance that ended in a fireworks display of emotion I'll never forget. . So, no, I'm not in a hurry to "bounce back." I'm not in a rush to lose the "baby weight" or tighten that "loose skin." This body continues to take its time to nurture this child, so I'm going to continue to take my time in nurturing this body. . Huge shout out to the incredible @th3littlestavenger for being such an inspiration and light for all women and reminding us to love our bodies and for #celebrating_my_postpartum with us 🖤 . . . #inspirepregnancy #igm_033 #ig_MotherHood #igMotherHood #postpartumbody #postbabybody #postpartumjourney #bodyafterbaby #bodypositive #postpregnancy #momstrong #normalizebreastfeeding #bodypositivity #bopo #effyourbeautystandards #loveyourbody #embraceyourbody #dropthecover #thebump #brelfie #petitejoys #thehappynow #abmhappylife #theeverydayproject #photosinbetween #everysquareastory #posttheordinary #postthepeople

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“This body is a testament of the countless days and nights I spend breastfeeding, rocking, carrying, soothing, playing, teaching and most importantly, LOVING her,” shared Dominika, who gave birth to a little girl about a year ago.

“I’m not in a hurry to ‘bounce back,'” she added. “I’m not in a rush to lose the ‘baby weight’ or tighten that ‘loose skin.’ This body continues to take its time to nurture this child, so I’m going to continue to take my time in nurturing this body.”

The hashtag has produced quite a diverse set of perspectives on postpartum life. A mom named Nat, for instance, used it to dish about her postpartum weight loss and body image journey. “I have embraced my body as it is because it’s honestly pretty d*mn amazing,” she wrote. “It carried a human for nine months, birthed it, and nourished it from my breasts.”

#Repost @postpartum (@get_repost) ・・・ Dear Hope Wounds, You are kind of ugly. It feels like you sag to my knees. You’ve taken away my belly button. You roll over every kind of jeans, pants, shorts, or skirt I wear. You are gross. You are the cottage cheese that seems to cover my entire belly. You are extra fat that will probably never go away. You’re my 3.5 inch scar on my bikini line. You are the agony of my infertility, the pain of an empty womb. You are a reminder of how sick I was after my delivery , all that blood I loss, and the heart ache of not meeting my babies for 24 hours after they were born. You are the change my body never saw coming, but desired so deeply. Hope wounds, You are a miracle. You are perfect. You are beauty. You show how much I went through to bring my darling hope triplets into this world. You are beautifully saggy and beautifully ugly. You are my dream come true. You are the hope of my infertility. You are the joy of a fruitful womb. I prayed for you, hope wounds. I longed for you and begged for you. I was so desperate to have my miracle it didn’t matter how gross my hope wounds would ever be. Nor, what I would have to endure to get you. You are something I would never change. Hope wounds, you remind me the importance of teaching my children to love themselves, to celebrate who they are. You show me the value in loving who I am so I can be a good role model for them. My hope is to raise my little humans to be kind to themselves because I know now more than ever the value of self love. Hope wounds, Thank you for showing me that. Sincerely, Celebrating the sags, wrinkles, and all. Thank you @th3littlestavenger for creating #celebrating_my_postpartum and encouraging us to love ourselves a little more!! This is something I absolutely believe in!! Love your bodies mamas and know that you’re amazing!!! 💕Repost from @thefortintrio • • • #triplets #thebump #momswithcameras #twinsandmultiples #postpartumbody #postpartumfitness #aheadofthecurve #momsandmamas #momsofmultiples #postpartumdepression #twins #mamaswithcameras #mother #motherhoodthroughinstagra #fitmomsofig #lovewhatmatters #bodypositive #goals #mommy #momlife #ba

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And Desiree, a mom of triplets, chose to participate in the campaign to pay tribute to the “hope wounds” she developed while she was pregnant. “You show how much I went through to bring my darling hope triplets into this world,” she wrote. “You are beautifully saggy and beautifully ugly. You are my dream come true. You are the hope of my infertility. You are the joy of a fruitful womb.”

This is a little hard to post but i feel like someone somewhere needs this little dose of reality, NO MATTER HOW MUCH WEIGHT I LOOSE THESE STRETCH MARKS ARE HERE TO STAY! I carried a beautiful 8lbs 15oz 21 3/4in baby girl for a whopping 43 weeks. I tried to be a [s]hero and deliver all naturally but at 36 hours active labor she had other plans and had a bowel movement. i was given the choice of an epidural to see if things sped up or a c-section, long story short i got the epidural. Fast forward two years and I’ve lost the weight, I’m healthier now than i was even before i got pregnant, especially my mental state, and guess what i still have stretch marks. If you were lucky enough to have a sweet baby and not get tons of stretch marks then Woohoo to you momma, but if you’re like me and for SURE got your stretch marks, just keep in mind how blessed we are to be mommas at all. My body may never be #goals but it’s strong and has blessed me with my greatest adventure, Caroline Elizabeth Likes. I know it’s our jobs as mommas to teach our children how to grow through this life, but that little girl taught what being strong, compassionate, and loved is. So you don’t have to love your stretch marks ( i don’t love mine) but I’m thankful for what they’ve given me. Please don’t try to sell me any creams or this or that to lessen them♥️ #celebrating_my_postpartum #stretchmarks #mombod #selflove #selfacceptance #momlife #shero #healthyisthenewskinny #justbestrong

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“My body may never be #goals but it’s strong and has blessed me with my greatest adventure,” chimed in a mom named Savannah. “I know it’s our jobs as mommas to teach our children how to grow through this life, but that little girl taught what being strong, compassionate, and loved is. So you don’t have to love your stretch marks (i don’t love mine) but I’m thankful for what they’ve given me.”

This is super hard for me to post, atleast the first picture is, but the results I have made are truly amazing to me. I had my husband take photos of me at 7weeks postpartum when I was finally cleared to start working out again. I was in such a happy place mentally because my baby boy was here, but physically I was feeling like crap/exhausted. I felt as if I had lost all motivation to workout & in my head I was telling myself I would not bounce back. The second photo was taken today @ 7 months postpartum! I think it’s safe to say I bounced back 😍 I am physically & mentally in a happy place ♥️ Although I still occasionally tell myself I have not made as much progress as I had hoped, but I also have to remind myself that I am only 7months postpartum and I still can make more progress! These are the results of mostly clean eating (I don’t call it a diet) because I do eat in moderation 🍕🌮🍟 lol & I exercise about 5-6 days a week 💪🏼 I follow a program and if anyone is interested you can gladly contact me and I will give you more info ✅ #strongereveryday #happyandfit #lovethislife #workoutgirl #excersiseeveryday #wifey #momma #fitmomlife #strongmom #healthymom #mama #pregnantwomen #csection #postpartum #postpartumfitness #csectionrecovery #motherhoodintheraw #womenempoweringwomen #shreddingforthewedding #happy #bodyafterbaby #celebrating_my_postpartum

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“I think it’s safe to say I bounced back 😍 I am physically & mentally in a happy place ♥️” wrote Corinne, a mom of one who documents her postpartum fitness journey on Instagram. “Although I still occasionally tell myself I have not made as much progress as I had hoped, but I also have to remind myself that I am only 7months postpartum and I still can make more progress!”

“2 weeks postpartum & embracing my body,” penned a new mom named Laurie. “It grew a human, withstood major abdominal surgery and is now feeding a thriving, healthy boy. I’m strong as f**k. 💪”

Props to Hayley for starting such a beautiful movement! You can follow her on Instagram at @th3littlestavenger.