When the internet first heard of Maria Nordø Jørstad, it was because a photo of her baby bump had gone viral.
The bump was particularly extraordinary, as Maria was expecting triplets. The Copenhagen, Denmark, mom is now four months postpartum and giving people an honest look at her body’s continued evolution.
Maria and her husband, Anders, were already parents to 2-year-old Mikael when they found out they were expecting. Despite what many people have assumed, the couple did not get pregnant with their younger kids as a result of in-vitro fertilization. The triplets were conceived naturally.
Maria documented her first pregnancy and decided to do the same with this one. This time, she shared her pictures on Instagram. She has since amassed over 270,000 followers.
Maria gave folks a real look at what being pregnant with multiple children looks like, and she is continuing to share the emotional journey. She hopes that it will give women more realistic expectations of themselves during pregnancy and after. It isn’t always pretty, but it’s an homage to what the human body is capable of.
When Maria first started the Triplets of Copenhagen Instagram account, she was looking to document her pregnancy. She had kept track with pictures during her first pregnancy, but this time she was having triplets.
At 20 weeks, Maria was a little more than halfway there. She found out her triplets would be two girls and a boy!
As if the chaos of expecting three babies wasn’t enough, Maria and Anders got married while she was pregnant. They were just about 11 weeks out from meeting their triplets.
As her bump grew bigger, people became more fascinated with Maria’s journey. She was elated to have experienced minimal health issues, which can be more common during multiple-child pregnancies.
Maria’s belly looked almost surreal at 20 days out from delivery. She was largely spending time resting, as any exertion was exhausting for her.
A look at how her belly evolved week by week is simply incredible. You can see how the growth seems to pick up, taking her bump from your average pregnant belly to the enormous one that left people in awe.
The triplets were born on the morning of September 12, 2018. The proud parents named their two daughters and son Iben, Agnes, and Filip. The babies were healthy but had to stay in the NICU until they grew a bit more.
Everyone who was fascinated by Maria’s bump was intrigued to see how her body would recover. She was happy to share and give people a more realistic idea of what the body goes through. Above, she poses only two days after giving birth. As you can see, her belly didn’t immediately shrink away.
There hadn’t been much progress a week later.
Maria explained to her Instagram followers what was happening: “I now have a really weird looking hanging belly, which is still quite heavy. My uterus has not shrinked [sic] back yet. Because my belly was so stretched it takes longer than usual. I’m gonna get a belly band/support binder asap, because it’s quite annoying and the sagging makes my c-section scar hurts.”
Maria found out that she had diastasis recti, a separation of her abdominal muscles that made it difficult to strengthen her core and begin getting her body back. She started working with a trainer who helps postpartum women who have experienced diastasis recti.
It was emphasized to Maria that she’d have to take it very slowly before starting to work out again or engaging in any real physical activity. Twelve weeks postpartum, she also discovered that she had a hernia in addition to the diastasis recti. The progress wasn’t what she thought it would be.
Maria is continuing to work with her trainer to take the steps needed to get back in shape. Her body has been through quite an ordeal, so the slow pace is key to recovery.
Maria’s trainer has her working on posture, breathing, and very gentle ab exercises. There’s more to it than just standing up straight and taking deep breaths. But Maria tells her followers she’s dedicated to doing the work while also being honest about just how much work it does take.
The triplets are now 4 months old. While the process was quite strenuous, one look at these faces and Maria knows it was all worth it!