Having a baby changes everything. It changes your priorities. It changes your sleep schedule. It changes the words you say and the things you do.

If you’re a mom, and if you’ve experienced the joys and struggles of pregnancy (insomnia and swollen ankles anyone?), then you also know that not only does your life change after your baby is born but so does your body.

As a new mom, Meghan Markle proudly and bravely stepped out to face the media in a dress that did not hide her post-baby pump, because in case you don’t already know, women’s bodies do not magically snap back to their pre-pregnancy size after the baby is born. In fact, sometimes they never completely snap back.

We’re talking stretch marks, loose skin and extra weight that’s harder to lose than you’d imagine no matter what people say about breastfeeding helping to shed the baby weight.

Basically, there are all types of postpartum bodies, and many of them do not look like size 0 celebrity postpartum bods.

Bethanie Garcia is a proud mom to four children, and she recently met up with friends Katie, Meg and Desiree at a blogging conference. They are also mothers. In fact, Meg had started a hashtag #this_is_postpartum to celebrate and show the different types of women’s bodies after childbirth.

The four friends decided to do something many mothers consider brave and extremely helpful. They took a picture, proudly showing off their postpartum bellies, and shared the photo on multiple Instagram accounts.

 

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“Is this an advertisement for why women should get tummy tucks?”⠀ ⠀ “Why aren’t there any fit women in this photo? Not every postpartum body is fat and loose.”⠀ ⠀ “Why has society made it ok to bash women who bounce back yet glorify women who can’t lose weight?”⠀ ⠀ “How about dieting?”⠀ ⠀ “Posts like this bother me. Not losing the weight is a choice.”⠀ ⠀ “I’m a mother of 4 but I’m also a smokin’ hot wife because that’s my duty. No way I’d be happy or settle to look like this.”⠀ ⠀ “Photos like this tear women apart.”⠀ ⠀ “So, you’re saying that skinny women don’t have real bodies?”⠀ ⠀ Just a small sample of the comments we’ve received over the past few days since our original post went live. It’s a shame that the point has been completely missed by some of the people that have taken time out of their day to comment. (The point being: the four of us have been friends online for a long time and finally met IRL and took a last minute photo together…of our different postpartum body types…to show that all body types are beautiful.)⠀ ⠀ If you look at this photo and your first thought is “why are there no skinny women”, you have bigger issues to deal with, my friend. You can look literally anywhere: film, TV, Instagram, magazines, video games and see skinny women. Other body types are absolutely underrepresented in media and it causes women with those body types to feel less than… to feel like they’re not good enough.⠀ ⠀ I want to encourage anyone who felt the need to leave any of the above comments to dig deeper, self-reflect, gain some perspective, learn. Your comment says WAY fucking more about you than it does about us.⠀ ⠀ Be better.

A post shared by Bethanie Garcia (@thegarciadiaries) on

Many people have body shamed the friends saying things like, “How about dieting?” and “Posts like this bother me. Not losing the weight is a choice.”

Meanwhile, many other moms have left positive comments stating how “this is beautiful and I’m glad to see women unapologetically loving themselves” and “This brought tears to my eyes because I see parts on there women that look familiar — but that I have never seen in media and that cause me shame. Thank you thank you!”

Bethanie responded to critics saying, “The point being: the four of us have been friends online for a long time and finally met IRL and took a last minute photo together…of our different postpartum body types…to show that all body types are beautiful.”

We’re proud of these ladies for ignoring the haters and trying to help over mothers feel self-confident and comfortable in their postpartum bodies, no matter what size or shape they take.