As any mom can tell you, postpartum bodies don't magically bounce back into shape. There's no magic formula of exercise, diet, or witchcraft that can get your tummy back to exactly the way it was pre-baby. And one reality star mom is sharing her body positive journey with on social media. Ali Fedotowsky-Manno's message about postpartum bodies is just what moms need right now.
Her empowering post about the necessity of self-love shows a side-by-side of her pregnant belly with her current belly 10 months postpartum after the birth of her son Riley.
"It’s crazy to think this was my body 10 months ago. Look at that belly! (swipe to see my belly today) I knew I had a larger than average belly when I was pregnant with Riley (because he was a big baby and because I had Polyhydramnios) But I don’t think I realized just how big I was. So why [on] earth would I think my body should bounce back to a flat tummy 10 months after THIS?," Fetotowsky-Manno wrote in the caption on Instagram.
For those who don't know Polyhydramnios is an excess accumulation of amniotic fluid, according to Mayo Clinic.
Truth be told, Fedotowsky-Manno is loving her new body, and it's something that lots of moms need to hear. No matter what expectations new moms may have, change is not always a bad thing, even when it comes to your body.
"Not only is my tummy not flat, but I have a large flap of loose skin that I don’t think it’s ever going to go away," Fedotowsky-Manno continued. "And you know what, that’s OK. To be 100 percent honest with you guys I actually kind of like my loose skin. That’s the honest truth," she said to her 666K followers. "That isn’t to say that a year from now I won’t change my mind and want to do something about it but right now it feels like a badge of honor."
And she totally sees her new body as a reminder that she created two actual humans. Fedotowsky and husband Kevin Manno have two children together, daughter Molly, nearly 3, and son Riley, who was born in May of last year, according to Us Weekly.
"I earned this loose skin," Fedotowsky-Manno continued on Instagram. "I gave everything my body has to offer to bring two beautiful humans into this world! That’s not something I should feel ashamed of, that something I should feel empowered by! So every time I look at my tummy I remind myself to feel strength, power, and sacrifice. And in the end, I’m left with the greatest gift — two beautiful children and the family I’ve always DREAMED of."
She ended it all with an uplifting message for moms who might be feeling down about their new bodies"
I hope that when YOU look in the mirror today, you feel the same respect and love when you see the person staring back at you. How we perceive ourselves is either our greatest strength or weakness. Work towards making it your strength!
So far, the Instagram post has been liked more than 39k times and the message is really resonating with fans.
One Instagram user wrote, "You look absolutely beautiful in both pics! The female body is incredible and the fact that we can make and build a BABY inside of us is miiind blowing!!!! I’m proud to be a woman and woman like u I inspire and empower me every day."
Another added, "Almost 11 months post partum and my body is no where near where it was, and at times I think I would love to get back there and expect myself to be there again but it takes time and I’ve come to the realization I’d rather snuggle my boy, make memories and enjoy this season than stress about my body that will change over and over again in my lifetime! Thank you for being so open, honest and real about your body after baby!"
And for some, it had a real impact on their daily struggle with self-acceptance. "This seriously made my day! I had my second baby 7 weeks ago and I had them back to back! I struggle every day looking at myself now cause I don’t Recognize it! However, I have to remind myself I made a human and how freaking cool is that! So seeing your post just made my day thanks for that," yet another follower wrote.
This isn't the first time Fedotowsky-Manno opened up about learning to love her post-baby body. Back in November, she shared another photo on Instagram in which you could see her bare belly.
"Self love is a difficult thing to fully embrace," Fedotowsky-Manno captioned the picture. "When I look at myself in the mirror I can’t help but notice that my hips are wider than they used to be, my wrinkles are deeper than when I was in my 20's, and my stomach has lumps and bumps that didn’t used to be there. But then I try to remember that my hips are wider because they give birth to two beautiful children. My wrinkles are deeper because I’ve spent countless sleepless nights making sure my kiddos are cared for, fed, and loved. And my belly is extra squishy because it spent 18 months making sure two sweet little babies had a place to call home. Sometimes what we see as 'flaws' on the outside, are actually what make us stunningly beautiful on the inside."
Moms may never get their bodies back to pre-baby shape, but all in all it doesn't really matter. The sacrifice is all worth it for the families that they created. And seeing someone like Fedotowsky-Manno, a former Bachelorette and television personality, share such personal sentiments about her own body let's other moms know it's all gonna be OK.