It's no secret pregnancy takes a toll on the body, both mentally and physically. However, it's also more than obvious that when celebrities and other moms set unrealistic expectations for post-baby bodies by flooding social media with incredible after photos, those who are unable to slip back into their former figures in the blink of an eye are often left with poor self-esteem and added stress during an already trying time. That's why it's so refreshing that this mom shared a photo of her stomach after having three babies in 11 months, providing an authentic perspective of what really happens to the body after nine months of carrying a human.
On Sept. 5, Australian mom Eliza Curby took to Instagram to share an image of her postpartum body — scars, loose skin and all. The woman behind the Twingenuity blog delivered her daughter, Charlie, in January 2016. Six weeks later, she conceived identical twin boys who were born on Christmas that same year.
Funnily enough, Curby's mistaken belief in the myth that nursing wards off conception is actually what led to her surprise pregnancy.
"Breastfeeding doesn’t do shit, this pregnancy happened," Curby told The Daily Mail back in February. "My doctor actually uses me as an example for couples when they say they don't have any contraception plans in place after the birth of their child."
Juggling three kids under the age of 2 is no easy feat, and it's a struggle Curby freely acknowledges on her blog. Curby wrote:
Becoming a mother for the first time is a life-changer. But I personally was completely unaccepting of how much of a life-changer it was. ... Many moms have [what I call the 'superwoman' complex]. This expectation that we can do everything, be everything and place greater and greater pressures upon ourselves in multiple facets of our life, without consequence. Like producing life itself isn't enough.
The photo clearly resonated with Curby's followers, as the post was flooded with comments from both moms and dads relating to her real talk.
"You just made me feel so much more comfortable about myself and happy," one woman wrote. "A lot of people don't understand what it takes to carry twins, and this is part of it. I am proud I carried my twins to 38 weeks, and that took a lot of room."
The rest of Curby's Instagram feed includes both inspirational images and adorable family photos. In one, she somehow finds the room to balance her three kiddos on her lap. If you ask me, that's an act more than worthy of superhero status.
"Because I'm not embarrassed of the scars my body now carries," Curby captioned her now-viral belly pic. "Because I'm proud of what my body has done for me. Because many women feel the need to hide it. Because famous women post 'look at my body just three weeks postpartum' and portray unrealistic images of what it means to be a mother. Because I feel beautiful in my own skin — even if there's alottt [sic] of it! Because beauty takes many forms. Because I can. Because you should also be proud. This is me ... because I love my body."
Remember these words the next time you're feeling insecure about your own post-baby body.