From the moment a woman becomes pregnant her body begins to change. It changes in ways that can only be described as miraculous. Yet, once they give birth many women try and change their body back to their pre-pregnancy days. While there are hundreds of postpartum workouts that can help to improve a mother’s health, there’s nothing more healthy than embracing the body that gave life to another human being.
Janene Crossley is a blogger and mother of four. The mother from Texas is also a strong believer in working out during your pregnancy and after giving birth. Although she shows off the benefits of working out on both her blog and social media accounts, a recent post highlights an issue that is far too common.
There’s no reason to be ashamed of a post-pregnancy body.
My lips haven't left her cheeks and my nose is perfectly nestled into the outer corner of her eye.💕 A new baby always softens me. And that feeling you have as soon as your fresh-from-heaven babe is laid on to your chest has got to be one of the most sanctifying and relieving moments my husband and I have ever experienced together. When we arrived at the hospital yesterday, my sweet hubby gave me a blessing. Heavenly Father immediately warned me that I needed to prepare now to mentally be strong for that night. A thought crept into my mind, "Is this going to end in c-sect?" I dismissed the fear and we went on with feeling excited to get the party started! I was started on pitocin, a few hours later I received an epidural. With 4+ efforts at different drugs inside the epidural and eventually removing and repositioning the epidural (which still offered zero pain relief😔) and 17 hours with the strongest dose of pitocin, I was absolutely miserable inside. I was fully dilated to a 10 and held her in for about 45 minutes before I was able to push her out. First push and her head came out (my Dr cut her cord that was wrapped tight around her neck) and she flew right out with the 2nd push! She brought me closer to the Savior by strengthening my testimony that He is always aware of our needs and what we need to push through our struggles. And now that we're home from the hospital, the kids are obsessed with her! I'm so happy that she's the precious one completing our family here on earth! And I'm SO happy about not ever having to go through another delivery like that again✌🏼🤗 #1dayold || favorite nursing bra @cakematernity | robe @plumprettysugar
One day Crossley’s five-year-old daughter gave her an honest opinion about her stomach, which had just recently carried her youngest child for nine months and three children before that.
“It feels like bubble gum!” the little girl yelled out as she twisted the skin on her mom’s stomach in her tiny hands.
Rather than scold her daughter for making such a comment, she shared what she called a “ridiculous, unflattering open-mouth pic” on Instagram and explained her hopes and wishes for her daughters.
“This belly of mine will forever share my story.”
When your 5 year old sees your post-partum stomach and gives it a big ol' tummy twister while laughing hysterically and hollering "IT FEELS LIKE BUBBLE GUM!!!", you post that ridiculous, unflattering open-mouth pic instead of the "prettier" one. Oh, sweet girl.. I hope you always feel confident in the skin you're in. Stretched, loose and marked up. It's beautiful. This belly of mine will forever share my story. It's a novel that pleaded and prayed to house my babies. The fresh, crepe-paper skin means that tiny Avery is nestled in my arm instead of on the inside. My sore chest means that I'm still single-handedly growing this baby. What a straight up miracle this is. I'm feeling 100% proud of this post-partum body, with its jelly abs and shriveled up skin. It made me a mother. A mother who now has cellulite because that's just how my body handled pregnancy. This was my road to Motherhood. Paved with miserable pregnancies and yet a lifetime of unconditional pure love for these 4 little ones. And yeah, I'll make these girls reenact this childhood photo when they're grown with bubblegum bellies of their own💕 #embracethesquish #postpartum #11weeksold
She goes on to explain that no matter how marked up her daughters’ bodies may be from whatever inevitable changes their bodies face, she hopes they always feel confident.
“I’m feeling 100% proud of this post-partum body, with its jelly abs and shriveled up skin,” she wrote. It’s because of what has now become “crepe-paper skin” and a sore chest that she was able to become a mother to four children.
Although now Crossley is content with her body, she wasn’t always that way.
The mother admits to Metro that prior to having her first child she used to be critical about obtaining a perfect body. But once she saw what her body was capable of doing, her mindset changed. The post on Instagram garnered so many positive reactions from her audience that she said it has encouraged her to be even more open and vulnerable.
“I wanted other women to feel inspired to love the new skin that made them mothers,” Crossley told Metro.
Although Crossley’s Instagram post is directed towards her daughters, we can all learn a lesson from it. No matter if your skin has dozens of stretch marks or is silky smooth, there’s no need to feel ashamed of it.