9+ Stunning Images Of Real Postpartum Women

For some reason, people still expect women to "bounce back" or begin dieting and hitting the gym immediately after having a baby. Clearly, these people have never given birth or been pregnant.

Most new moms know that these expectations are completely unrealistic while your body is healing and while you begin your new life with your babe. Plus, who's to say what a woman's body is supposed to look like?

These beautiful photos celebrate real postpartum women and the changes their bodies have gone through.

Feel a sense of pride.

At the end of the day, your body has done something amazing! It gave life to your children and that should be celebrated. Stretch marks and scars are like your new badges of honor.

There are no words for how stunning this photo is.

Experiencing a C-section is as much an emotional journey as it is a physical one. If you've had a C-section, be sure to take time to recover and embrace this new milestone.

Always show your body gratitude.

This post from @carinafitmama was taken only 13 hours after she gave birth and I love it! Those first few hours in the hospital after your baby has been born are so surreal and special.

"It’s impossible to feel anything but love and gratitude for this body that carried and grew my little babe and then laboured and delivered her to me safely," she wrote.

You are Wonder Woman.

Whenever I see a new mom these days, I instantly think of them as a superhero. I feel like no one can ever understand how strong a mom is until they become one themselves. They really can do anything.

Acceptance can still be challenging.

Even though we are starting to embrace what real postpartum bodies look like, body positivity doesn't happen overnight. Loving your new body can be difficult at first, and it's important to remember that it's ok to grieve for your old self if you need to.

This is what strength looks like.

Instagram | foodiemommafitness

If you do decide to get back into a fitness routine, focus on all the amazing things your body has done and can do. This is what a healthy mama looks like.

You've got this, mama!

Not only is your body amazing, but you are amazing. Taking care of a little one is no easy feat, and moms do it. Every. Single. Day.

Shout to to C-section moms!

Moms who have undergone a C-section need to show their bodies some extra TLC. Instagram user @lavendels shared an important reminder all moms should keep in mind, "Be kind. To yourself and to others."

An honest body is better than a perfect body.

"This body is not perfect, but it's real," writes @_jademadden. I mean, what does the perfect body even look like anyway? I'd take this and my family over that any day.

Rest, recover, repeat.

I know people always say, "sleep when the baby sleeps," and honestly, I don't know any new moms who were able to do that.

However, it is important to find time to rest and recover. Be sure to ask for help and have family watch the baby while you relax if you can.

Experiencing pregnancy and childbirth can completely change your perspective.

I relate to this post so much because I also used to obsess about my body and weight before having my son. Now I feel proud of my body for being able to take care of him every day and could care less about what number is on the scale.

Remember to show yourself some self love.

I'm so glad that we're starting to realize how important it is to show yourself some love. This message doesn't just apply to postpartum women. Everyone should take time to thank their body for all the amazing things it accomplishes.

This is what a real postpartum belly looks like.

Instagram | @adelinesmamma

Does anyone else see postpartum celebs on the cover of magazines with flat tummies and just roll your eyes? I definitely did not have a six-pack after giving birth, and honestly, I loved having a cute, round postpartum tummy.

Wrapped up in love.

I love, love, love this photo. Nothing quite compares to those first few days home with your babe. There's not a lot of sleep happening but there is a lot of love.

Remember that it is all a journey.

Your postpartum body will go through as many changes, if not more than it did during pregnancy. It can feel like an endless cycle of ups and downs, but just take your time and give your body what you need.

A new way to think about stretch marks.

Many women feel self conscious about their stretch marks after giving birth, but Instagram user @nazzhie_xo has a different perspective on them. "Each mark represents the #Strength my body used to create #Life," she wrote. So beautiful.

It's okay if you don't recognize yourself at first.

Loving your new body can take time, especially in those emotional first weeks after birth. Be patient and remember to show yourself kindness in this new chapter of your life.

Focus on your health, not what the scale says.

If you do plan on returning to a fitness routine, remember that your results probably won't happen over time. Make sure you're staying active for your health and not to change what the scale says.

Looks like a beautiful mama to me.

I think one of the best things about becoming a mom is how it can affect your confidence. I used to second-guess my appearance all the time, but now I wear what I want with confidence.

Postpartum snuggles are the best.

Nothing in the world compares to the feeling of your new baby sleeping and snuggling in your arms. At the end of the day, that's what really matters.

Going from pregnancy to the postpartum life is really crazy if you think about it.

It's a very surreal feeling when you hold your baby for the first time and realize that they grew inside you. I still look at my son most days in disbelief. Show your body some gratitude for this amazing feat!

Ah, I do remember that mesh underwear.

Recovering at home or in the hospital can be a really weird experience. You're sore, tired, and disoriented while trying to care for your new baby. At least we get that mesh underwear as a trophy of sorts, right?

Set realistic goals.

Will your body look exactly like it did before pregnancy? Probably not. Set realistic health and fitness goals and take the time to get to know your new body.

At the end of the day, it's all about gratitude.

Be thankful for your body, your willpower, and your strength. Showing gratitude is an important process and it can help shape your new journey as a mom.