Unsplash | Arteida MjESHTRI

Mom's Raw Photo Of Her Post-Birth Body Proves Women Don't Just 'Bounce Back'

There are still huge misconceptions about women's bodies after they gave birth. Many people forget that new moms need time to recover from the physical demands of carrying a baby around for months and then giving birth to it.

They also tend to forget that it can take months, if not years, for a woman to lose the pregnancy weight.

One mom set out to disprove the myth that women's bodies simply "bounce back" after giving birth with her own raw photo.

Unsplash | Cassidy Rowell

Pregnancy isn't always as glamorous as Hollywood makes it seem.

Kristen Sullivan is a mom and parenting content creator.

Instagram | @krisrosulli

Her social media posts tend to be on topics related to her family and work. When she was expecting the arrival of her second baby, it was only natural for her to document her pregnancy on Instagram, too.

On July 27, 2017, Kristen welcomed her second baby boy.

Instagram | @krisrosulli

She and her husband named their new baby boy, Gavin. Kristen shared her birth story along with her announcement welcoming Gavin to the world.

A few weeks after giving birth, Kristen took to social media to share this real postpartum update.

Instagram | @krisrosulli

The photo on the left was taken three days before Kristen had Gavin, and the one on the right was taken three weeks after giving birth.

She suspected that she had diastasis recti, a separation of the ab muscles after pregnancy, and vowed to give herself time to recover.

Unsplash | freestocks.org

Because pregnancy puts a lot of pressure on the belly, the abdominal muscles have the ability to shift and the connective tissues can stretch so much that they don't retract.

Many women were thankful for Kristen's postpartum update.

Instagram | @lula922

This mom of twins said she was still being asked when she was due a month after giving birth. When are people going to realize that there is such a thing as a postpartum baby bump?

Other moms shared how their bodies changed after giving birth.

instagram | @wames90

I can't believe that this doctor didn't think about how his remarks would be taken by a newly postpartum mom. I'm glad she found some solidarity with Kristen after seeing her post.

Every woman goes through a different process when it comes to accepting their postpartum bodies.

Instagram | @lys.kitzul

This mom also had diastasis recti after her first child and said she was planning on working with a physiotherapist after the upcoming birth of her second baby. More women like Kristen are seeking professional help to keep their bodies healthy after giving birth.

In the months following her viral baby bump photo, Kristen continued to post updates about her postpartum recovery.

Instagram | @krisrosulli

This photo was taken at seven weeks postpartum and Kristen was continuing to use a Belle Fit girdle to help her core recover and stabilize.

And after a year, Kristen posted this update.

Instagram | @krisrosulli

Kristen hit a bit of a setback to her recovery and her ab muscles began separating again. She had to revisit the physical therapist to get back on track.

In March, she shared an update of her condition.

Instagram | @krisrosulli

In a long Instagram post she wrote, "Here I am at 19 months postpartum after my 2nd pregnancy. That's right, almost 2 years. Still on this roller-coaster journey that is my struggle with diastasis recti."

She mentioned that her condition was improving, but because of some setbacks with her physical therapy, it backtracked.

Instagram | @krisrosulli

"Clearly this is going to be harder than I thought. I am finally in a place where I'm 100 percent committed to getting this under control again."

She is very clear that getting things under control does not mean a flat stomach.

Instagram | @krisrosulli

"I mean going to PT on an appropriate basis, doing breathing and core exercises twice a day, and regaining real strength in my core again, which directly affects so many parts of my life."

"Lifting the kids, working out, getting up from the couch, even digestion."

Instagram | @krisrosulli

"I am seeing more and more that many women simply have no clue that this can happen and what to do about it," she said.

Moms like Kristen are proving that when it comes to postpartum recoveries, very few moms simply "bounce back".

Unsplash | Xavier Mouton Photographie

It takes a lot of time, healing, and recovery to get back to your pre-baby body.