Meg Boggs is on a body confidence mission to change the way we look at postpartum bodies.
As part of her mission, the mom blogger recently recruited 25 moms to share their own journeys and struggles with body confidence, postpartum depression and anxiety as well as infant loss and grief. She had them share photos and details about their story, using the hashtag #this_is_postpartum on Instagram. The collection of images is stunning to say the least.
Every woman’s story is inspiring in its own unique way.
One mother, Ashley Dorough, of houseofdorough.com, posted about the postpartum depression she suffered from after the birth of her second child. “Hey, you. I know what it feels like to look in the mirror and feel disgusted, worthless, broken.”
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#this_is_postpartum Hey, you. I know what it feels like to look in the mirror and feel disgusted, worthless, broken. To cry for no reason. To feel too proud to ask for help. To have unexplainable feelings of hopelessness, anger, and resentment. To have all of your expectations of what you think motherhood is going to be like ripped apart. All of these experiences we go through… they DO make us stronger. But why doesn’t it feel that way? Why isn’t it celebrated? Why can’t we glamorize ALL body types and all seasons of life? What is this insane pressure we feel to make everything perfect? I grew up with no one in the media who looked like me, in a society where no one talks openly about depression and anxiety. Today, I’m sharing this for the teenage girl who punishes herself with diets and exercise because she doesn’t look like what she sees on TV. Today, I share this for the mama who is putting so much pressure on herself to “snap back” to her pre-baby weight. I’m sharing this for the plus size women, mamas and mama’s to be who have always been greatly underrepresented in the media. And for the person who thinks they might need help but is afraid to admit it… this is for you. I’ve been you, and I’m here to tell you it’s okay. I’m sharing this for YOU, no matter your gender, size, shape, or race. The good, the bad, the ugly… this is us. This is about finding the beauty in everything around you, your children, your life, and the journey. Getting the help you need even if you don’t think you do. I’m here for you. We’re all here for you. You. Are. Enough. This is postpartum, and so is this: @sidelinesocialite
“To cry for no reason. To feel too proud to ask for help. To have unexplainable feelings of hopelessness, anger, and resentment. To have all of your expectations of what you think motherhood is going to be like ripped apart. All of these experiences we go through… they DO make us stronger. But why doesn’t it feel that way? Why isn’t it celebrated?”
Desiree Fortin, who struggled with infertility, chose to use the platform as a method to embrace her postpartum body after welcoming triplets,” she told CNN. “My body changed more than I anticipated. There was a lot of extra skin, there were stretch marks covering all over.” She now refers to them as her “hope wounds” as they represent things she had “prayed and longed for.”
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Incase you don’t know, here are some Fun Facts about my Pregnancy/Delivery: • 1. I made it to our goal date: 34 weeks + 1 Day 2. I was obsessed with @fiveguys hamburgers my entire pregnancy and now I can’t stand the thought of eating there. 3. I was on strict bed rest for two months and binge watched @greysabc 4. I measured 52 weeks pregnant 5. Our gender reveal video went viral. We told all our loved ones we were having twins and surprises them with the 3rd baby at the reveal🙌🏻💕 6. The birth order: Charlize, Sawyer, and Jax 7. I had a c-section and there was about 20 people in my room. Each baby and myself had a team of doctors and nurses. 8. I had a mole removed from my ass after the c-section 🙈🤦🏻♀️😂😳 yep, really fun fact for ya🤷♀️🤷♀️😂 9. (More of a fact than fun fact😭) I hemorrhaged after my c-section when I was in recovery with my mom. I had blood transfusions and almost died. My doctor saved my life💕 10. I didn’t get to meet the babies until a full day after their birth. 11. I was obsessed with the diabetic hospital jello 😂 12. The triplets were in the NICU for 2 weeks. 13. Charlize was the first baby I held. 14. My doctor told me that I likely wouldn’t be able to breastfeed because of my birth complications, but I produced enough milk for the triplets plus! 15. I’m taking over @super_pregnant007 today to share my heart and journey to Motherhood!! Head over to @super_pregnant007 to follow along!! • AND Comment below ⬇️⬇️⬇️ with a fun fact about your pregnancy or delivery 💕
“They are the road map to my motherhood. They are a representation of my three miracle babies who I would not have if I did not walk through infertility and carry three human beings at one time.”
Other stories document miscarriage, and the shame and feelings of failure that women can struggle with after c-section scarring and general body image struggles. Each is distinctive, beautiful and truly moving.
Boggs’ personal struggles with motherhood inspired her to start the movement.
Her body confidence struggles began during pregnancy, when Boggs, a plus size woman, noticed that her body didn’t look like other expectant moms. “I would see pictures of a perfect bump and I didn’t relate to that because I definitely did not have a perfect bump,” she told CNN. Despite internet searches, she had trouble finding images of women who looked like her. “I felt as if my postpartum journey and body didn’t count.”
After she had her baby girl, she refused to be photographed with her daughter. “I regret so much that I wasn’t in the photos with her. It’s so important and you have to think about your kids and they are going to want you in the photos with them,” she told CNN.
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I’m pretty sure it was in this exact moment that I realized I had also just been born – into a mother. A moment I’ll never forget, and a moment that changed everything. ✨ Happy Mother’s Day to all mamas, soon-to-be mamas, hopeful mamas, step-mamas, foster mamas, and mamas in heaven. ♥️
At seven months postpartum, she was inspired to start her blog, MegBoggs.com. While she expected to be shamed and trolled by readers, she was pleasantly surprised with all the support she received. “To my surprise, my messages flooded with positivity and things like ‘I needed this today.’ That’s when this idea started finding its way into my heart,” she explained.
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Being thin is okay. Not being thin is okay. Having curves is okay. Not having curves is okay. Having stretch marks is okay. Not having stretch marks is okay. Having scars is okay. Not having scars is okay. Having cellulite is okay. Not having cellulite is okay. It’s not your job to look like what you see on the big screen, or in the media. It’s not your job to look perfect. Or put together. Or effortlessly happy. It’s not your job to look like anyone or anything else but YOU. And it’s OKAY. But do you know what’s never okay? Shaming another for not fitting the mold of a societal “perfection”. Shaming another for their body type. Or the clothes that they wear (or don’t wear). Or the marks left on their body during different walks of life. So here’s to measuring ourselves in smiles and feelings of contentment rather than inches and pounds. And here’s to friends that see you for all the loveliness that you are. 💗 you @th3littlestavenger
Boggs and these 25 brave and beautiful women hope that their message will help normalize the postpartum experience for others who may feel alone.
“I can get hundreds of negative comments but it’s that one message that I’ll get, even if it’s just the one that says ‘This is what I needed to see today,’ it’s those messages that remind me that it’s worth it,” Boggs said.
This new campaign is a great reminder for women to celebrate their personal journey into motherhood, no matter what it looks like. Bringing a life into this world is one of the most beautiful gifts, and the bodies that help do it should be treated with nothing but love and respect no matter what.
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