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Photos: What postpartum bodies really look like

“I am grateful for the stretch marks that paint my (now) soft tummy. They remind me of when we were one instead of two.”

Photos: What postpartum bodies really look like

On finding acceptance

“I’m not exactly where I’d like to be physically, but I think I’m okay with that. This squishy belly was once stretched to its limits to make you comfortable. This scarred tummy was your home for 42 weeks & 1 day. It made a beautiful, smart & healthy baby girl. I will never look the same post baby, but guess what? I’ll never be the same person I was before I became your mom.”

Getting used to your postpartum body can be like visiting a foreign land—one with a new landscape, new people and new experiences to embrace.

One online movement, centered around the Instagram hashtag #takebackpostpartum, helps to remind women that they’re not alone in their transformation to motherhood.

The movement’s creator, January Harshe, wrote:

“Postpartum is full of hormones, little sleep, survival mode, and figuring out a million different things with our new babies... It’s trying to breastfeed, getting a groove back in your marriage or relationship, and our bodies taking time to heal. It’s a roller coaster ride that is personal and different to each person and family going through it, but is also similar enough that most of us can relate on some level.”

That’s what #takebackpostpartum does. It helps women realize that this feeling of being a stranger in your own body—well, it’s a truly common experience.

Those stretch marks? Ninety percent of pregnant women get them.

Breasts transformed after nursing? Totally normal.

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That love for your baby? Well, that’s priceless.

That’s why we celebrate the stunning + brave mamas who use #takebackpostpartum to help prove that your new body after baby is normal + beautiful.

On learning to love her body

“I knew when I was pregnant that it would be a struggle for me to adjust to a postpartum body. It has taken 26 years and my 6 month old daughter Alena to learn to love and admire my body for the AMAZING things it can do! I have sheltered, nurtured, comforted, and loved both my boyfriend and baby with this body, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
—@@krisnicole15

On living in the moment

“All I want is this.”
—@thebliss_junkie

On beauty in the everyday

A photo posted by Beth (@thismum) on

“This path of motherhood is familiar yet treacherous. I know the routines yet I am not content with comfortable. Take time to stretch yourself, grow yourself and just be yourself.”
—@thismum

On body pride

When I was pregnant, I’ve always wondered how I would end up feeling about my postpartum body. Here I am, three weeks later, feeling AMAZING. . . Sure, there’s a bit of excess skin and stretch marks that show where I grew my beautiful daughter but none of it bothered me as I thought it would. I feel beautiful and truly respect my body to the fullest. 
—@aliciamew

On her connection to her baby

“We were just all one body for so long, even after he was born.”
—@thebrookeway

On finding your new self after baby

A photo posted by Sylvia (@theresiugoes) on

“Stripes and flowers. This journey isn’t about weight loss, it’s about acceptance... I don’t need to put on weight and I don’t need to lose weight. I just need to care for this body I’ve been given.”
—@theresiugoes

On the marks love leaves

“I am grateful for the stretch marks that paint my (now) soft tummy. They remind me of when we were one instead of two.”
—@tmpdenni

On what she has achieved

A photo posted by Autumn Wing (@meetvirginia9) on

“It’s all I have left to show that I made the most beautiful wonderful perfect human being.”
—@meetvirginia9

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Tenth & Pine: Gender-neutral and butter-soft basics for littles + bigs

In 2016, after a stage four endometriosis diagnosis and a 10 year battle with infertility, Tenth & Pine founder Kerynn got her miracle baby, Ezra Jade. As a SAHM with a Masters in Business, she wanted to create a brand that focused on premium quality, function, comfort, and simplicity.

She sought out premium, all natural fabrics and factories that shared her core values, practicing environmentally friendly manufacturing methods with fair and safe working conditions for employees. As a result, her made in the USA, gender-neutral designs check all the boxes. The sustainable, organic basics are perfect for everyday wear, family photos and any adventure in between.

Lucy Lue Organics: Sustainably and ethically-produced modern baby clothes

This family-owned and operated business was started by a mama who wanted out of corporate America after the birth of her son. Thoughtfully designed to mix-and-match, Lucy Lue's sustainably and ethically produced collection of modern organic baby clothes only uses fabrics that are "environmentally friendly from seed to seam." Their gorgeous, earthy tones and comfy, minimalist styles make the perfect addition to first wardrobes from birth through the first years.

Sontakey: Simple bracelets that speak your mind

Sontakey has been such a hit in the Motherly Shop that we knew it was time to expand the line. And since these beautiful mantra bands look so stunning stacked, more options = more fun.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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Mothers wanted the president to condemn white supremacy—he didn't

What you need to know about the first presidential debate and the 'Proud Boys'.

Screenshot/CNN

[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

For many American families, the impacts of systemic racism are a daily reality. This summer saw mothers and children go out and join Black Lives Matter protests in an effort to make the United States a safer place for Black children.

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Individuals across the country stood up and condemned white supremacy in 2020 and wanted the sitting President of the United States to do that Tuesday night, during the first presidential debate.

But he didn't.

When Chris Wallace of Fox News, the debate moderator, asked President Trump to condemn white supremacy, to ask militia groups to stand down and not escalate violence in cities like Kenosha and Portland, the president stated he was willing to...but when Wallace said "Then do it, sir," the president's answer was far from a clear condemnation.

First, Trump asked for a specific group to condemn, rather than simply condemning white supremacy as a whole. When the others on stage offered "white supremacy" and "Proud Boys" as the name to condemn, the President picked Proud Boys. But a condemnation didn't come.

"Proud Boys, stand back and stand by," Trump said. "But I'll tell you what, somebody's gotta do something about Antifa and the left. This is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem."

This followed a previous exchange in which Wallace asked President Trump why he ended a racial sensitivity training program. Trump responded that the training was racist and was teaching people to "hate our country."

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