The beliefs surrounding bounce-back culture puts so much unnecessary pressure on moms to lose the baby weight and get back to how they were pre-pregnancy. But the truth is, we never return to who or how we used to be. After forming and carrying a human being, our bodies will never be, look or feel the same. And that is OK.

The fourth trimester is a healing process. Not a race, but a journey. So we should take more time and be more gentle with ourselves. This mama’s Instagram post reminds us of just that.

Related: 10 truths about the fourth trimester

The fourth trimester. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve been here before, these days are still tough. ⁣

I don’t think it gets easier each time. I know more of what to expect, sure. But that doesn’t lighten the gravity of it. ⁣

The physical healing is a challenge all on its own. Add the emotional rollercoaster of shifting hormones, and sleep deprivation while trying to care for a new baby, and yourself. It’s safe to say, postpartum is a massive undertaking. ⁣

4th tri doula 1

Related: Beautiful photos celebrating postpartum

There’s this silent pressure to bounce back into regular life like nothing has happened. To adapt to life with this new little person while navigating unfamiliar territory, without skipping a beat. ⁣

But that’s not the reality of it. At least not for me. A lot has happened, and I can’t bounce back to anything that was before. ⁣

This isn’t a process to be rushed. It took 9 long, careful months to create this little person and it will take time to adapt to all that is new. ⁣

Nothing about this should be described as “bouncing back”. We’re growing forward. Slowly. And giving ourselves the patience and grace that we deserve along the way❤️. ⁣”