Pregnancy is so amazing because our bodies transform until they no longer look our own. And pregnancy is so hard for the same reason. Hilary Duff knows what we're talking about.
Duff is currently expecting her second child (a girl this time) and recently shared her thoughts on her physical transformation with her Instagram followers. She recognizes the beauty in everything her body is doing, but she also recognizes that having your body expand in ways you're not used to is tough, physically and mentally.
"The boobs are big the belly is big the body is big. Man.. pregnancy is hard," Duff captioned a swimsuit selfie.
"Giving love to all mamas who make it look effortless... this journey is hard as hell and also incredibly special. Lovely to have a little life inside and to day dream of all the new adventures to come buuuut almost impossible to get my own shoes on," she writes.
"Sick of getting up 9 times a night to pee and looking at this weird body in the mirror that is not my own at the moment. Women are so bad ass, this was just a note to remind myself and remind others how's strong and beautiful you are! WE GOT THIS."
Yes you do, mama.
Duff's words remind us that expecting mothers don't always feel like they're glowing—sometimes they just feel uncomfortable. But expecting mamas who are feeling disconnected from the woman in the mirror should have hope. A recent survey suggests more than 65% of pregnant moms say they feel "more confident and comfortable" with their bodies after pregnancy. Post-pregnancy, the survey found 56% of new mothers and 51% of experienced mothers feel more confident and comfortable. As a second-time parent, Duff's been through this before. It took time, but she got there.
After giving birth to her son, Luca, Duff initially found it hard to feel confident with her postpartum body, she told Women's Health Magazine.
"I wasn't one of those women who just could nurse and lose the weight. Some people bounce back and don't have to deal with that, and that's wonderful for them. But for me, it was so hard to connect with my body again once I had a baby."
Then, she says, a mental shift happened and she was able to appreciate the way her body had changed and what it was doing for her child, rather than resenting it or pushing it to change again too quickly.
"My body helped create a bond between us, and me being there for him in those first months of his life ultimately was far more important than me trying to get in shape right away," she explained. "I realized that I am never going to be the same again, and that's okay. I've learned to be proud of what my body does for me, and what it did while I was pregnant with my son."
Now, her body is helping create another bond with another baby, and although it's hard, the body in the mirror that looks "weird" to Duff right now will soon look like home to her daughter. And that's pretty amazing.
[Correction, July 27, 2018: This article originally stated that "65% of moms say they feel "more confident and comfortable" with their bodies after pregnancy". That stat applied to pregnant mothers only. Post-pregnancy, the survey found 56% of new mothers and 51% of experienced mothers feel more confident and comfortable in their bodies.]