There's so much conversation out there about post-baby bodies. We talk about how we feel different and how to come to terms with the changes that may never reverse themselves after pregnancy. But here's what we don't discuss too often: Sometimes becoming a mama is exactly the thing you need in order to embrace your body.
Sometimes becoming a mama makes your body better—and not just better looking, but stronger, more symbolic and more powerful.
Hayley Garnett's postpartum journey
Influencer Hayley Garnett understands that...and the photos of her postpartum body she routinely shares on Instagram celebrate the new love she feels for her physique. Feeling at home in her body didn't always come easily to Hayley, who survived an eating disorder before she became a mother. Now a mom of a son and twin daughters, Hayley celebrates the amazing body that gave her those beautiful babies.
Hayley spoke to TODAY about her previous struggle with orthorexia, an eating disorder characterized by an obsession with eating healthy foods. But Hayley eventually broke the cycle when her disorder interfered with her ability to get pregnant. She changed her diet and conceived her children.
Recovering from orthorexia and seeing herself differently
"It's funny because during both of my pregnancies, I was horrified with how my body was changing just because I was used to being tiny," Heyley tells TODAY. "But after I had my babies, life felt so much different. There was so much more for me to focus on and look forward to and just be grateful for."
Hayley quickly learned that contrary to what we often see in magazines, postpartum bodies don't magically revert to what they were before pregnancy. Like so many moms she was left with stretch marks and loose skin and even a case of diastasis recti after having her babies. But she flipped the narrative, and instead of wishing those changes away, she chose to embrace them.
A powerful new perspective
Now Hayley shares regular photos of her belly on Instagram. "I see the marks, the skin, the fat. But all I see is ME.The whole person. And I don't hide away anymore," she writes in a recent post. "I don't wear baggy clothes just so that they don't cling to parts of my body that bring me shame. I don't obsess about what day in my cycle I can wear which jeans because I won't be as bloated. I eat the damn cookie if I WANT to. But do you know what's best of all? I'm finally allowing myself to live in the moment. To love MYSELF in the moment."
We love Hayley's story because really, there's nothing as incredible as a mother's body. The way it stretches and shifts to provide a home for her children? It's remarkable, and it's time we stopped disparaging the changes motherhood can bring to our bodies.
We love Hayley's outlook, her beautiful photos and her powerful words on this topic.