There's been a lot of pushback about the idea of new mamas "bouncing back" in recent months, and we are so here for it. After years of seeing celebrities lauded in media for unrealistic physical transformations after childbirth, mamas are standing up on social media and letting the world know that those stories put pressure on postpartum women to fight our bodies at a time when we should be thanking and caring for them.
It can be hard for mothers to embrace the natural physical changes that come with pregnancy when for years we've been exposed to stories about celebrities snapping back. It's probably even harder when you've grown up in Hollywood.
That's why we love the way Tia Mowry, who just had her second baby in May, is using her fame to tell a true story about postpartum realness.
"I had seen in magazines the many women on the beach a few weeks postpartum in a two piece. To be honest, it had to take time for me to embrace my new body. With this second pregnancy, I now have embraced that fact that I've housed a human being. A miracle. A life. If it takes a while for me to get back to my normal self, than so be it," she captioned a recent Instagram post.
That post is hardly the first time Mowry has spread a message of postpartum body positivity to her more than 5 million followers.
Back on May 19, when she was just two weeks out from giving birth to her daughter, she posted a photo celebrating her body—a body many mamas can relate to, because we all know that bump doesn't instantly disappear the moment the baby moves out. "I actually look like I'm 4 months pregnant and that is OKAY," Mowry captioned a photo of herself that attracted more than 585,400 likes.
"I wanted to shine a light on how our society creates false expectations after a woman gives birth. Ladies, it's okay that our bodies are not PERFECT after our babies are born. Give your self time. Go at your own pace. Don't allow people to put a time limit on YOUR body," she wrote.
Of course, this is the second time Mowry has gone through the postpartum process, having welcomed her son, Cree almost 7 years ago.
Speaking with SELF magazine in 2016, Mowry explained what it was like to have people ask about a perceived bump when the only baby in her life at that time was 5 year old Cree (proving once again that the only appropriate time to ask about a woman's pregnancy is after she's told you about one).
"People ask, 'Oh, are you pregnant?' It's like, 'No honey, I had a child," she told SELF. "This is what it looks like after you have a baby. This is who I am, and I love it."
She went on to say that she had "a little pooch after having [her] son" but didn't mind talking about it, and that she also doesn't mind—and in fact loves— her cesarean scar.
"It reminds me of the moment where I gave birth to a human being," she said.
Mowry's recent Instagram confessions revealed getting to that place where she could love her body again after her first birth experience wasn't easy or quick. She initially thought something was wrong with her because she didn't have a flat belly a few weeks out, and was used to seeing stories about women who did. She's telling her own story so that other women can skip that part of her journey and get right to the self love.
She wants her millions of followers to see that postpartum bumps are just as normal and worthy of love as baby bumps, so that fellow mamas can spend their fourth trimester loving nor just their baby, but the body that carried them, too.
Thanks Tia. 👏