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This artist uses glitter to turn stretch marks into art—and it’s stunning

One artist’s photoshop creations are changing the way women see themselves. 

This artist uses glitter to turn stretch marks into art—and it’s stunning

They’re often a mark of motherhood, but one that many of us don’t feel comfortable showing off. According to a study in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, more than half of all pregnant women will develop stretch marks, but according to the number of frumpy, thigh covering tankinis I ordered as a new mom, some of us still feel bad about them.


Luckily, Pakistani artist Sara Shakeel has brought her body positive art to Instagram, using glitter to highlight the beauty of stretch marks on a platform known for a curated, filtered version of beauty.

A post shared by Sara Shakeel (@sarashakeel) on

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Using collage techniques, Shakeel’s images show stretch marks as being filled in with glitter, highlighting a much maligned part of so many bodies. "Stretch marks are something I relate to on a very personal basis," Shakeel told Cosmopolitan after her photoshopped images went viral.

“Nothing is more powerful than giving confidence to myself along with so many women and men out there,” she wrote in a recent Instagram caption. “My hopes are unreal and so are my dreams! The stretch marks story will continue and I have so many other ideas and plans in mind.”

Hopefully, Shakeel’s message of body positivity will continue to spread, and women will feel confident in their skin even if that skin has a few lines. According to Dr. Frank Wang, a dermatologist at the University of Michigan Health System, I’m far from the only new mom to be excessively covered during baby’s first swim.

A post shared by Sara Shakeel (@sarashakeel) on

“Stretch marks may compound the stress of new motherhood for many women,” Wang said after his study of stretch marks was published in the British Journal of Dermatology. “Some may feel like their self-esteem, quality of life and willingness to engage in certain activities, like swimming in a bathing suit, are affected.”

We can’t let our quality of life be impacted by something that impacts so many mothers. Next time I look at my stretch marks I’m going to try to see them the way Shakeel does: Full of glitter and beauty.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

$159.99

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

$29.99

Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

$29.99

Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

$14.99

Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

$8.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

$7.99


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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