Instagram influencer and mom of five Brenda Stearns is celebrating the beauty of her postpartum body—and inspiring others along the way. On Saturday, the blogger shared a dramatic before-and-after shot of her body, with the first photo showing her nine months into her pregnancy, and the second showing how she looks nine months after giving birth.
“9 months in / 9 months out,” she wrote alongside the photo. “Same dirty mirror, same tired mom. When I took the picture on the left I was 40+4 days pregnant and just so over it!! I literally felt like I’d be pregnant for the rest of my life.”
“I think it’s so amazing how much has changed since, I look at the picture on the right and I’m so amazed,” she continued. “I feel so strong and beautiful for carrying life and sustaining it. I have so much love, admiration, and respect for all mothers. Those who carried life within and those who didn’t, because we all have wounds and scars of love, just in different places.”
She added, “No matter what you look like, or what your life looks like at this present moment, if you have a mirror go look at yourself and say to that woman how beautiful and strong and capable she is! She is YOU! And she is amazing!!”
In two days, the post has amassed over 5,000 likes and 80 comments, many from fellow moms praising her for her honest look at the dramatic body changes of motherhood.
This isn’t the first time Stearns has shared intimate shots of her postpartum body. In January, she shared a close-up of her stomach after receiving criticism about her postpartum stretch marks and stomach shape. “Yes, I do I have a valley of lines mapped across my belly, mountains of stretched skin left over my mid section, lightning bolts on my sides and back, all signs that I carried life inside of me…. five times!” she wrote alongside the shot.
In September 2018, Stearns wrote an inspiring caption next to a photo of herself and her five children, holding up signs that read, “This is postpartum.”
“Today I will look at myself in the mirror and I will see my body for what’s its done,” she wrote at the time. “That loose skin and all those stretch marks are beautiful reminders of the changes my body went through to create life within me. Those leaking breasts are a beautiful reminder of the babies I am sustaining and keeping alive with my milk. The untamed hair is a beautiful reminder that I am doing everything I possibly can to care for my little humans. Today I embrace the chaos that comes with mothering five children. Today I encourage you to love yourself in ways that you’ve never loved yourself before.”
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