Social media has become a universal forum where parents share their questions, comments and criticisms openly. One topic that frequently pops up is the postpartum body, with many moms opening up about the pressure they face to get their bodies back in pre-baby shape.
One mom is tackling the sensitive topic by showing her own postpartum body and urging women to remember they aren’t defined by their stretch marks and scars.
Emily Houlston is a 19-year-old mother to twins. She shared an image of her C-section scar and stretch marks on Instagram with a gentle reminder to other moms not to stress over how their body has changed.
“I am now four months postpartum and beginning to embrace what my body has become, I’ve housed two beautiful babies for 36 weeks and breastfed for five weeks. My pregnancy wasn’t exactly an easy ride, these boys wanted to come out early and I was hospitalized a few times because of dehydration and early contractions,” read the caption. “Our bodies go through a lot, a lot of change and your body is put through an enormous amount, and I am so proud of myself that I carried such beautiful children and gave them food, warmth and most importantly all the love that I never thought I had.”
Houlston also speaks about the new additions to her body: her stretch marks and scars. She reminds her followers that these marks on her stomach are a reminder of when she began her journey as a mother.
“A scar that I will have for the rest of my life is a tiny sacrifice for a lifetime of beautiful memories with my family. Your stretch marks DO NOT define you, your scar DOES NOT define you, your flab DOES NOT define you,” she wrote. “You are incredible, you are a mother and you are the light of your babies eyes. I wanted to share this to show the reality of our bodies and that it’s OK not to be perfect because in their eyes you are exactly that.”
The Instagram post has resonated with mothers worldwide — and the British mom’s page is receiving a lot of love from women who admit they’ve often stressed over their postpartum bodies.
“Wow what an amazing post. You look amazing and your little babies are gorgeous. I’ve been having some mixed feelings towards my postpartum body, but you are right. And I hope I can take your positivity and confidence,” wrote one follower.
“Great job, Mom. Beautiful post, beautiful skin, beautiful babies,” added another.
Peppered with photos of her twin boys, Houlston’s Instagram account is a haven for self love, family appreciation and photos of her four-month-old babies. Speaking to Huffington Post U.K., she said the photo helped her accept her new body.
“It got me in a bad place getting myself down about it so I wanted to release a picture facing the reality of carrying babies and how much of an incredible journey we go through,” she said. “I wanted to urge women not to feel the need to ‘bounce back’ and to accept how they are – scars, stretch marks and all.”
“I wanted to give women the confidence that I have and show them that they are perfect, worthy and beautiful.”