This is Postpartum

Fresh 48 & Family Photography

By Nichole Graham

‘Bouncing back’ is something that we as mothers hear more often than we should, almost instantly after giving birth and sometimes even before. 

If you were to ask me, I believe that no one truly bounces back after creating life…No one. 

Whether you fit back into those pre-pregnancy jeans, or you weigh the same as you did before you fell pregnant, no mother fully bounces back. We get stretch marks, sometimes it ends in caesarean, leaving us scarred, our hips expand, our skin stretches and sags and some even end up with a permanent linea nigra… That is postpartum.

Your whole mindset and all that you are as a woman changes after giving birth…no one is ever exactly the same as they were before. 

Let’s stop talking about bouncing back and just comment on how well she is doing as a mother, because that… that is what really matters. 

As a mother myself, of three beautiful daughters, what I want more than anything is for them to grow up seeing that the perfect body does not exist and what they see in magazines and on social media is not always reality. That in fact beauty comes in many forms, many shapes and sizes and that there is so much beauty in postpartum. I want them to see the raw, real beauty behind bringing life into the world and I don’t want them to feel ashamed by it, but instead embrace it and know that it is normal. 

Although not everyone’s cup of tea I’m sure, the goal behind this project is to help our next generation see postpartum as normal; to see stretch marks and loose skin as normal; to see all different body shapes as normal.  

We teach our daughters to prepare and accept the bodily and emotional changes that come with hitting puberty and becoming a woman, yet the changes that come with becoming a mother and bringing a new life into the world are made out to be something to be embarrassed about and something that we should quickly change. I think it is time we normalise postpartum and all that comes with it. By keeping things real and keeping things raw. 

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