Shape of a Mother

Is This What Motherhood Really Looks Like?

Mom Jeanine
April 23, 2012


Good Question, hot topic

  • Link

Have you heard about this new website, Yes, that pic above is from the site. And before you gawk, hear me out.

Moms are bombarded with images of celebrities who bounce back in 2 seconds and never have scar or flab to show they were ever pregnant. The beauty of Photoshop, right? So the woman behind the site thought wouldn’t it be great if moms submitted pictures of their real, un-airbrushed bodies to help support and encourage other moms coming to terms with their post-baby selves. Pouches, stretch marks, saggy skin–it’s all there.


Now I know it’s drastically different from what we’re used to seeing about moms–some of the pictures even make me squeamish. But I have to give it to Bonnie, the founder of the site, and all the moms who’ve submitted pictures of themselves. As much as I’d like to look like Miranda Kerr naked, the truth is I look more like the rest of the moms on The Shape of a Mother. And I’m guessing, a lot of you do, too.

Which leads me to my next question… would you submit a picture of your motherhood marks? You know, the stretch marks, deflated boobs and less-than-toned tummies. I’m normally quite indifferent to my body, but I don’t know if I’d have the courage to share my imperfections with the world. Would you? Share in the comments.

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  • Lisa
    April 23, 2012

  • Glamour nov 2010 started a frenzy of awareness with a photo of a “natural” looking woman with a. “belly” , these women are brave beautiful and whose bodies do everything from giving birth to life. It’s time to start putting these advertisers and even husbands on notice who may jave a smart crack to say “when are you getting rid of that gut?” with the power of our voices and dollars; it’s called the power of consumerism and self-esteem. Own it!

  • Sky
    April 23, 2012

  • I used to be very confident before I had kids but now I’m more of a “loving with light off” type of girl. really hate my body at the min – no matter how little I eat or how hard I excercise I still cannot look toned and these celebs making it look easy are just so annoying they have nannies while they spend time and money on the gum and we proper mums cant!! my body just has a layer of flab and looser skin that sure ain’t sexy and isn’t going anywhere soon so I like that they’re trying to help us get to grips with it and even welcome the new bodies we now have, I guess we should be grateful we have out little miracles and forget the bodies underneath

  • Rhonda Miller
    April 23, 2012

  • After four large babies, I have what I call a “marsupial pouch”. At my thinnest, it was still there. Now, in my 50′s, it’s a part of me that only surgery could get rid of. On confident days, it’s my badge of honor. I went through quite a lot to get it. On my self concious days, I hate it. But it’s part of who I am. Would I get it removed if I came into money? Oh, yeah!

  • Heidi
    April 23, 2012

  • You bet I would share my stretch marks…I am damn proud of them!

  • Kelly Rhinesmith-Klupp
    April 23, 2012

  • I have to say that my body did not bounce back immediately after giving birth. I had a lot of fluid build up and stretch marks galore. My daughter was 8 pounds 9 oz and 21.5 inches long. I was 90lbs before I got pregnant with her. The midwives, doctors, and nurses all said she probably would be no larger than 7lbs. When she came out it astounded everyone in the birthing room. I think after her birth I was more stunned at the swelling that was left behind. She is a month old now and the fluid has gone down, but I still get the, “when are you due?” question when I go out without her. It is a hard thing to deal with and I hate seeing all the photos pop up of new moms bouncing back immediately after birth. No offense or anything, but it can be a real downer. I am grateful for my daughter. She is truly a gift from God to us. I wouldn’t change anything because now we have her, but I really wish people would stop asking me when I am due!

  • marla hice
    April 24, 2012

  • Finally, It has been 21 years since my last child. But my body was never the same after giving birth. Yet my then husband so expected me to bounce right back! I never got the tummy tuck and breast og he demanded. The media is at fault for not allowing women be more than just trophies. We are people with feelings, and whos bodies go through alot! I love my scars of life from my babies. I dont think Ill do anything about them. :) Btw the ab muscles actually spread apart and break during pregnancy. that is why most women never lose the pooch after pregnancy. if Men were more educated perhaps they’d shut up about constant weight loss badgering.

  • Ashley
    April 24, 2012

  • I’ve had a child and I do not look like these photos. Yes I have a few stretch marks on my breasts (went from a large A to a C/D like over night lol), but other than that I have a flat, almost toned and I have not worked out one day since giving birth almost seven months ago. I applaud the women who have shared their photos, but also want people to know that there are still normal looking bodies after childbirth.

  • Ife Ifeoluwa
    April 24, 2012

  • Will my wife ever share her pictures here?

  • Donna Wright
    April 24, 2012


  • Amber
    April 24, 2012

  • ive got stretch marks galore in places i didnt even know had stretched. It has taken me 5yrs to find a comfort with my new body. I felt insecure and at times ugly. Embarassed by the way i now look, but then i changed my thought pattern, when i look at myself i see my babies. i have two beautiful smart funny kids. those stretch marks are my rite of passage, my badge of honor to be their momma and that is a-ok with me. Im not a girl anymore im a woman, every curve and stretch proves it. Take me as i am love me as i am.

  • Susan Beall
    April 24, 2012

  • I didn’t have any stretch marks with any of my three pregnancies, I was 112 my first preg, went to 131, by my third preg I was 118 and went to 152. I used “stretch mark” cocoa butter and worked out each day to limit my body growth, each preg after giving birth I went down to 114 in three weeks. It takes radical dedication and physical workouts and carb starving. Not to mention no breast feeding. My line of work didn’t allow for it anyway. I made a choice not to keep my body in a pregnancy mode for a year after giving birth, I felt my child would receive a better balance of nutrician from formula than me trying to eat all that was required. Personal choice, but with the strech mark applied each evening by my husband, I never had the first stretch mark, I’m 48 and still wear bikinis to the beach.

  • sunnee
    April 24, 2012

  • I’d love to share my pics. My mother had 10 full term pregnancies and she does not have even one stretch mark on her belly or breast. She has it on her hips. She breastfed. My sis had one baby and has stretch marks on her breasts only. I had five babies and I have a few marks on my low, low abdomen and butt only. I just turned 50 and I went to the pool two days ago in my teen daughter’s yellow bikini that she outgrew. I looked awesome. I am a size 4, I am not perfectly toned but then again I don’t think a woman should be hard, she should be soft. Yes, sometimes I am self-conscious but when I look around I see all types of bodies and I think I am perfect as I am. Women take off your clothes and look in the mirror and love the body that you have. Thank the universe for your health and your life and your family. Love yourself, you deserve it.

  • Jennifer
    April 25, 2012

  • I agree with Donna’s comment below. I knew what came with having children. Do I like my stretch marks, no. Would I do it all over again, yes.

  • lisa
    April 25, 2012

  • wow this is totally gross ugh

  • Satans Angel
    April 26, 2012

  • I love this. Job well done, to the creator of this website and to all the wonderful mothers out there submitting their photos! I think stretch marks and sag and everything are just the marks of the beauty of having a baby! When you look in the mirror and think your body is now ruined, just remember the marks are there to remind you that YOU had the strength of giving life to your precious new gift! Your Child!

  • HilLesha
    April 27, 2012

  • Honestly, I’ve never had this problem, but I’m not going to say that it will never happen. I’d understand if someone went through multiple pregnancies, though. I’m 6 months pregnant (second child) and I swear by drinking plenty of water, exercise, using cream to avoid this, and eating healthy food. I think one’s diet and lifestyle (active or not) plays a huge role.

  • Rochelle
    May 1, 2012

  • I just had baby and triLastin has help get rid of stretch marks. U will have result after 30days but recommend to use this product for a year. I have dark lines on side and I had deep stretch mark on left side now it is level with my skin. Still in process . Darker stretch marks take time. They also have red light therapy beds at tanning salons get rid of stretch marks aging cellulite . But don’t have the time . Lotion works for my life style. I had c-section and gain 60lbs. I’m 4″11. I have started to walk 30mins a day not shorter and do sit ups and small leg exercises. I drink a lot of water. Im dertermine to take care of skin. So that’s why I’m treating my skin before tanning and doing anything else. It’s not easy to lose weight in 30′s. Staying focus. Your skin will heel as long you take care. Take a little more time efffort