When New Zealand mom and nutritionist Julie Bhosale shared a blog post about her postpartum body image journey, she hoped that it would reach a few fellow mothers in her local community. What she did not anticipate was the viral mania that would follow as her post rapidly spread to parents all over the world.
Bhosale's blog post, "My Real Postpartum Body," features personal photos, inner thoughts and words of support for other moms as she shares the changes her own body underwent after giving birth to her second son in January. She also highlights the pressure on new mothers to just "bounce back" after the physical transformation of pregnancy and rejects those expectations by taking part in January Harshe's #TakeBackPostpartum movement -- a more honest and inclusive trend in discussing post-birth body image.
"I really struggled with all the body changes I went through after the birth of my first son," Bhosale told The Huffington Post. "Working in the health industry, and being an expert, I felt a lot of pressure to get my body back -- and expected that because I was fit and healthy it should be easy. However, this was not the case! It did take a while!"
"I also really struggled to breastfeed my son and so my confidence in myself and as a woman and a mum was really low," she continued. "I thought if this is how I feel with all my expert nutrition knowledge, imagine how other mums must also feel?" So, after giving birth to her second son, the mom decided to share her postpartum journey with other parents. "I thought it may help just one mum not feel so alone," she said.
The post reached far more than just one mother. Shared across news sites and social media platforms, "My Real Postpartum Body" empowered a global audience, which Bhosale says has been a very "moving" experience. "I am touched and often have tears in my eyes reading all the comments, messages, feedback and sharing of the blog. I stay up late at night reading them all (and replying)."
Just four months away from completing her doctorate, the nutritionist and mom feels truly inspired to help new parents. "I really hope that mums who read this truly know how beautiful, incredible and amazing they are -- for all they have gone through, are going through and the sacrifices made every single day," she said, adding, "I hope to empower mums to take time to recover and to nourish from the inside out -- with both good food and love."
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