"I was nervous during pregnancy, but afterward, I’m so much more confident in myself."

By By Mary Anderson
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Photo: Alliance/Shutterstock

After giving birth, there's a mental and physical shift that can energize your motivation, appreciation, and well-deserved pride. Here's how three women have approached fitness since becoming moms. (Try this post-pregnancy workout plan to rebuild a strong core.)

"My body is the same size as it was before I had kids, but I've never been more surprised by its strength."

"My body is the same size as it was before I had kids, but I've never been more surprised by its strength. It's an empowering feeling. When I'm juggling all three, a kid in each arm, basically hoisting (or pushing or pulling) 60-plus pounds, I realize becoming a mom has helped me find hidden superpowers that were locked away. I chase three boys under age 6 just about everywhere–even in a bikini on beach days." (Related: What Moms Can Learn from Blake Lively's 61-Pound Postpartum Weight Loss)

-Jessica Britell, co-owner of Velour, a vintage boutique in Newberg, Oregon, with sons (from left) Obadiah, Nekoda, and Judah

"It has really made me love my athleticism and my body in an even more meaningful way."

"I specialize in coaching athletes during pregnancy and postpartum, so when I had my first son, Cade [now 4], I resumed my training with him right there by my side. He's so used to seeing me lift heavy barbells and coach that he likes to imitate me with his toy weights. These days, I involve both my kids in my workouts. Last Mother's Day, while I was pregnant with Chance, we went on a family hike; now I'll have him strapped to my chest as I pull Cade on a weight sled behind me. It has really made me love my athleticism and my body in an even more meaningful way." (Related: 7 Moms Share What It's Really Like to Have a C-Section)

-Brianna Battles, strength and conditioning coach in Moorpark, California, pushing newborn son Chance

"I was nervous during pregnancy, but afterward, I'm so much more confident in myself."

"Getting back to modeling shortly after my daughter was born, I actually booked more work as a fuller size 14 than I do at my current size 10. My first job was even a lingerie shoot. I embraced my body when it was big and pregnant, and I trusted myself to get fit again in a healthy way, so I never bought into that desperation for instantly flat abs. (Losing baby weight takes time.) In fact, it's such a touching moment when True lies on my tummy, her favorite spot. I was nervous during pregnancy, but afterward, I'm so much more confident in myself."

-Katie Wilcox, Founder of Natural Model Management in Los Angeles and author of Healthy Is the New Skinny, with daughter True

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