FridaMom Shared Photos of Unedited Postpartum Breasts to Show How They Change After Childbirth
“Perfection and photoshop are fantasies."
This story originally appeared on Health.com by Maggie O'Neill.
It was the nude photo leak heard around the world: Back in October, rapper Cardi B accidentally shared a naked picture to her Instagram Stories following her Las Vegas birthday party, and while she quickly took the image down, people still had some eye roll-worthy things to say about her breasts — specifically her nipples.
In a comment on one of her Instagram posts, one of Cardi's followers asked her why her areolas are "so big," reports The Sun. Cardi's masterful response: "Cause I breastfeed [sic] a baby for 3 months," adding that, because her breasts got bigger, her "nipples got bigger."
It was this interaction — the public shock about Cardi's postnatal breasts — that sparked an idea at FridaMom, the lifestyle company focusing on helping new mothers through postpartum trials. On Wednesday, FridaMom launched “the first-ever library of post-baby breasts,” the company said in a statement. Why? “Because women need to see the realities of what’s going to happen to their bodies.”
The company’s statement explained that it’s not just the general public who are clueless about what boobs look like after childbirth — it’s expecting moms and new moms too. “For the general public, as well as women, who don’t know what to expect — you’re not alone. Stretch marks, pronounced veins, bigger and darker areolas, sagging, asymmetry and ‘pancake’ boobs…just a few of the very normal realities and changes that women can expect,” the statement says. (Chrissy Teigen has gotten candid about post-pregnancy boobs, too.)
This is why the brand decided to make images of post-childbirth boobs available to the public. They aren’t illustrations, nor are they blurred. And, of course, they aren’t covered by a bra either. The images are of “real, actual breasts” the statement explains.
The photos in the library are accompanied by explanations about how boobs change throughout (and after) pregnancy, and why the boobs look the way they do. FridaMom starts off with breast changes during pregnancy — specifically that they increase in size. "As your breasts swell, your veins become more noticeable under your skin as they dilate to accommodate the blood flow," the website says, adding that it's normal for your breasts to "look a bit like a road map" at this time.
FridaMom also covers "leaky, crusty nipples" which start in your second or third trimester (FYI: that white or yellowish substance is known as colostrum, the milk you produce first), and "dinner plate nipples," or larger-than-usual areolas, which get bigger and darker due to extra estrogen in your body, the site says. Larger areolas also make it easier for babies to find the nipple for breastfeeding. (Related: What's the Deal with Itchy Nipples?)
Of course, they didn't leave out stretch marks, either, or the fact that postpartum breasts can sometimes look more asymmetrical than usual.
The goal of these photos, according to FridaMom, is to give women a place to see just how different breasts can be — especially after a pregnancy “Perfection and photoshop are fantasies. Women should be prepared about their own breasts, the changes to come, and what the reality of childbirth can do to them. And they shouldn’t have to feel ashamed," the statement said, even adding a special hashtag to pay homage to their inspiration, Cardi B: #BoobsStillOutFor Cardi.