Mom Emma Larkin took to Instagram to make an important point about post-pregnancy bodies.

By Health
January 31, 2020
Estersinhache fotografía/Getty

When a mom who has recently given birth is told that she's "bounced back" from pregnancy, it's supposed to be a compliment about how her body has effortlessly gone back to the way it looked before she had a baby.

Mother of four Emma Larkin heard this compliment after she delivered her twins last year—and she took to Instagram to make an important point about what "bounced back" really implies.

Larkin shared a side-by-side photo to her Instagram account on January 27, revealing the way her body looked shortly after giving birth and then one year postpartum. (Related: How Emily Skye's Pregnancy Transformation Taught Her to Ignore Negative Comments)

“What a difference a year can make,” Larkin wrote in her caption. “I would often get told that I couldn’t possibly have had twins or that I ‘bounced back’ which just really isn’t true.”

Larkin shared that after giving birth, she went back to her usual fitness regimen; her workout was a form of self-care for her—not a way to get the body she had before she was pregnant. Instead of forcing herself to try to “bounce back,” Larkin explained that her trips to the gym were and still are precious moments of time for herself. (See also: What Your First Few Weeks of Postpartum Exercise Should Look Like)

“It’s not an easy mission to get my little entourage there most days but I love it, I love that time just to myself and I love how I feel after,” she wrote. “So believe me when I say there was no ‘bounce back’ and my body still very much feels the effects of having 4 babies, especially the 3 in 2 years.”

Larkin said that while it may look like her stomach is taut and toned, it's not exactly true, and there’s another side of it that not everyone sees.

“I will forever have a pouch when I sit down or bend over and let’s face it, with 3 small children that’s 99% of the time (long live high waist!)” she wrote. “With each pregnancy my chest has migrated further and further south (sports bras are life!) My baby hair is actually ridiculous with some sort of front mullet situation going on (hence always with the pull back).”

“Every mother’s postpartum journey looks different but at the end of the day we are all still mums just trying to keep it all together,” she added. (And just FYI, it's normal to still look pregnant after giving birth.)

Her followers were quick to respond to her get-real message. Her post received dozens of supportive comments.

Larkin is proof that when it comes to pregnancy, "bouncing back" isn't every woman's goal, nor should it be. Here’s to accepting all postpartum bodies, no matter how they look.

This story originally appeared on Health.com by Christina Oehler.

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