Welcoming a child into the world is widely heralded as one of the greatest experiences life has to offer, but Instagram is sure to leave new mothers feeling disheartened.
Whether it’s well-curated mum-and-baby-leaving-hospital posts or bounce-back bikini snaps, postpartum bodies are often shared through a filter or three – skipping the very real way in which bodies change throughout pregnancy.
So it’s positive to see a growing number of A-list mums beginning to open up about the realities of motherhood from embracing new stretch marks to changing nappies (we’re not talking about the baby’s).
Ashley Graham is leading the charge and keeps followers regularly updated with the not-so-glamorous effects of giving birth whether that means pumping in the back of an Uber or throwing out disposable nappy after nappy.
Meanwhile, Amy Schumer is also busy sharing updates on motherhood with photographs of her taking a stroll in hospital underwear and flashing her c-section scar to paparazzi doing the rightful rounds on social media.
From Anne Hathaway to Chrissy Teigen, these are the celebrity mums who have opened up about their postpartum bodies.
Ashley Graham and husband Justin Ervin welcomed their first child, a son named Isaac, on January 18, 2020.
An advocate for body positivity, the model kept things real throughout pregnancy by sharing photographs of everything from her newfound stretch marks to the realities of exercising whilst expecting.
So she didn’t stop after giving birth and has since shared a series of refreshingly honest images with her Instagram followers.
Graham also welcomed twin sons, Roman and Malachi, in May 2022, describing her multiple births as reshaping her realtionship with her body.
“I am the person who has been shouting from the rooftops to you all, ‘Love the skin you’re in.’ Yet for me, the births of all my three children threw a lot of that out the window,” Graham wrote in an open essay.
Kate Hudson, who was already a mother to two sons at the time, welcomed her first child with Danny Fujikawa in October 2018.
Two months after daughter Rani Rose was born, the actress shared a photograph of her postpartum body on Instagram alongside a candid message about getting back into a fitness routine after giving birth.
“The routine with our baby is getting more familiar and I’m ready to start taking a little time in the day focusing on myself. For me that means my health,” she captioned the photograph of herself in her activewear.
“Why? Because I wanna be around a long time for these three kiddos of mine,” she continued. “I know that some are curious about what that means and for all you mums (whether working or not working mums) it is the most challenging thing in the world to balance kids and personal time,” she continued. “Let’s be honest, kids take the number one position and it’s haaaaard to make the time for yourself.”
Hudson then went on to reveal that she was trying to get her “strong mind and body back” through regular workouts, healthy recipes and mediation practices.
“I wanna do all this and keep up milk production, raise my kids, work everyday, make time for my man, have girlfriend time and stay sane!” the mother-of-three added.
After welcoming her first child with husband Adam Shulman in 2016, the mother-of-two shared an update on the reality of getting back to pre-baby weight (if that’s what you wish to do).
In a powerful message to fellow mothers, the actress shared a photograph of her pre-bump jeans on Instagram which she decided to cut up after becoming a new mum.
“There is no shame in gaining weight during pregnancy (or ever),” she captioned the post. “There is no shame if it takes longer than you think it will to lose the weight (if you want to lose it at all).”
“There is no shame in finally breaking down and making your own jean shorts because last summer’s are just too dang short for this summer’s thighs.”
Concluding the inspiring post, she added: “Bodies change. Bodies grow. Bodies shrink. It’s all love (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).”
Chrissy Teigen isn’t one to hide behind Instagram filters and shared an honest shot of her postpartum stomach after giving birth to her and John Legend’s second child, Miles.
The model posted a clip of her stretchmarks on Twitter alongside the caption: “Mum bod alert!”
Further drilling home the message, she later tweeted: “Instagram is crazy. I think it’s awesome people have killer bodies and are proud to show them off (I really do!) but I know how hard it can be to forget what (for lack of a better word) regular ol’ bodies look like when everyone looks bonkers amazing.”
But Teigen didn’t stop there, as the mother-of-two also joked about her “Asian Pear Underwear” with an Instagram post showcasing her mesh postpartum underwear.
Amy Schumer is one of the most down-to-earth celebrities on Instagram and the comedian has made it her duty to raise awareness of serious issues on the grid.
After welcoming her first child Gene with husband Chris Fischer, Schumer shared the realities of being a ‘milf’ on Instagram.
One of the very first photographs she shared of the newborn shows the new mother sat on the toilet in the background, alongside the caption: “Milf alert 1 o’clock.”
A second photo series shows Schumer taking Gene for a stroll in the great outdoors – in nothing but her underwear.
Shining a light on the very real fact that new mums continue to wear pregnancy pants after giving birth, she wrote: “5 weeks. Hospital underwear for life!”
She later flashed her hospital underwear once more – this time, for the paparazzi.
“I’m really sorry if I offended anyone with my hospital underwear,” she captioned the photograph. “Except I’m just kidding #csection #balmain.”
Since giving birth to her first child, Alexis Olympia, the tennis champion has been honest about getting back into the sport.
Speaking about her postpartum body in an interview with Allure, Williams shared her refreshing outlook: “After I came out [of the hospital], I had a stomach but I thought, this is kind of cool. I have a stomach because the baby was there.”
Updating followers on her journey into motherhood, she revealed back in March 2018 that she struggled to even walk as far as the letterbox.
“I will keep going forward and I’ll get there,” she wrote alongside a photograph of herself undertaking a physical challenge.
Fast-forward to July 2018 and the new mum made it to the Wimbledon 2018 Ladies’ Singles Final.
When the American tennis player came second, Williams dedicated the award to fellow mothers as she declared: “I was really happy to get this far. For all the mums out there, I was playing for you today.”
Just days after welcoming her first child with Orlando Bloom, daughter Daisy Dove Bloom, Perry took to Instagram to share a real and relatable look at her postpartum body.
Sharing the snap to her Instagram Stories, Perry’s tongue-in-cheek photo showed the singer standing in front of a mirror in a nursing bra and underwear with the VMAs gif above her.
“Hair n makeup by @exhaustion,” she wrote, cheekily playing on the way celebrities credit ‘who they’re wearing’.
Adding an extra layer of playfulness to the whole thing, her song “Not The End Of The World” could be heard playing over the top of the Story.
While not a selfie, Meghan Markle gained the praise of mums around the world after she decided to wear a dress that brought attention to her postpartum body (as opposed to wearing a flowing dress that would have hidden it).
The comments poured in on the family photo, posted on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s official Instagram account. “I hope this makes people more aware that it’s normal to still look pregnant after giving birth. She looks gorgeous,” wrote one person.
Others wrote, Meghan “actually showed [her bump] with pride and showed what it really looks like after birth,” and noticed that she “isn’t hiding away until she gets her figure back.”
Taking to Instagram, Halsey shared a series of photos showing how their body has changed since having a baby, publicly calling out the pressure put on women to “bounce back” after giving birth.
Having appeared on the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live, Halsey wanted to ensure fans and followers that despite receiving compliments for how great she looked in their first postpartum appearance, there was actually a myriad of work that went into helping them feel as comfortable as possible.
“The body behind all those compliments the other night was wearing a custom-tailored outfit and lighted perfectly after much testing, so I could feel good and do my job,” the 27-year-old wrote.
They continued: “I do not want to feed the illusion that you’re meant to feel and look ‘great’ immediately postpartum. That is not my narrative currently.”
“No matter what I do, people are going to talk about my body,” they added. “It is a confusing symptom of being in the public eye.”
Explaining the disconnection from their body after having their child, Halsey describes the aftermath of giving birth, saying: “My body has felt like a stranger’s for a long time.”
“I uphold myself to honesty to the point of over sharing sometimes but this feels important. The first picture on this slide is days after my baby was already born. A lot of people don’t know that you still look pregnant for a while after.”
Halsey, who welcomed a son, named Ender, back in July 2020, went on to explain that accepting and living in their new body is a process, while they recover from carrying and birthing a baby.
“It is still changing and I am letting it,” they wrote, adding that any kind of workout routine is non existent at the moment, as they refuse to bow to the added pressure for new parents.
“I have no interest in working out right now. I’m too tired and too busy playing with my darling son.”
They continued: “If you’ve been following me because you’re also a parent and you dig what I’m doing, please know I’m in your corner, I will never have my ‘pre-baby-body’ back no matter how it changes physically because I have now had a baby.”
“It has altered me forever; emotionally, spiritually, and physically.”
“That change is permanent. And I don’t want to go back! But in the spirit of honesty, I’m really tired and not a superhuman and this is really hard. Doing my best to serve my art and my family whilst keeping it all so very real. Love.”
Actress Olivia Munn surprised the world she she welcomed a son, Malcolm, with comedian John Mulaney back in November 2021. Munn, who is six months post-partum, took to Instagram to share her own experience with her body post childbirth.
“The post partum road is rough, but it’s so worth it,” wrote Munn in an Instagram caption. The 41-year-old went into further details in the accompanying video post. “My body hasn’t snapped back, it it made this little guy so I only have love for it,” she added.
On Mother’s Day, Munn also shared her experiences with the idea of “snapping back” after childbirth and shared her wishes for all mother’s struggling post birth.
“Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, but especially to the moms who are struggling with post partum depression/anxiety, still wearing their maternity clothes because you’ve realized that the snap back is bullshit and so unreal, and feel insecure as they scroll through Insta today realizing they don’t have the energy, creativity or brain power to post a beautiful pic of motherhood,” wrote Munn.