10 EPIC Photos Of New Moms Pledging To #TakeBackPostpartum

Photo: Instagram/@krystalmfesterly
postpartum depression

“Postpartum” means a lot more than just depression.

“Postpartum” has become a loaded word.

The technical definition of the word simply means “following childbirth,” but, over the past few decades, it has become packed with negative connotations. For example, it’s hard to hear the word without immediately thinking of “postpartum depression,” the all-to-common phenomenon where new mothers can experience short and intense or long and severe periods of depression after delivering their child.

In fact, postpartum depression has become such a major health issue that Utah recently named it the state’s number one complication of childbirth.

However, “postpartum” isn’t ONLY associated with clinical depression.

The word also brings to mind sleeplessness, stress, body-shame, judgment — the postpartum period can be really rough for women in so many different ways.

That’s why blogger January Harshe decided to do something about it. She decided to take BACK the word “postpartum.”

In 2015, January wrote an article that went viral titled “Taking Back PostPartum {Instagram}.” In the article, she noted that the hashtag #postpartum on Instagram was flooded with images meant to marginalize and shame new mothers — ads for products, judgy exercise shots, people telling them that they’re doing everything wrong. In her defense of the word, January wrote:

“Postpartum is full of hormones, little sleep, survival mode, and figuring out a million different things with our new babies (and possibly toddlers and teenagers on top of it). It’s trying to breastfeed, getting a groove back in your marriage or relationship, and our bodies taking time to heal. It’s a roller coaster ride that is personal and different to each person and family going through it, but is also similar enough that most of us can relate on some level.”


So, she started the hashtag #takebackpostpartum, which encourages new mothers to share real, honest, body-proud pictures that show what life after childbirth REALLY looks like. Over one year later, the hashtag is still going strong and has built itself into a large community of supportive new parents who encourage and appreciate real parenting for what it is.

It’s a wonderful movement that might make “postpartum” become known for something other than depression AND might help many new moms cope with that depression as well.

In celebration of #takebackpostpartum, here are 10 of our favorite Instagram images of moms who are truly and honestly embracing their postpartum lives.

Photo: Instagram/@dontforgetdads
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Photo: Instagram/@krystalmfesterly
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Photo: Instagram/@charissa91
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Photo: Instagram/@blackmomsbreastfeed
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Photo: Instagram/@bjorna
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Photo: Instagram/@mamaandbear
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Photo: Instagram/@maylas.momma
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Photo: Instagram/@lifestylephotography
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Photo: Instagram/@laurenslayne
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Photo: Instagram/@jenniferalana_mn
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