Pregnancy brings a whole host of changes to your body—and while those changes are beautiful, they can also sometimes be hard to accept. Learning to love your pre- and postpartum body isn’t always easy, but one mother is sharing photos from her maternity photoshoot to inspire other women.
Christina Abiola, a mother, posted photos from her photo shoot on Instagram. The photographs show Abiola, who had been putting off the shoot, standing with her husband at 38 weeks pregnant.
“Insecurity is a dangerous thing. I believe It restrains us from for filling our full potential. When it came down to shooting my maternity photos I was truly afraid. So afraid I delayed it to 38 weeks pregnant!” she wrote in the caption of the post.
“I’ve been struggling with embracing my marks because I felt like I was the only one who’s experienced such an extreme amount. My entire belly was covered and I felt like I was doing something wrong… I like to call my marks beauty marks! Because my marks represent the beautiful life I brought to the world! I honestly would do it all over again for her.”
The photos represent a message to moms everywhere, some of whom may be struggling to love their own postpartum bodies—and they’ve now gone viral, with women leaving hundreds comments of love and support.
“Honey your stretch marks are beautiful, I saw these pictures and the first thing I thought was these are gorgeous, never be ashamed,” one person wrote, while another said, “I got them too. All over my belly. And while I don’t feel ugly or unworthy, I do feel different and I’m not totally in love with my postpartum belly. Thank you for sharing this. It’s helping me retrain my mind.”