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These Mums Have Been Praised For Mum Reality

Images of teeny-tiny, fitness mums have become the norm on social media, especially when they seem to be pregnant.

It has lead to it being hard to imagine how healthy women look when they are pregnant.

And you know what? We aren’t going to slam the people who do look great, as we are sure they work hard to look great and for everything else, there is always photoshop.

The amazing Mary Hazen, mother to Paige (17), Jacob (14), Zoehy (11), June (05/27/2011), and Ayden (2). Mary was just 19 when she first became a mother. Her son Jacob was born and joined their family along side her daughter Paige who was born to her husband from a previous relationship. Paige arrived at just 28 weeks and faced both developmental delays and life long heath complications as a result. She was a tiny child and Mary says that when Jacob arrived they grew together, almost like twins, as they were at similar developmental stages. But before they knew it Paige was walking, talking, and doing all of the the things they were told she never would. Jacob was born via cesarean after 24 hours of labor in which Mary did not progress. Her contractions became more intense, but not more productive and before she knew it she was asked to sign a consent form and taken to surgery. During Jacob's first year of life he faced respiratory issues which coupled with Paige's needs led she and her husband to feel their family was complete. Mary's conception with Zoehy came as a complete surprise but it was by far her easiest pregnancy and birth. Zoehy arrived via scheduled cesarean and was the most relaxed baby. Mary says that she was quiet and smiling and made the transition as easy as it could be. Mary and her husband had always had their issues and ultimately they decided to end their relationship but to co-parent in every sense of the word, with her children spitting their time evenly between them. In the years that followed, Mary found herself in a new relationship and eventually pregnant with her daughter June. June's pregnancy was difficult from the start and from their first scan which was meant to be a happy time, Mary knew that something was terribly wrong. June had severe hydrops and a halo of fluid around her body. Both of her lungs were all also 90+% covered in cysts. Mary was referred to a specialist and further testing revealed that there just wasn't anything that could be done for her daughter. Mary was given the option to have a therapeutic abortion or simply wait for her daughter to pass on her own. {continued} #4thtrichicago

A photo posted by 4th Trimester Bodies Project (@4thtribodies) on

It can be disheartening for someone to see those photos, though, especially if they look completely different when pregnant.

Well, that is where a new hashtag has come to light.

The #4thtrimester hashtag has been widely praised as an honest and realistic way of depicting the impact pregnancy has on a woman’s body.

The amazing Annie Gates, Kalon (6), Abram (2), Miriam (6 months). Annie had three miscarriages before conceiving Kalon. Her first in high school and two with her husband. After her third miscarriage, Annie's doctors were finally willing to look into things and were able to give her supplemental progesterone through her first trimester which she repeated with all of her pregnancies. Annie says that she didn't know much about birth or have any solid plans and agreed to induction with Kalon which led to a long and difficult labor. With Abram, Annie really wanted to do things differently but her water broke without labor starting and soon she found herself in the hospital with an epidural and says that she remembers crying to her husband. Feeling like she had failed somehow. Annie says that because her baby was healthy, she didn't feel like she had the space to acknowledge that she was sad about her birth or that her feelings were valid. While she never sought medical attention or treatment, Annie knows that this contributed to her struggle with postpartum depression. Annie and her husband had decided that they were done with two kids but the week he was scheduled for his vasectomy she found out she was pregnant. She was really sad and struggled to accept the pregnancy until she was about 16 weeks along when she realized that this was perhaps another chance for her to have the birth she desired. Annie hired a doula and found a birth center she felt comfortable with. Her water broke near term and almost immediately she had intense one minute contractions two minutes apart. They headed to the hospital and Miriam was born about 20 minutes later. Annie describes the experience as redemptive and says it was exactly what she needed. Breastfeeding is going well as it has with her boys and she is thrilled to have this experience as part of her journey. {continued} #4thtriChicago

A photo posted by 4th Trimester Bodies Project (@4thtribodies) on

According to Scotland’s Daily Record, the US photographic project was set up be Ashlee Dean Wells and Laura Weetzie Wilson.

Since it started, they have been sharing the ‘’uncensored reality of childbirth and beyond’’ and say ‘’This project exists because women are judged too crudely on the way we look and are often told we don’t measure up.’’

"Because no real person can compete with the tools in Photoshop and glossy magazine covers.

"And because motherhood is sacred and should be celebrated. Because we are beautiful - stretches, stripes, scars and all."

The wonderful Tiffany Tice, Oliver (7), and Finn (6). Becoming a mother has entirely changed Tiffany's life. When she was pregnant with Oliver she started taking natural birth classes and says that she couldn't stop learning from there. She was planning a hospital birth with midwives and was induced at 42 weeks. Labor went really well and she avoided pain medication as she had hoped. Unfortunately, both Tiffany and Oliver got sick right after and both had to stay in hospital for a week following his birth. NICU was really difficult for Tiffany and they struggled to breastfeed as a result. She was determined to stick things out though and when Oliver was two months old, finally got him to latch. When Oliver was 10 months old, Tiffany got pregnant with Finn and knew she wanted something different. She found a home birth midwifery practice that really encouraged mothers to find their village and she has. At 42 weeks and 3 days, Finn was born at home without any issues. Breastfeeding went very well this time and Finn nursed just past his second birthday. Tiffany chose to continue with birth work herself and has been a doula and childbirth educator for several years. The shift into motherhood takes a lot of internal strength and support from others, she says, and it has forever changed her. Body confidence has been a struggle for Tiffany like so many women. She tries to keep her self-talk positive and remind herself that her stretch marks are there because she grew two amazing humans. Three years ago, Tiffany donated a kidney to a local toddler and those scars have allowed her to see her strength in yet another measurable way.

A photo posted by 4th Trimester Bodies Project (@4thtribodies) on

We love every single photo and can’t wait to see more, In fact; we are addicted!

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