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14 Women On How Pregnancy Forever Changed The Way They Saw Their Bodies

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    Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts.

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    Pregnancy is one of life's great miracles, but it can be tough to keep up with the changes your body goes through over the course of nine months and beyond. However, pregnancy can also be the time during which many women feel the healthiest and most beautiful.

    This is something we were happy to notice after surveying 1,100 R29 readers. When we asked them to tell us about a time they felt super happy and confident about their bodies, even if it wasn't 100%, there was a running theme through many of these stories: pregnancy. According to our survey, many women felt their most confident about their bodies during pregnancy and after giving birth.

    And why shouldn't they? A lot happens when you get pregnant. Your breasts begin to lactate to feed your baby, your body makes room to nurture life, and it's undeniable that labor is a feat in and of itself.

    Read on for 14 women's stories on how pregnancy changed their body image.

    It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both. Check out more #TakeBackTheBeach here.


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    "After giving birth, I thought I would hate my body more, but I actually feel better about my body than I thought I would. I love my stretch marks on my hips, my inner thighs, and calves. They show strength and endurance on what my body handled creating and giving birth to a beautiful and healthy baby boy."

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    "I felt most confident and happy about my body when I gave birth. I always liked my body before that, but I had a happy, easy pregnancy and a good labor. I'm not as slim-hipped, perky-boobed, or lithe postpartum, but it's still a good body."

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    "I gave birth to my first baby two weeks ago. When I was pregnant, I felt absolutely beautiful. I have always been very thin; more recently I struggled with being too thin and had difficulty gaining weight. I finally put on some weight while pregnant and felt — and still feel — very sexy and womanly for the first time."

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    "I'm very proud of my body for having birthed and breast-fed two healthy babies."

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    "I felt happy and confident about my body when I was pregnant and just after giving birth."