A young mother has shared a photograph of her tummy in all its stretch-marked and scarred glory to encourage post-baby body positivity.
Emily Houlston, 19, from Telford has twin boys who were born in November.
She captioned the powerful snap, saying: This is quite a personal post but I am now four months postpartum and beginning to embrace what my body has become,
“I’ve housed two beautiful babies for 36 weeks and breastfed for five weeks. My pregnancy wasn’t exactly an easy ride these boys wanted to come out early and I was hospitalised a few times because of dehydration and early contractions.
“Our bodies go through a lot, a lot of change and your body is put through an enormous amount and I am so proud of myself that I carried such beautiful children and gave them food, warmth and most importantly all the love that I never thought I had.
“A scar that I will have for the rest of my life is a tiny sacrifice for a lifetime of beautiful memories with my family. Your stretch marks DO NOT define you, your scar DOES NOT define you, your flab DOES NOT define you.
“You are incredible, you are a mother and you are the light of your babies eyes. I wanted to share this to show the reality of our bodies and that it’s okay not to be perfect because in their eyes you are exactly.”
Emily told HuffPost UK she wanted to post the picture to remind other mums of the amazing journey they’ve been through and that they should accept their postpartum bodies.
“It got me in a bad place getting myself down about it so I wanted to release a picture facing the reality of carrying babies and how much of an incredible journey we go through,” she said.
“I wanted to urge women not to feel the need to ‘bounce back’ and to accept how they are - scars, stretch marks and all.”