Mom's Dramatic Before-and-After Photos of Her 'Stretched' Pregnant Belly Have the Internet Shook

If you're a mom, you know that it can be hard not to get down on yourself when you're scrolling past photos of celebrity moms who look fit as ever at three weeks postpartum. But one mom wants to change that.

It took me 4 days to decide whether or not to share this. But recently there have been moms reaching out to me based on some things I've shared, so here goes. The left pic is 3 days before I delivered Gavin (my 2nd child), the right pic is 3 weeks postpartum. I'm sharing this to show moms that sometimes it doesn't matter if you're thin, ate right and exercised during pregnancy, sometimes your body grows in such a way that simply doesn't allow you to "bounce back" in friggen 3 weeks. I feel like all I've been seeing is new moms sharing their amazing postpartum bods, 11 days after birth, 2 weeks after birth, etc. And while that's wonderful for them, for many others, KNOW that it's not realistic! While I won't be totally sure till 6 weeks, I have a strong feeling that I've got #diastasisrecti (separation of the abs), in which case I'm determined to get the PT I need to heal. I've also been wearing a postpartum corset for extra support. But in the meantime, I'm giving my body a chance to breathe. Did you SEE how far my belly stretched?! There is no race to bounce back moms. We'll get there!! #postpartum

A post shared by Kristen Sullivan (@krisrosulli) on

Kristen Sullivan recently shared an Instagram of two side-by-side photos of herself: one taken three days before she delivered her second son on July 27, the other taken three weeks after giving birth.

"I'm sharing this to show moms that sometimes it doesn't matter if you're thin, ate right and exercised during pregnancy, sometimes your body grows in such a way that simply doesn't allow you to 'bounce back' in friggen 3 weeks," she wrote in the caption.

"I feel like all I've been seeing is new moms sharing their amazing postpartum bods, 11 days after birth, 2 weeks after birth, etc. And while that's wonderful for them, for many others, KNOW that it's not realistic!" she continued.

“Did you SEE how far my belly stretched?! There is no race to bounce back moms. We’ll get there!!”

Instagram users flooded Sullivan's comment section with positive words and praise. "Thank you for sharing," one person wrote. "I have had the most unkind thoughts about my pregnant body. Its been extremely challenging as I've gained the baby weight..."

"Love this. Thank you for being real," wrote someone else.

Another commented, "Love the honesty--so depressing to see only women who bounce back after triplets (I'm not kidding). Thank you! Looking healthy and wonderful!!"

Sullivan told Us Weekly that she exercised and ate well throughout her pregnancy, yet hasn't "bounced back" like some new moms are lucky enough to do (who, on the other hand, she believes shouldn't be shamed or mocked either).

“For new moms dealing with their hormones and all the pressures of being a new mom, they should know that they aren’t alone,” she said. “I ate right and exercised throughout the majority of my pregnancy. Women need to know that sometimes you can put in all that work and still not get your pre-baby body back right away or even at all and that’s OK. Our main focus after giving birth should be to rest, recover and bond with our babies.”

Sullivan also noted that she suspects she may have diastasis recti, or abdominal separation, which is a condition that can cause mothers to look like they're pregnant for years after they gave birth. Before she can begin physical therapy or get back in the gym, however, she's going to give her body the time it needs to recover.