TODAY | September 23, 2013
>> wrong it can leave many moms feeling anything but beautiful.
>> on a survey on today.com 27% of you said you were surprised at how long it took to get back to your prebaby weight.
>> 27%. we put together a panel of moms brave enough to share the truth about their bodies post-baby. melanie dunn is a lawyer and mother of two and blogger for ct working moms.com.
>> and ashley wells jackson is a mother of two and the photographer of the fourth trisemester gallery and she is attorney and cofounder of jojo.com. you have all come with photographs here. you are going to show us and you have agreed to do this -- show us your bodies and tell us how far along you are after baby right now.
>> i had my second child 16 months ago.
>> 16 months ago. can we see the photograph.
>> get a shot of that. and how are you feeling about your body today? 16 months after?
>> i feel great. i know that i have a little more weight i'd like to lose but that's not the focus for me right now. i am doing so much, raising my kids, running my own business and i wanted to tell moms all over the country that it is okay. you don't need the guilt of needing to lose more weight on top of our already full plate.
>> first of all, all three of you look great.
>> yeah, you do. you just had babies.
>> i just had mine two years ago.
>> 10 months ago.
>> my daughter just turned 11 months. my photo was shot about three months prior.
>> that's a great photograph.
>> this is one of our projects.
>> you had a c-section.
>> an emergency c-section, yeah.
>> what are you feeling right now about your body?
>> i'm learning to own it. i have a lot of trauma related to my pregnancy and birth experience and that scar was a constant reminder of all the struggles and i had a hard time with it at first but i started to move past that. i'm more comfortable in my skin and grateful that that's how my daughters were born and i have a beauty mark to go with it the rest of my life.
>> i like how you say that, a beauty mark . that's a good way of putting it.
>> and you're 11 months.
>> 11 months out. this is my second son. so he is 11 months old right now and, yeah, it's kind of wrinkley and i find it a little dressing.
>> this is what happens. i've had three babies.
>> you don't always bounce back immediately. it's impossible to even think that you can do that.
>> sure. sure. but i miss the old body and miss being able to wear any sort of underwear. now i'm always looking for support because of the excess skin.
>> that's why we love spanks ladies.
>> i knew there was a spanx plug in here.
>> one thing my wife always hated, especially after she had ours, she would go to the grocery store and there would be somebody on the cover of one of the magazines i just had my baby two weeks ago and here i am in a bikini which isn't realistic and people shouldn't think they're n normal.
>> there's a celebrity view of what you should be doing after you have the baby.
>> there's a celebrity view of what you should be doing and what you don't hear a lot of is the -- you are talking about tra ma a moment ago. giving birth is a powerful amazing thing and that was my feeling -- i had two home births. i gave birth without any medication.
>> you're brave.
>> and it wasn't so much a brave thing i just didn't want to be in the hospital.
>> it's brave.
>> you're right because what i realized was how can i worry about what my body looks like. i should respect and honor my body. it is a powerful amazing thing.
>> and every mom whether you've had a c-section or natural birth or whatever, we do the work for nine months in sustaining and norrishing life. i'm proud of my body and every mom should feel the same way.
>> good for you and thank you all for sharing this. a lot of people wouldn't have come with the photographs. i'm glad you did it. i really appreciate it. thank