This is why I posed in just my knickers on the loo while 40 weeks pregnant… and why YOU should be proud of your mum bod too

In the picture, I’ve got no make-up on, my boobs clearly show the impact of breast-feeding two babies and my facial expression is pretty harsh. I’m 40 weeks pregnant, and the vulnerability and anxiety that comes hand-in-hand with the final days of pregnancy is written all over my face.

Yet at the same time I look more powerful than I’ve ever been – through the camera I’m poised, strong and focused on the task of labour ahead of me.

When I was younger I would never have let the world see me like this, but having kids – Bertie, 5, three-year-old Woody and now Greta, three months – has changed me.

It’s made me want to find peace with my body, even if it doesn’t conform to the usual images of beauty we see. How can we expect to raise a generation who are comfortable in their own skin unless we lead by example?

Above all I have learned to respect my body. It grew and birthed three humans, two of them at home with no pain relief. That’s pretty awesome.

The image isn’t conventionally pretty – it couldn’t be further from the softly-lit maternity shots we’re so used to seeing of stars cradling their perfect bumps. But it’s honest, and that, for me, is beautiful.

And the more I’ve shared the realities of my life through Instagram or my blog, rather than a filtered or constructed version, the more people have responded.

Pregnancy and parenting are a gift, but they are extremely challenging too. Admitting that doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human.

As for why the picture was taken in the bathroom rather than in a glamorous location.

Three years ago I gave birth to my second baby, Woody, on that same toilet – it was the only position – so it seemed like an appropriate place to record the final stage of my third pregnancy.

I felt so cumbersome and unyielding (waddling instead of walking, struggling to get up the stairs or put on shoes – the usual!).

At first I felt uncomfortable with the shot, which was taken by photographer Lara Downie as part of her maternity photography project, but in time I managed to step back and see past all that.

Now, with my 12-week-old baby Greta on my lap, the vast bump in the photo feels like a distant memory. I’m so grateful to have such a fleeting, precious moment captured forever.



I’m also thankful for the overwhelming positive reaction it’s generated on social media.

I think people connected with the fact it, quite literally, strips motherhood down to its most raw state and that’s pretty powerful!

What amuses me most about all of this is that when I shared this photo with friends on social media I said how ‘ready’ I was for labour. Little did I know that my daughter would keep me waiting for another 8 days – EIGHT DAYS! If you think I look fierce here, you should have seen me a week later…

Visit Clemmie's Instagram at @clemmie_telford and her blog at www.motherofalllists.com.

Photographer: Lara Downie – @laradownie.

 

Previously, four proud new mums showed off real ‘post-baby bodies’ after Kylie Jenner posed with flat stomach one month after birth.

A mum-of-one shared candid postpartum photos in the weeks after giving birth, claiming there’s no such thing as ‘snap-back’.

And two expecting mums debated whether pregnancy can ever be a sexy experience for women.

 

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