News — July 26, 2017 at 3:00 am

Mom shares inspiring message about ‘flabby’ postpartum belly

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Summers VonHesse loves her postpartum belly, and she hopes other moms can appreciate theirs, too.

VonHesse (follow her at @socalsummers) recently uploaded a body-positive swimsuit photo to Instagram. In it, she’s standing in the sand and working her angles. In the caption accompanying the picture, VonHesse talks about her self-love journey — and how one of the biggest barriers to her body confidence has been her postpartum belly.

"Something I have — that a lot of women identify with — is a flabby, stretched-out belly," she shares, noting that the loose skin on her stomach is the result of both weight fluctuations and pregnancy. "You can do all the crunches in the world … It’s there to stay."

VonHesse says she’s long struggled to accept this part of herself — "that flabby, stretch-marked pouch thing I have," to use her words. And her insecurity has only been exacerbated by the fact that she rarely sees images of postpartum stomachs that look like hers. "It’s not something I see portrayed ever — in a beautiful, natural way," she says. "Yet so many women have it."

VonHesse has since "come to terms with her pouch." And she says she hopes this swimsuit photo will help other women love their bodies, too — regardless of their so-called "body imperfections."

"I FEEL and LOOK [amazing] in s— like this," she writes, noting that she didn’t retouch the photo. "You can too."

Many of VonHesse’s followers commented on the photo, thanking the self-love Instagrammer for her candor and body positivity. "You are flipping amazing! My bod is very similar to yours," one commenter wrote. "You are a beautiful lady. The pouch and marks make who you are," another added.

VonHesse’s post is a reminder that everyone should be able to feel totally comfortable in their own skin, and if someone wants to put on a swimsuit or a pair of short shorts, they should be able to do that without worrying about being judged. Cheers to VonHesse for taking the sun and sand by storm this summer, and for reminding people they’re perfect as they are.

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