A PROFESSIONAL athlete is sharing photos of her stretch mark-covered stomach in a bid to show the real effect pregnancy has on a woman’s body.
Stephanie Rothstein Bruce is a long-distance runner who is currently attempting to qualify for the 10,000m race at the Olympics, aiming to represent her country America.
The 32-year-old fitness fanatic is also mother to two children, aged 21 months and six months.
She regularly updates her Instagram page with details of her run, as well as offering a look at the sagging skin pregnancy has caused on her tummy.
“When I look down I see stretch marks that are here to stay, ab muscles that need continued strengthening, legs that are powerful, and feet that are ready to fly!” she wrote on the site.
Stephanie is open about other ways her body has changed too, revealing that even though she can easily run half marathons she still “pees her pants” and suffers other post-partum issues.
Stephanie is fiercely proud of her post-pregnancy body and sees no reason to hide the changes her children have brought.
Even better, she positively draws attention to them to show other new mums their changing bodies are nothing to be ashamed of.
“It still looks like a hot mess but the stability and strength is coming back to my core,” she wrote.
“The big 3: bird dogs, side planks, McGill crunch performed twice a day, every day with extreme precision. It’s boring, monotonous but gets the job done. Stretch marks are here to stay!”
Stephanie is being hailed as a true role model for pregnant women, who are usually force fed shots of A-list stars looking impossibly svelte just days after welcoming their children.
She is also honest about how hard getting back into shape has been.
“Doing side planks. The strength and stability is coming back steadily but the appearance of abs and stretch marks remains the same,” she captioned the above picture.
“The not so glamorous part of getting strong post baby.”
As well as proudly showing off her stretch marks, Stephanie has been honest about how long it took her stomach to pop back into shape after having her kids.
She hopes her photos will encourage other women to show off their post baby bodies, rather that being embarrassed by them.
“What a difference 8 days makes,” she wrote on the above image.
“Amazing how babies fit in our bellies. The contrast here is to show stomachs don’t shrink right away post delivery and you have that awkward “oh how far along are you?” Oh I am post-partum actually. #keepitreal ladies and flaunt that PP belly!”
Stephanie found out she had Coeliac disease in 2010, but chose to use the diagnosis to push her to run quicker.