Karen Belz
Updated Feb 20, 2018 @ 1:44 pm

We’re all familiar with the “post-baby body” hype and all the ridiculous pressure that goes along with it (because apparently bringing forth life isn’t impressive enough). And Katherine Heigl showcased some post-baby bikini photos to remind us that post-baby recovery takes time, and that it should truly be about how you feel — not how you look.

Heigl gave birth to her son Joshua on December 20th, 2016. While Heigl was already the mom of two adopted daughters, this was her first pregnancy. She was open about every stage, and now — well over a year later — she isn’t afraid to open up about how the pregnancy affected her.

Pregnancy takes a major toll on our bodies — women can take a full year to completely recover, sometimes more — and that’s just healing on the inside. Needless to say, the whole “bounce back” craze is unrealistic at best, and actively harmful to our psyches at worst.

Heigl admitted that it took her roughly 14 months to feel strong and healthy again, and admitted that it was a slow and arduous process.

Heigl shared three photos, writing that she wishes she had taken more between the first and second photos to further illustrate how long a process it was. The third bikini photo was taken this past weekend.

While we of course are taking some of Heigl’s comments with a grain of salt (there’s no place an ass “should” be, and in our opinions, there’s absolutely no reason to feel like you need to cover up your body, regardless of shape or size), we appreciate her candor about this process.

We applaud any new mom who’s both honest and realistic about the post-baby body journey. All too often, we regular folks receive the message that we should “bounce back” within a matter of months…when most of us struggle to find five minutes to simply shower.

Remember, new moms — you just created life. So don’t be too hard on yourselves. And don’t forget — all bodies are beautiful.