Mum shows off loose skin at fitness competitions after birthing twins
Thanks to societal pressure to "snap back" after having children - and celebrities who proudly debut their "post baby bodies" mere weeks after giving birth, more and more women are feeling the urge to regain their pre-pregnancy physique in no time at all.
But Shina Pierce isn't one of them. After the 29-year-old gave birth to twins, and suffered through months of postnatal depression, she went onto compete in fitness competitions where she proudly displays her stretch marks and loose skin up on stage.
"Straight after was a bit of a rough time, I did want to get back to my pre-baby body and it was definitely a hard adjustment," Shina said when speaking to the Daily Mail about her birth and postnatal depression. "I found I was often puffed out just going on the floor and having mat time with my girls so getting up was a struggle which was really disheartening as I did remember how fit I was before and how a simple body movement like getting from the floor to standing up was never a problem until then."
"For the first couple or few weeks I’d break down and cry to a point where it was almost every day for a while for a couple of hours. I was so tired, I felt like the worst person in the world because I couldn’t deal with being a mother."
Slowly, however, Shina started easing her way back into a fitness routine. She went on walks with her two daughters, Harper and Nicole, and did 15-minute workouts at home. And just one year after giving birth, she was back in the gym.
Eventually, she felt compelled to enter bikini fitness competitions, where she bared her loose skin and stretch-marks to encourage other mothers to embrace theirs.
"When all the other mums and fit models were back stage, I was a little self-conscious because most of the girls and mums’ tummies didn’t really look like they had babies at all," the New Zealander continued.
"I just had to remind myself that I did this for me, I had to remind myself the reason I wanted to go on stage was to prove to myself that I can get out of my comfort zone and that I can do anything I put my mind to. People are inspired which is really heart-warming."
And they should be, because Shina looks just amazing.
Her message to mothers in a similar position?
"What I’ve learnt about my first year being a stay at home mum and postpartum, I learnt that the best thing you can try to do is stay positive as cliché as it sounds, there is a light at the end of the tunnel," Shina advised. "I just wanted to share that so if there were any mums out there or any women out there who were going through the same thing, that it is possible to get over hurdles and that the best thing you can do is to embrace it and be positive about it because if you continue to constantly be like I hate this, I hate that, how are you going to be motivated enough to get stronger or lose weight?"