7 Ways to Create Better Instagram Engagement for Businesses : Social Media Examiner
Are you looking for ways to get more Instagram engagement? Wondering how to build stronger consumer relationships?
discover seven ways to improve your Instagram engagement. 7 Ways to Create Better Instagram Engagement for Businesses by Corinna Keefe #1: Follow Through on Follower Engagement to Stay in Step With Your Community
While it’s the first rule of social media marketing, lots of brands and marketers don’t follow through on follower engagement with their content. When you share a post on Instagram, be ready to answer questions in the comments , highlight them in stories , and refer to them in other posts .
Beauty brand Glossier spotted a great question in their post comments, so they shared a screenshot in Stories, offered an answer, and took the chance to share a shopping link with their followers.
True engagement goes beyond just reacting to your followers. You should actively invite them to participate and then respond. Set up a topic , hear your followers’ thoughts , give them feedback , rinse and repeat. In other words, have a conversation!
Instagram has a ton of features that make this easier. Question stickers, poll stickers, and emoji sliders are already popular tools for Instagram Stories. Run a poll to get clear-cut opinions or go deeper with an open question . Use these dynamics to entertain your customers , get quick product reviews , and even ask followers to choose the content they want to see in the future .
Food magazine Bake from Scratch gave their Instagram followers control of their content schedule with this quick poll.
While Stories are great for having a conversation with all of your followers, the Quick Replies feature lets you connect on an individual level. With Quick Replies, you can write and store common responses to specific people in your DMs .
To visualize this, you can create a thank-you message to send to anyone who replies to your stories. It’s easier than giving someone a public shout-out. But a word of caution: make sure your replies don’t sound canned or artificial . The aim is to relate, not alienate. #2: Incorporate Evolving Style and Platform Features Into Campaigns
Of course, every brand has its own unique style, voice, and values. While you don’t want to move too far away from those, it’s important to stay abreast of Instagram’s house style, latest design trends, and even memes . If you’re still posting content that looked good last year, your followers will lose interest.
Keep up with the latest Instagram features and releases, and watch your competitors closely to monitor trends . It’s worth doing your research into what content and styles are popular, too.
For example, it’s pretty common knowledge that photos with a single dominant hue and lots of texture score better with users. But you can also adjust your choice of colors and filters for the season, like L.L.Bean does below, or pick up tips from design experts to make your feed stand out.
Although Instagram is a visual platform, don’t forget about text. The way you use comments, captions, and text overlay can impact your posts. There are trends in text, just as there are in photo design. For instance, 2018 has been the year of deadpan humor for big brands on social media.
Hot Pockets has joined the trend for oddball humor and snarky replies. Posting this Twitter screenshot brings them in line with the multi-channel trend, too. #3: Cross-Promote Content and Offers to Move Followers Beyond the Instagram Feed
Social media is all about connections, and that includes your marketing. You can’t get the most out of Instagram unless you’re making links with other channels, brands, and tools. Most importantly, you need to connect your social media content to the point of sale .
Let’s start with the most obvious. Since Facebook acquired Instagram, the two networks have become ever more integrated. You can use Facebook ads to broadcast your posts on both Facebook and Instagram at the same time .
You can also achieve a lot by mixing features within Instagram. To illustrate, use your stories to highlight posts on your profile and vice versa . You can use stories or video posts as trailers for longer content on your IGTV , as Nike does here.
But remember, it’s not only about increasing reach within social media. You can bounce followers among your social channels, website, store, and more . Introduce communities to a new range of content and encourage them to escape the “walled gardens” of individual social networks. #4: Use Instagram Stories to Guide the Buyer’s Journey
Instagram Stories is the secret to the social network’s meteoric rise in the past year. More than 400 million users now watch stories daily.
As the name suggests, use Instagram Stories to tell a story . Just because the video format is short doesn’t mean you can’t build a narrative. Remember Vine? The short-form social network is long gone, but it taught us that you can tell an epic tale in 6 seconds or less.
Here’s a simple, effective story from magazine Travel Insider . With one image, a short text overlay, and a swipe-up link, they’ve set the tone and anticipation for a full article.
Try thinking about the story of the buyer’s journey. How can you guide your followers from seeing your content, to interacting with it, to making a purchase ? Of course, the tricky part of Stories is transferring that connection off Instagram. Check out the next two sections for some story-specific tips. #5: Make Every Link Opportunity Count
One of the biggest challenges on Instagram is the scarcity of live links. Unlike other social networks, you can’t share clickable links, except in your Instagram bio or via specific business tools. This helps keep the platform free of spam. In fact, it’s one of the reasons that users enjoy Instagram so much.
So if you want to make a positive impression, the trick is to work with Instagram’s limitations, rather than against them.
Make sure that every link counts. The way you use links depends on your industry, niche, and marketing strategy. You could connect to a landing page , update your link regularly with new content , or hedge your bets with a link channeling service such as Linktree .
Here are contrasting link strategies from two Instagram business profiles. ARCH Motorcycle sends followers to their main website, while The North Face’s Instagram for climbing enthusiasts links to the schedule for a film tour of the year’s best climbing films.
If you use your business profile to create ads, have more than 10,000 followers, or have a verified account, your options increase. You can add a swipe-up link to your stories or include links in ads .
However you share links, don’t lose sight of your strategy. Give users an attention-grabbing visual and a clear call to action . Make sure that the link is fully functional for mobile viewers. #6: Create Point of Sale Opportunities With Shoppable Tags
Shoppable tags are the most direct form of link marketing on Instagram. Users respond well to rich content and added-value links, but sometimes you just want a simple call to action and a sale.
Tags are also what differentiates Instagram from Snapchat. We all know that Snapchat’s popularity with mobile users, especially young people, is unmatched. But so far, it’s been impossible for most brands to monetize.
Instagram is the marketer’s compromise. It combines visual, valuable content with the chance to drive sales. The trade-off seems to work for users, too: 90 million users tap to reveal tags in shopping posts each month.
The platform is currently testing a dedicated shopping channel on the Explore tab. You may have seen this rolled out already or might still be waiting for the update. There are even rumors that Instagram could launch a separate shopping app.
After a shaky start for IGTV, some are questioning whether a stand-alone app would get enough users. On the other hand, apps such as Pinterest and 21Buttons are testing the concept of social shopping with some success . Either way, you should be keeping a close eye on how new Instagram features and user reactions develop. #7: Reward Active Followers With Giveaways
So far, we’ve mostly discussed practical tools to improve Instagram engagement. But let’s not forget the psychological side of things. You can promote user interactions with positive reinforcement. In other words, show your followers some love.
One popular method is an Instagram giveaway . You can highlight products and services, while encouraging engagement and showing followers they’re valued . Subscription beauty brand Birchbox treated their followers to deals, giveaways, and surprises to mark Customer Appreciation Day.
The success of a giveaway depends on how you carry it out. You’ll need to publicize the deal in your posts, stories, ads, and even on other platforms. Include a clear call to action and give your announcements a sense of urgency .
Be sure to use all of the visual tools that Instagram gives you. Share a prize image , add filters , and layer on special effects such as Superzoom in your stories.
Subscription service Gentleman’s Box runs regular contests and co-branded promotions. They keep giveaway stories listed in their highlights so new followers get a glimpse of previous rewards and offers.
The prize you choose is key to your success. It has to be relevant, timely, and something that users will value. You can link prizes to themes or special events.
And don’t underestimate the power of co-branding: you can team up with other brands or influencers to offer a wider range of prizes . The NBA teamed up with sponsor Kia Motors to give away game tickets to celebrate the new season.
The best prizes are things your followers love, but wouldn’t normally splash out on for themselves. Dollar Shave Club wins this one, with a prize that is literally out of this world.
Finally, choose an exciting dynamic; don’t ask users to follow you, spam their friends, or repost photos. In fact, reposting photos is explicitly banned in Instagram’s Community Guidelines . In practice, this comes down to a difference in technique. There’s a world of difference between sharing a single follower’s photo with the original image and proper credit, and asking followers to post thousands of grainy screenshots of your posts.
Instead, try asking users an open-ended question or encouraging them to share original content . This improves the quality of your interactions, which is the goal of rewarding active followers. It also reduces spam and creates user-generated content that you can repurpose. Tips to Encourage User-Generated Content on Instagram
There are only two types of user-generated content that will be useful to you on Instagram: posts and comments. While stories with polls and question stickers can be a quick and easy way to hear user opinions, it’s much more difficult to record responses or share them with others.
In contrast, with the right tools, Instagram’s API allows you to collect comments, posts, and the usernames responsible . Stories are fun if you want to boost short-term engagement. If you want a long-term, data-driven social media strategy, comments and posts may well be more informative.
Let’s start with comments.
Many brands ask users to tag their friends in post comments, which may help to attract new viewers. However, you can go further and solicit more information. Ask followers how they use your products, what they think of the latest release, and why they love your brand . You can even enlist your followers as product designers and unofficial focus groups.
But let’s not lose sight of reality. The truth is that many brands and influencers have indulged in cheap, “like and share”–style engagement for a long time. This means your followers are often not used to sharing real, meaningful content. So to start, users may need an incentive. Tap into the popularity of giveaways and discount codes to encourage your followers to share .
Fashion brand ModCloth asked users to share their own designs in original posts and offered a generous incentive (in proportion to the assignment): the chance to win a $500 gift card.
As well as comments, original posts from users are a key form of user-generated content. Take a look through the examples in this article: you’ll see brands using their followers’ content for photo posts, product design, and promotional material. And until now, it’s been easy to collect user posts by asking them to share content with a branded hashtag.
However, Instagram has programmed a major change to the API, coming up on December 11. It’s part of the ongoing campaign on social networks to improve privacy and quality of engagement. When the full Instagram Graph API comes into effect, you won’t be able to collect user content from hashtags alone. But this doesn’t mean that user-generated content is over.
As always, the best strategy is to work with Instagram, not against it. The stricter API is an opportunity to demonstrate again that you have a good relationship with your followers, and they can trust you. Updated apps are already available that allow you to collect user content, with up-to-date permissions . You may even be able to get more contextual information than before, such as email addresses.
Your treatment of user-generated content is also a chance to show your respect for your followers. Make sure your privacy and data policies are up to date, readable, and fair . Give users a clear idea of how you want to use their content. Above all, announce any competition winners in a timely and transparent fashion . False promotions do happen on Instagram, and users are quick to call them out in public. Conclusion
What does engagement on Instagram mean to you? For too many brands, it’s as simple as getting likes and follows. But in 2018, that’s no longer enough for a successful Instagram marketing strategy. Users’ feeds are flooded with content and it’s possible, even common, that someone could follow your profile and then never see your posts again. So how can you increase visibility and improve engagement for your posts?
Instagram’s algorithm favors posts based on interest, recency, and your relationship with others. So you need to be posting attractive content on a regular schedule. And most importantly, you need to foster a genuine relationship with users online.
Quality engagement takes more effort than likes and follows, but it brings greater rewards.
What do you think? Which of these tactics do you use to engage with your followers? Do you have any tips to add to this list? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. More articles about Instagram marketing:
Late-Night Corrects Trump’s 9/11 Lie After Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting and Can’t Believe He’s Still Calling Media ‘Enemy of the People’
CBS/ABC/Comedy Central Trump’s Dumbest Twitter Fails, So Far
“I think lying about anything associated with 9/11 is a disqualifier for the presidency,” Stephen Colbert says.
Lies and hostility keep pouring out of Donald Trump’s mouth, even in wake of one of his supporters being inspired by the president’s rhetoric to carry out a domestic terrorism plot. But at least we have late-night comedians on the air to keep this POTUS in check and clarify a few things.
Jimmy Kimmel and Trevor Noah were just as stunned as the rest of us that Trump blamed Cesar Sayoc’s foiled bomb plot on the media , then continued to call the press the “Enemy of the People” and “Fake News Media,” despite explosives being sent to CNN buildings. But Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers also noticed a blatant 9/11 lie the president told his supporters at a rally after Saturday’s tragic mass shooting in Pittsburgh , where 11 people lost their lives when an anti-semitic gunman opened fired in a synagogue.
Let’s dig in to this mess that the stars of late-night TV handled with as much humor as they could, given the solemn circumstances. View Story “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
“Naturally in times like these, our nation looks to its president for comfort and guidance. That’s our first mistake,” Colbert joked. “Immediately after the shooting Trump told reporters how the attack in Pittsburgh could have been prevented. Spoiler alert: It’s more guns.”
But we’ve heard that before after school shootings, so it’s not exactly surprising at this point. Colbert took greater issue with the president continuing to hold a rally hours after the massacre and telling his supporters a blatant lie to back up his decision not to cancel it.
“Some people thought Trump should cancel his rally he had planned on Saturday night, but he explained why he didn’t cancel the rally at the rally that he should have canceled,” Colbert summed up.
His argument? The New York Stock Exchange allegedly opened the day after 9/11. But Colbert easily fact checked that claim and pointed out, “That is an inspiring story, if any of it was true, because the New York Stock Exchange was closed until Sept. 17.”
“Trump’s instinct when addressing a tragedy was to lie about another tragedy,” the comedian said. “I think lying about anything associated with 9/11 is a disqualifier for the presidency or really having any job.” View Story “Late Night with Seth Meyers”
In his monologue, Meyers briefly touched on the president’s response to the clear link between Cesar Sayoc — a man nicknamed “MAGA Bomber” after mailing a dozen explosive devices to prominent Democratic politicians and Trump critics — and Trump’s hostile rhetoric that he regularly uses the vilify his oponents in Washington and on TV.
“President Trump claimed this weekend that his rhetoric is not to blame for the attempted attacks, which is kind of like saying the first domino isn’t responsible for the last domino falling over,” Meyers said. “Well no, not directly, but you could have guessed it would happen.
Meyers was saving the subject for a deeper dive in his “Closer Look” segment, where he also called out Trump for lying about the stock market opening the day after 9/11.
“That’s right. You wouldn’t believe it. And you shouldn’t, because it didn’t happen,” he said, and then corrected, “The stock exchange stayed closed for six days after the terror attack.”
“These are his most infuriating lies; the ones we can just check by typing them into Google. The ones his supporters will never check,” he said, then joked, “At this point, if you type ‘is Trump lying’ into Google, you’ll just get a page that says, ‘Too many results, try Bing.'”
After demonstrating Trump’s favorite network, Fox News, spreading “dangerous” conspiracy theories about Sayoc’s bomb plot being a “false flag” before he was arrested, he concluded by urging his viewers to vote.
“There’s no use in waiting for moral leadership from a president who’s so obviously unwilling to provide it. The only option is to vote for people who will,” he said. View Story “Jimmy Kimmel Live”
Kimmel got a kick out of President Trump’s predictable response when a reporter asked if he’d tone down his hostile rhetoric. Of course, Trump argued he has done just that, but said he’ll tone it right back up if the media keeps criticizing him.
“If you guys stop saying mean things about me, I’ll stop inciting angry lunatics to kill you. Deal?” Kimmel joked.
The ABC late-night host also took issue with Trump blaming the media for the violence, comparing it to “when a bully punches you with your own fist and says, ‘Stop hitting yourself.'”
“Trump also lashed out via Twitter blaming the media for the recent violence. He wrote, ‘The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People,’ literally days after the media got sent pipe bombs. He can’t help himself, he has to double down. It’s no wonder he bankrupted all those casinos, he doesn’t know how to gamble.”
Kimmel used several tweets from Saturday, the day of the synagogue shooting, to illustrate “all you need to know about Donald Trump.” …This evil Anti-Semitic attack is an assault on humanity. It will take all of us working together to extract the poison of Anti-Semitism from our world. We must unite to conquer hate. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2018 Watching the Dodgers/Red Sox final innings. It is amazing how a manager takes out a pitcher who is loose & dominating through almost 7 innings, Rich Hill of Dodgers, and brings in nervous reliever(s) who get shellacked. 4 run lead gone. Managers do it all the time, big mistake! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2018
“This is what he’s thinking about on the day someone went into a synagogue with an AR-15,” Kimmel marveled. “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”
The Comedy Central star reasoned that Trump either wants to encourage violence or doesn’t care if he does, as he continues to terms like “The Enemy of the People” to vilify CNN — an outlet he considers “Fake News” — which was targeted by Cesar Sayoc, whose van was littered in Trump’s signature hostile slogans, including “CNN sucks.”
“If you know that a phrase has been used to encourage people to commit acts of violence, if you know they’re using that phrase, why would you not stop using that phrase?” Noah asked. “Why would not just stop saying ‘Enemy of the People’? You either want to encourage violence or you don’t care.”
“If the president of the United States calls somebody the enemy of the people, don’t be shocked when the people go after that enemy,” he added. “And I know Sarah Sanders is gonna come out and she’s gonna be like, ‘Oh, enemy of the people is just an expression.’ Then why not use another expression? If you realized this one is dangerous, why not use another one?
“There’s a lot of ways to criticize someone without going that far. Try poopy-head,” he joked. “That’s a real phrase.”
These Heroic Moms Got Super Real About Their Postpartum Bodies
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We all know that moms are amazing, right?
I mean, they grow humans in their wombs and then give birth to them. Come on. That is a legitimate superpower.
Of course, carrying a baby (or multiple babies) can have drastic effects on a mother’s body. Some people believe that right after having a baby, your body bounces back to its pre-baby form. But most of the time, that is not the case. Postpartum bodies vary as much as pre-pregnancy bodies do, and many moms’ bodies are forever changed by the magic of carrying and delivering a little life into the world.
There’s been a long-standing stigma surrounding mothers and their postpartum bodies. But now, moms are coming forward to share the truth. They’re speaking up about what actually happens to your body after giving birth.
In short: Females are strong as heck. Advertisement
This is Maria.
In September of 2018, Maria and her husband (and big brother Mikael) welcomed triplets Iben, Filip, and Agnes into the world. Advertisement
Maria was very straightforward with her Instagram audience.
She shared her entire pregnancy journey with her followers, taking pictures to document her growing belly throughout her pregnancy. Advertisement
Finally, after 35 weeks, it was time to deliver.
Maria and her family were over the moon welcoming their three new little bundles of joy.
One week later, Maria took to Instagram yet again to share what her body looked like. Advertisement
Here she is one week postpartum:
“I now have a really weird looking hanging belly, which is still quite heavy,” she wrote.
“My uterus has not shrunk back yet. Because my belly was so stretched, it takes longer than usual.” Advertisement
Here’s another update four weeks after giving birth:
“I still have a weird-looking hanging belly, and I am a bit surprised it has not gotten smaller since my last picture three weeks ago,” she wrote. “Kind of disappointing I must admit, and I am not too happy to share this picture. ”
However, moms from all over the world applauded her for sharing such an authentic image. Advertisement
Tia Mowry also got real about her recent pregnancy.
Back in May, Mowry and her husband, actor Cory Hardrict welcomed a baby girl to their family. Advertisement
Here’s an adorable picture of Tia with baby Cairo.
Isn’t your heart melting?
Cairo is the couple’s second child; they had big brother Cree back in 2011. Advertisement
7 weeks after Cairo’s birth, Mowry posted this picture:
“Some pregnant women after giving birth no longer have a belly after 7 weeks. While others it may take a little longer. Me, I’m the latter,” Mowry wrote on Instagram.
“I remember after giving birth to Cree, my belly didn’t all of a sudden go flat. I did have a C-Section, (as well as with my second pregnancy) and I thought something was wrong with me. I had seen in magazines the many women on the beach a few weeks postpartum in a two piece. To be honest, it had to take time for me to embrace my new body. With this second pregnancy, I now have embraced that fact that I’ve housed a human being. A miracle. A life. If it takes a while for me to get back to my normal self then so be it. This.Is.Me. And I love me.”
Way to go, momma! Advertisement
Chrissy Teigen is another celebrity who has been transparent about her experiences with pregnancy.
After giving birth to her second child, Miles, Teigen continued sharing the less glamorous aspects of motherhood. Advertisement
For instance, the reality of wearing mesh underwear:
But that’s not the only way Teigen “kept it real” with her second postpartum experience. Advertisement
There was also this tweet:
Yep! You read that right.
Not only is there mesh underwear to look forward to should you choose to have children; this whole situation is also a possibility! Advertisement
Actress Jenny Mollen shared info with her Instagram followers while pregnant with her second child.
A quick scroll through her feed and you’ll see plenty of photos of her wholly embracing pregnancy and its effect on her body. Advertisement
Mollen and husband Jason Biggs welcomed their little one into the world in October of 2017.
His name is Lazlo!
Shortly after Lazlo’s birth, Mollen continued posting photos featuring her body. Advertisement
Like this one. There’s that mesh underwear again!
However, Mollen’s postpartum journey soon took a very different path from what most moms tend to experience after giving birth. Advertisement
She posted this photo six months after having Lazlo:
“Not anorexia, it’s a thyroid issue,” she clarified in her post.
“I don’t know what it says about me that I got this thin, and didn’t think there was anything wrong. Last Friday, I had a bulge in my neck that finally got me to the doctor. I’m STILL waiting on blood work but my doc thinks it’s Graves. If you just had a baby and have lost an inordinate amount of weight, feel like you are on cocaine, are suddenly heat intolerant, can’t stop losing hair […] it might just be your thyroid!! Get checked ASAP.”
Thanks to Mollen’s bravery, people learned that losing weight too rapidly after giving birth could be a huge red flag. Advertisement
Now let’s talk about hair loss.
While many moms experience healthier hair than ever during their pregnancy, that hair doesn’t often stick around after giving birth.
This video of a new mom’s hair coming out in clumps had other moms applauding and sharing their own stories of postpartum hair loss. Advertisement
New mom Jennifer also experienced the dreaded hair loss.
She definitely kept her sense of humor through it, though! Here’s what she had to say:
“Sooo, I have all these so-called-friends on the interwebs and not one of y’all thought about saying ‘Hey, ho. Just FYI, your tresses will soon evacuate your scalp.’ Nah, I had to have a panic attack in the shower seeing all this flowing towards the drain. First, no one brought me a sweet potato pie. Now, this? Aiight. Aiight.”
On the bright side, her photo may have helped an expectant mother prepare! Advertisement
This mom shared this intense and raw photo online:
If anyone ever thought that giving birth and being immediately thrown into raising a little baby was a walk in the park, this photo will instantly show them how wrong they are. Advertisement
Here’s another pic of a woman who playfully refers to her postpartum experience as the “fourth trimester.”
She had recently given birth as a surrogate mother to twins.
She shared quite a bit of her journey online. Advertisement
Including this amazing picture of her postpartum belly:
I don’t think there’s ever been a more fitting model for Wonder Woman clothing. Advertisement
This mom shared a photo of her body three days after giving birth.
“This time in your life is, however, more you and more raw and real than you’ll ever be,” she wrote.
“It’s messy and sometimes scary but my goodness it’s beautiful and magical.” Advertisement
Sarah, a photographer, captured this incredible photo:
She also shared this powerful message:
“As a society, we are so conditioned to hide our postpartum bodies, to be ashamed of loose skin and stretch marks and saggy bellies and breasts. There’s so much pressure to bounce back, suck it in, cover it up. But the stupidest part is that most of us have it, to some degree or another!! So why the hell are we all hiding away — fear of judgment? We should be proud of our bodies that grew, nourished and birthed our precious babies, and continue to feed them once they’re out.” Advertisement
Katie is a mom of two. Here’s her powerful post:
“Motherhood changes us, physically, mentally and emotionally. Some of these changes permanent, most temporary, remember you’re not alone. Welcome to the club mama, we got you.”
Hooray for moms, and hooray for moms supporting other moms! Advertisement
After giving birth to her daughter Tennessee, Kaitlyn posted this super-real postpartum selfie:
“This is postpartum. Swollen breasts, swollen, empty stomach, peri-bottles, bloody underwear, and pads. I’m tired, my body hurts and I’m not doing great at the week of strict bedrest I told myself I needed. But my heart is so full of love and appreciation and awe. Growing children, in and out of the womb, is dirty and tiring work but it is also the most gratifying and amazing job in the world. I would live in this body 1000x over to reap that reward.” Advertisement
Here’s another postpartum selfie from Kerry, taken two days after delivering her child:
“This is the reality of a postpartum body for most women and I’m no different!” she wrote.
The more that moms share their real, untouched photos of life after pregnancy, the more everyone will realize that it’s normal to look like you’ve given birth to a human when you have given birth to a human. Advertisement
Kita has this to say about her own body post-pregnancy:
“‘Get your body back after the baby is born,’ they say. I wasn’t aware that my body ever left. If anything, each pregnancy brings me closer to my body.” Advertisement
Lauren from Los Angeles shared a similar photo of what her body looked like one day after giving birth.
She also wrote a bit about the emotional side of postpartum life, describing her first solo outing after having her baby boy:
“Just as I was about to enter Target, I had this overwhelming wave of emotion that I was so very much not prepared for. I was totally alone. I started crying. For ten months, I’d carried this soul inside me. Felt my baby kick, laughed and talked and sung to him. We ate together, we slept together, we were completely and utterly one. And now I was walking into the Target all by myself with my round postpartum belly but with no baby in it. I felt empty. I would reach down absentmindedly to touch my belly, to have that connection I’d once felt but that squishy belly was far from the one I’d had just a week prior that was bursting with life. The belly never bothered me. The loneliness did. Some people will say that having a baby is like having a piece of your heart outside your body. Not for me. I never really notice my heart. For me it felt more like a limb was missing, like I had forgotten to put on clothes, or that feeling when you can’t find your wallet. I was exposed and vulnerable. Watching that belly fade was like losing a memory. Maybe that’s why nature wants us to keep our young close, why they so perfectly curve into us when we hold them, why we feel like something is off when they aren’t around. Just maybe it’s so that at least a little bit of that memory remains.” Advertisement
Here she is again, 22 days postpartum:
“I WANT you to know I had a baby. I want you to know how hard my body worked. I want you to stop feeding into society’s rules as to what a ‘mom bod’ is.” Advertisement
This new mom shared a photo of what getting ready to go out looks like after having a baby.
“Real life is messy and not social media perfection and THAT’S OKAY. Also, can we talk about how cute my 6-week postpartum tummy is? There was a baby in there, and I’m squishy and I love it.”
It is cute! You should love it! Advertisement
New mom Remi wanted to clear up some common misconceptions:
“LOTS of mothers wear permanent marks from pregnancy and childbirth and it is a MISCONCEPTION that you can get rid of these marks through diet or exercise. You cannot starve your way to the taut skin. Nor can you exercise away indented scars. (Yes you can work towards getting your stomach as flat as possible if that’s what you want, but these unrealistic expectations can be so harmful.)
It’s OK to bear the marks of your pregnancy and birth proudly. The same as it’s OK to feel a little bit upset and as a stranger in your new body too, it’s human, and learning to accept and love yourself as you are is a process- it’s OK if you’re not quite there yet.”
Thank goodness for all these moms who aren’t afraid to get raw and real about what having a baby really entails!
Share this with a mom you think is a total superstar! Advertisement