This Mom's Viral Post Exposes the Insane Difference Between Your First and Third Pregnancy Body | 22 Words

Becoming a parent is an exciting time. Realizing a little person is about to arrive is an opportunity to rejoice in tiny baby clothes, decorate a nursery, and pick out the perfect name. Especially if you're an expectant mom, the fun things to anticipate are innumerable.

But there are also circumstances that present new moms with a bit of a learning curve.

In particular, expectant mothers have to adapt to a quickly changing body. Laura Mazza is a third-time mom whose viral post recently brought attention to this particular struggle and offered a boost to women with bumps everywhere.

Baby news is a fantastic time to celebrate.

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Whether it's a first baby announcement or a fourth, there's something about the news of a cuddly little person on the way that gets everyone excited. If it's a friend who's expecting, planning a baby shower is tons of fun, and if you're the one looking forward to an adorable "mini-me," things like picking out outfits and raiding Pinterest for nursery ideas are the stuff of mama dreams.

The baby books and blogs do a fairly good job of getting us ready.

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After the initial excitement wears off, it's time to get down to business, learning what to expect when the baby arrives. Thankfully, there are countless books, blog posts, and videos on how to feed, diaper, and calm an infant. These resources give new parents a good starting point for what to buy and how to prepare.

Firsthand accounts can are also helpful, at least, most of the time.

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Where books and blogs end, in step some of our most helpful friends and family. Those closest to us who've had babies are often more than happy to give a play-by-play of their pregnancy and birth experiences. Sometimes, these stories are ridiculously helpful and offer insight. Other times? Well, they can be terrifying.

But no matter how much help new moms get, no one can live the baby experience for them.

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A plethora of advice and reading material is always encouraging and can help expectant parents prepare, but those things only go so far. When the buck stops, it's mama's job to eat healthy, get sleep, and deal with a variety of bodily changes that can take even the most ready women by surprise.

Arguably, the most difficult adjustment expectant moms make is accommodating an ever-growing belly.

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All the advice in the world can't prepare an expectant mom for the process of growing her own baby bump. As an infant grows in the womb, so does everything else, and that means adjusting to more body fat, a new bra size, and of course, an expanding belly. Trying to find clothes that fit comfortably around all that can be tricky.

Growing baby bumps aren't a foreign concept to this savvy mom.

Laura Mazza knows all about expanding bellies and the babies that come with them. Her "Mum On the Run" blog and Facebook page are extremely popular among moms, as Mazza shares her own experience of raising a houseful of little ones. Her followers love reading along with someone who's going through the shared joys and struggles of bedtimes and feedings and everything in between.

She recently touched upon pregnancy self-image, and the message really resonated with her readers.

Mazza posted this belly photo collage on Facebook and shared her own struggle with body comfort during pregnancy. The left side shows her first-time baby belly at 14 weeks; and the second shows her at 9 weeks during her third pregnancy. The difference between the two shots is pronounced and hard to miss. Both pictures are beautiful in their own right, but that difference is precisely what Mazza aimed to address.

The pressure to look a certain way is real to many new and experienced moms alike.

What Mazza wanted to show her followers and moms in the same boat is that bodies look different and expand faster with each pregnancy, and that's OK. She says that, initially, having a bump was hard because she thought she needed to live up to some sort of image standard, and that left her feeling mentally drained. Of her first pregnancy, she says, "I was embarrassed at how bloated I looked. I spent time hiding my stomach even though people knew I was pregnant."

Time and experience help with perspective.

Mazza isn't shy about being honest with the initial discomfort surrounding her growing bump. Her anecdotes about reluctantly agreeing with people who told her how hard she would have to work to get her body back in shape struck a chord with new moms and had them nodding along. But Mazza is straightforward when she says she finally conquered that mindset and flipped her perspective around. "I won’t hide my little pouch. It’s growing a baby and I should be proud of it," she wrote.

This time-tested mom has some wisdom that's sorely needed for new expectant moms in the trenches.

Mazza manages to concisely say what many moms who've been there and done that are thinking. A body that has and is carrying a baby currently is a beautiful thing, and measuring it against pre-baby bodies isn't realistic or helpful. She writes, "Bodies change. It’s brought me children, it’s gone through battles, it’s had cancer scares with lumps in my boobs, it’s fought mental illness, it’s wrestled with no sleep and been a home to three kids. Worrying about how big I look surely does it an injustice"

She's all about getting her priorities straight.

Ending her post on a positive note, Mazza encourages moms everywhere to look at what really matters in life and not get hung up on trying to be what we perceive the world wants us to be. "I am a woman, I am a mother. I’m not a perfect size 0, one day I might be but at the end of the day, I’m a perfect mother to my children and future children. I am happy, my children are happy and to me that is all that matters in life" Well said.