Janene Crossley, from the US, who blogs at Hello Ivory Rose, said her daughter grabbed her belly, squeezed it and said: “It feels like bubble gum”.
And seeing as she managed to get the moment captured on camera, Crossley decided to post the “unflattering, open-mouthed” photo instead of a “prettier” one to start a conversation about how amazing women’s bodies are.
“This belly of mine will forever share my story,” she wrote on the photo.
“It’s a novel that pleaded and prayed to house my babies. The fresh, crepe-paper skin means that tiny Avery is nestled in my arm instead of on the inside.”
Crossley continued: “My sore chest means that I’m still single-handedly growing this baby.
“What a straight up miracle this is. I’m feeling 100% proud of this postpartum body, with its jelly abs and shrivelled up skin. It made me a mother.
“A mother who now has cellulite because that’s just how my body handled pregnancy. This was my road to motherhood.
“And yeah, I’ll make these girls re-enact this childhood photo when they’re grown with bubblegum bellies of their own.”
The photo has had more than 74,000 likes and thousands of comments from mums for praising mothers’ bodies.
“Thank you so much for this,” one person wrote. “It brings everything about postpartum body issues into perspective.”
Another commented: “This picture is pure beauty. My daughter told me my belly felt like jello, I just love her and want her to love herself, and when my son grows up I want him to show love, appreciation, awe and respect to the mother of his children. Thank you for showing that postpartum bodies all vary yet are all beautiful.”
And another mum wrote: “This is so cute. My six-year-old taps and squishes my belly and says: ‘It’s soo squishy mummy’.”
Speaking to HuffPost UK, Crossley said: “I’ve been floored by the positive response. It definitely encouraged me to continue being vulnerable and open about real postpartum life after seeing so many others appreciate my perspective.
“I wanted my followers to see a real body that had just given birth to multiple children. We don’t see enough of that plastered on the front page of magazines. What we see is a lot of advertisement to ‘repair the damage’ from birthing our babies. I wanted to share the beauty and blessing I now view my body as. I wanted other women to feel inspired to love the new skin that made them mothers.”
Crossley previously posted body-positive photos on Instagram after giving birth to her fourth child.
“Lots of squish and jiggle going on between the two of us,” she captioned the photo below.