Professional Runner Shares Raw Photos of Post-Baby Body

An Olympic hopeful shared a personal photo of what her body looks like after giving birth. It's real, raw and helps us remember that even Olympians get stretch marks.

Olympic Hopeful Shares Raw Photo of Post-Baby Body stephrothstein/Instagram

You might think an elite athlete would simply snap back into pre-baby shape, flat stomach and all, after giving birth—but Olympic hopeful Stephanie Rothstein Bruce is here to prove that this isn't always the case.

Rothstein Bruce, a professional runner, shared photographs of her belly on her Instagram account. She did it to document the change in her body after having two baby boys—but she ended up inspiring other new mothers who struggle to accept their bodies after baby.

It's important to remember that while we often hear about stubborn baby weight, we rarely hear about the stretch marks, abdominal separation and loose skin that can stick around on even the most physically fit women.

Case in point: Rothstein Bruce, who saw serious changes in the appearance of her midsection after giving birth.

"I was just being real and telling the truth," she told TODAY. "As a professional runner, not a lot of women take time off in their careers to have a baby, because there's a lot of fear about getting back to your pre-baby self. A lot of us have sponsors. We don't have maternity leave. We won't necessarily be getting paid while we're pregnant."

The athlete is doing her best to get back to her pre-baby running times and hopes to qualify to compete in the 2016 Olympic games.

Related: CDC Urges Pregnant Women to Skip the Olympics