Moms draw mixed reaction after sharing postpartum photo

GILBERT, Ariz. (KNXV/CNN) - Many women struggle with body image after giving birth.

Even fewer of them ever talk about it.

So when Bethany Garcia celebrated her postpartum body in a picture with three other mothers, people had a lot to say.

Whether they were messages of hope or hate, the response has been powerful.

"The scariest things to do when checking on social media are sometimes the things that need to be heard the most," Garcia explained.

She and her friends Katie, Meg and Desiree have known each other for years but only just met in real life at a blogging conference last week.

The proud moms wanted to mark the occasion.

"Let's just take a photo since we've done these pictures separately for a year now. Let's take one together," Garcia recalled saying.

That led to the postpartum picture for their social media followers. Their message was one of friendship and love with a caption, “a few of my favorite powerful women on the internet.”

Garcia said despite the "haters and trolls," she and her friends are still standing tall.
Garcia said despite the "haters and trolls," she and her friends are still standing tall. (Source: KNXV/CNN)

"And you can have cellulite you can have stretch marks and you can still be living a healthy lifestyle and society may tell you that that's not beautiful but you are," Garcia said.

The responses have been mixed, just plain mean in some cases.

"Who's going to be the mom to your kids when you die from obesity," one commenter asked Garcia.

Under a barrage of hate, the group of friends doubled down on their celebration of diversity.

"There a few women that've reached out to me and said that because of my photo that they've started on their journey to self-love," Garcia explained.

And now, thousands of women do finding a community to talk openly about an issue usually hidden in the dark.

"When I started that journey about a year and a half ago, I wish I would have had someone to look up to," Garcia said.

Garcia said despite the “haters and trolls,” she and her friends are still standing tall.

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