A professional athlete is sharing photos of her stretch mark-covered stomach in a bid to show the real effect pregnancy has on a woman’s body.

Stephanie Rothstein Bruce is a long-distance runner who is active in the racing circuit, representing America.

The 34-year-old fitness fanatic is also mother to two children, aged 2 and 3 years.

She regularly updates her Instagram page with details of her run, as well as offering a look at the sagging skin pregnancy has caused on her tummy.

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“When I look down I see stretch marks that are here to stay, ab muscles that need continued strengthening, legs that are powerful, and feet that are ready to fly!” she wrote.

Stephanie is open about other ways her body has changed too, revealing that even though she can easily run half marathons she still “pees her pants” and suffers other post-partum issues.

“It still looks like a hot mess but the stability and strength is coming back to my core. The big 3: bird dogs, side planks, McGill crunch performed twice a day, every day with extreme precision. It’s boring, monotonous but gets the job done. Stretch marks are here to stay! ” she wrote.

She wrote on her blog – “I can stick 3 fingers in my belly in the space between the left and right sides of my abdominal muscles. It’s the most unnatural natural part of pregnancy and the post partum side effects. They call this diastasis recti and it is the bane of my existence. ”

steph abs mf

She hopes her photos will encourage other women to show off their post baby bodies, rather that being embarrassed by them.

Share your comments below.

Images via Instagram.

  • This is so great to see an athlete being so open and honest. I’m not sure I would be brave enough to do this.


  • Very true and real, thank you.


  • Impressive and raw and honest. What an inspiring woman. Thanks for sharing.


  • Oh so true – and although this problem can be hidden under clothes, it can’t be hidden when competing as this mum does. All I can say is, be proud of your achievements. All of them – your children and your racing.


  • Great to see an athlete and mum sharing her real post pregnancy body.
    I had four finger separation post bubs number two and after wearing a belly band provided by hospital physio and doing light exercise I managed to reduce it to one finger width.
    I’m not a sporting person at all, just walk to and from shops with the pram and my two kids.


  • Nice to see her share. I think many young women might not know the changes pregnancy can bring. Her revelation can potentially help warn them, as well as encourage those existing mums who’ve got similar issues…(I didn’t expect what I got!). Great tip about the McGill crunch. Will be trying that… another article needed on ‘peeing the pants’ though. Have heard that isn’t so good to ignore.


  • Our babies stretch our skin a lot during pregnancy. We can’t expect to get rid of all the stretch marks. We may get rid of a small or large amount of weight and should be thankful for that.


  • Congrats to you, we all should love our bodies no matter what they look like, we are human not robots, well done on your acheivements.


  • Good on her! There’s so many products and companies saying lose your baby belly but if you’re proud of your mum tum why not show it off. I personally struggled with the changes (long story about body image insecurity) My diastasis recti is now down to two fingers! And I’m still learning to be patient with my body


  • Pregnancy definitely changes the look of tummies.


  • This separation in the abdominal wall after pregnancy can be fixed by an operation to bring the split together.


  • Good on her for sharing, I used to be an athlete before having kids and my tummy looks very similar.


  • I would be wearing higher waisted pants to stop dirt getting in the grooves and causing skin irritation. Good on her. At least it doesn’t worry her at all.


  • quite amazing some one so fit.


  • Lke je


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