Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

Real Mom Bods

Swimwear was provided by Lidgett. All opinions are our own.

real mom bodsHow do you feel about wearing a swimsuit? Be honest! 

Chances are you don’t love it. Maybe you think your legs are jiggly, your stomach flabby, or your skin is too wrinkled. Whatever the reason, we understand! We’ve all been there, hiding in a dressing room with a pile of swimsuits that don’t fit quite right, desperate to find something we can wear to the pool with our kids.

Why do we compare our seemingly less than perfect bodies to models who are airbrushed and fabulous? The reality is we are real women and our bodies are strong and beautiful, no matter what size we are! 

At Des Moines Moms Blog, we want to celebrate real moms, stretchmarks and all. That’s why we are so excited to partner with Kate Wagner of Lidgett clothing and Haverlee photography to highlight positive body image. We asked our contributors to take a risk and pose in a swimsuit and share why they are proud of their real mom bods. Their photos and responses are inspiring!

This summer, let’s choose to embrace our real mom bods and be confident when we wear a swimsuit

Becky Real Mom BodBecky Goerend • Age 34 • 3 kids

Why are you participating in this campaign?

I am participating in this campaign because we need to see more real bodies in swimwear. When we see ads, it is usually women who aren’t the norm. It makes us doubt our looks, and makes us strive for unrealistic expectations.

What do you love about your body?

I love that my body has taken me through my life journey. It has birthed 3 babies and carried 4. It is strong and capable of so many things. My body allows me to play, dance, and keep up with my kids. It allows me to teach, work out, go for walks, and so much more.

What do you want your kids to know about your mom bod?

I want them to know that their mom’s body is strong and beautiful. The stretch marks, the curves, the strength – all of it, brought them into this world. I want to keep my body healthy so I can continue to be there for them.

Niki real mom bodNiki Smith • Age 33 • 2 kids

Why are you participating in this campaign?

My daughter has been watching me put on makeup and often wants to join in. One day, she put makeup on and looked in the mirror and said, “Do I look pretty?” I said, “You look pretty without makeup!” I am confident in all of my rolls, cellulite and makeup-less face, and I want my daughter to see herself in the same way. I want both of my children to love people for who they are, and not what they look like.

What do you love about your body?

I used to run track and cross country in high school and I miss that strength, but the endurance still lives with me (which came in handy during a 30-hour labor). I love my tattoos, c-section scar, stretch marks, freckles, and everything that makes me unique. When I look at this picture, I love my smile and glow because I think it’s the way my children see me.

What do you want your kids to know about your mom bod?

I lost 50 pounds before I had my second child, in preparation for childbirth and pregnancy. I easily gained it all back and losing it this time around is a lot tougher for me. But, my children don’t pay attention to what size I am. As long as I’m able to play with them, they are happy. I’m happy with whatever body I have ever had, and the giggles from my children don’t change as my body changes.
Shay real mom bod

Shay Sholtes • Age 32 • 3 kids

Why are you participating in this campaign?

To spread the message of embracing our mom bods and loving ourselves through this season of motherhood.

What do you love about your body?

I love that my body is healthy, has carried three healthy babies, and it provides me with the ability to move and be active with my family. Also- on a less serious note- my legs 🙂

What do you want your kids to know about your mom bod?

I saw a quote the other day about how fast life goes by and the moment is NOW to enjoy it. I’d want to let my kids know that this includes loving your body RIGHT NOW and not waiting to get in that suit or take that trip because you aren’t where you want to be physically. Don’t let life pass you by while you are waiting because you will be waiting forever. Life is too short to worry about how you look in a swimsuit or if you have a few extra pounds. Your body is perfect just the way it is!

Brittney real mom bod

Brittney Rutherford • Age 35 • 2 kids

Why are you participating in this campaign?

I went on my honeymoon at the ripe old age of 23. I met a woman who was having a blast – in a string bikini – and didn’t live up to the high beauty standards magazines and media set for us. Meanwhile, I have one picture of myself by the ocean in a bikini. All the other pictures? I was covered up. That’s always stuck with me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten wiser. Beauty “standards” are just that – someone else’s standards. What better way to show that than put myself out there…in a swimsuit with a professional photographer and some amazing women?

What do you love about your body?

My strength, height, shoulders, and freckles. Many of those are things I didn’t always appreciate growing up. Now? I love that I can reach all the things, open all the jars and carry my kids wherever they need me to.

What do you want your kids to know about your mom bod?

I have boys and I want those boys to follow their dad’s lead. He’s never done anything but adore my physical features whether it was in our 20s or when I gained the 50+ pounds with each pregnancy. He’s never, ever made me feel bad about myself. I was also lucky to be raised by parents who never put worth on my physical features. Jump shots, grades and batting average? Absolutely because those were things I could work to improve. I want my boys to never value someone for their physical features because we’re all so much more than that.


Shelly Berkoski • Age 33 • 1 kid

Why are you participating in this campaign?

I love the message, and I truly appreciate the sheer awesomeness of all the women who are part of this campaign! From the talented women of the Des Moines Mom’s Blog who put themselves out there and rocked their mom bods, to the fabulous woman behind the beautiful clothing of Lidgett apparel, to the lovely woman behind the lens of Haverlee Photography. You all rock!

What do you love about your body?

My height. At 6’2”, I am one tall drink of water! And though it has taken me a long time to be proud of my height, I can finally say that I love my height. Growing up, it was always hard to be the one that didn’t fit in. I was bullied, teased, and struggled to find clothes that fit. Now, in my thirties, I have finally completely embraced my long legs, awkward dance moves, and goofy personality!

What do you want your kids to know about your mom bod?

I want my daughter to know that what you think about yourself is your reality. It is important to speak kindly to yourself and embrace what makes you unique. Also, be strong! No matter what that looks like for you, take the time to build your mental and physical strength as you grow up and navigate your beautiful life.

Mercedies Steinkamp • Age 27 • 2 kids

Why are you participating in this campaign?

I want to encourage and empower other moms to feel comfortable in their own skin, and to feel proud of everything their body can do throughout their lifetime.

What do you love about your body?

Our bodies carry our minds, hopes, dreams, and children. My body’s ability to bring my children into the world, allow me to hold them, run with them, read to them, and journey the world beside them is pretty amazing.

What do you want your kids to know about your mom bod?

Stages in life are temporary, sometimes easy, sometimes difficult. My body has gotten me through every stage, no matter how difficult, and has come out stronger every time!

A special thanks to Lidgett for providing the beautiful swimwear and Haverlee Photography for the gorgeous images. 

A word from Kate Wagner

I am so thrilled to partner with Des Moines Moms Blog for this body positive campaign because I want Lidgett to help other women tell their stories and show off their amazing #realmombods. As a mom myself, I know it can be challenging to accept all the changes that babies bring to our bodies, but I am also incredibly grateful for the stretch marks, the looser skin, and the thinner hair that came from the life I was able to make in that same body. So grab your Lidgett swimsuit and join me in celebrating our #realmombods. 

A word from Haverlee

When my friends at Des Moines Moms Blog asked if I’d be interested in collaborating with them on this project, it was a no-brainer. I love when women of all shapes and sizes realize that life is way too short to spend it obsessing over cellulite and tummy pooches. We all have areas we hate or are trying to make peace with. Ultimately, it’s up to us whether those things are going to hold us back or get in the way of having fun with people we love. Media has led us astray and distorted reality for far too long. I love the current wave of women fighting back against society’s “standards”. Our worth and value is so much more than a shape, size, or number on a tag. Hopefully, someday we won’t even have to talk about body positivity. It’ll be silly to even talk about it at all. Let’s move on to the important stuff in life. Like finding an adorable well-fitting swimsuit you can jump in the pool with your kids in.

moms in swimsuits

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