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The 6 stages of proud mom selfies

Claire Zulkey wonders when she'll ever get used to the idea that she has two boys. She is the author of two books for young people, An Off Year and Best Frenemies. She and her filmmaker husband live in Evanston, IL. You can find out more...

We have an empowering selfie for wherever you are on your maternal path

 1. The hand-heart over the belly. This is truly a time to commemorate because not only are you newly pregnant — yay! — you’re also as skinny as you will probably ever be now that you’re pregnant. This is absolutely a moment to capture.

2. The glamour shot pregnant lady. Even if this is not technically how you look, this is the vibe you’re giving — your hands lovingly cradle your full belly; you smile mysteriously; your hair is glossy with hormones and love; you’re glowing. Your friends all say, “OK, you are the cutest pregnant lady ever.” This is the photographic proof.

More: Everyday inspiration: Take a selfie

3. The exhausted-but-beatific new mama. OK, so. You aren’t wearing makeup; you haven’t thought about your hair in days; you are exhausted; your face is possibly dotted with burst capillaries, but it doesn’t matter because you just had a baby. This will be your most-liked photo on Facebook ever, and everyone will comment on how beautiful it is. Not necessarily you, but the photo itself.

4. The maternity leave photo. This is the first photo you allow on social media in which you look kind of bad — you haven’t slept in days; you don’t have time for makeup or showers; this weird double chin has started appearing in all your photos. But there is a cute and/or sleeping baby in the frame, so you are just keeping it 100. Your parent-friends will be like, “Been there! Enjoy it.”

5. The “this is how I look so deal with it” photo. This is the selfie you post when you realize you will probably always look this way, not much better and not much worse, so you do one of two things: You get in a cute retro-style swimsuit and use a fun saturated filter, or you put on a gorgeous flowing cleavage-revealing maxi dress and blow out your hair and take a photo of yourself at a fun party or a hotel rooftop bar.

6. The “my life right now” photo. From here on out, whether it’s your messy house or the awesome view from your Mexico resort patio, all your “selfies” will be the view of where you are sitting, but with a wine glass in the foreground.

More: You won't believe what this adorable husband did when his wife didn't want maternity pics

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