07/11/2013 05:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Kerri Walsh Jennings Poses Nude For ESPN Body Issue 2013 Before And After Giving Birth (PHOTOS)

Kerri Walsh Jennings said she was terrified to pose nude for ESPN The Magazine's 5th annual Body Issue, in which she is pictured in the buff, both during and after her pregnancy. However, the mother of three and beach volleyball champion had nothing to be nervous about.

Take a look at her gorgeous photos from the shoot:

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kerri walsh jennings

"This was very fun and a bit scary," Jennings wrote on her Facebook page Tuesday of the revealing experience.

In an interview with ESPN earlier this month, the 6-foot-2-inch three-time Olympic gold medalist admitted that the post-baby photo shoot had been especially nerve-wracking.

"For the first shoot, I was very pregnant, and that wasn't as scary. I thought it would be, because I was big and rotund when I'm usually the opposite, but it was really comfortable because I felt almost like I was in costume," she said. "But for the second, I was two and a half months out from having a baby. I'm supposed to be tight and toned and strong, but I have a lot more work to do."

Jennings, who had been pregnant when she won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics and is already back on the beach in preparation for the Rio Games in 2016, had previously called the post-baby shoot "one of the scariest things" she'd ever done.

Since the beautiful photos have emerged, many women have stepped forward to laud Jennings for her bravery, with some calling her an "inspiration." Jennings says she is amazed at the outpouring of encouragement.

"I am so happy and relieved that people are receiving my pictures so warmly," she told People. "I didn't realize how vulnerable I'd feel upon the release of the photos. ... I am happy and I am proud."

Despite her nervousness about her nude photographs, Jennings says her pregnancy has made her more respectful of her body.

She told told ESPN that giving birth makes her feel like "Wonder Woman" and went on to explain that "[e]verything else seems minor compared to the soul-shaking thing that is labor. ... I respect my body more than I have in my life. It's not perfect, but I can't tell you how proud I am of my body."

The ESPN Body Issue 2013 is due to hit stands Friday.



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