Ruth Lee has shared photos of her body days after giving birth to inspire other new mums to accept theirs
It is a sad fact of reality that women are still being body shamed left right and centre over the smallest things.
But it's even worse when they're body shamed - after giving birth.
It should be no surprise that we're never feeling our best after pushing a human being out of ourselves, but do we really need reminding that we may not look it either?
No, we don't.
Blogger Ruth Lee with her baby daughter Presley (Credit: Instagram/ Ruth Lee)
One particular new mum was not happy with how women's bodies are targeted days after giving birth, and has used her Instagram profile to make a stand.
Ruth Lee, who gave birth to her daughter Presley in November 2016, has shared these powerful pics on her profile in the hope that it will encourage other new mums to celebrate their own bodies.
In two Instagram posts, she described how even though she was "healthy, young, had stayed active and read every book under the sun to study natural childbirth", she unfortunately had a very traumatic pregnancy which ended in "a traumatic labor, caesarean section, and unfortunately the inability to breastfeed long term."
Ruth shared a photo of her tummy, taken only a few days after giving birth (Credit: Instagram/ Ruth Lee)
In the first photo, Ruth shared a photo of her tummy a few days after giving birth to Presley when, she writes, she was suffering from postnatal depression.
Stretch marks can be seen, as well as a very painful-looking scar covered up by tape.
Ruth wrote alongside the photo: "I'm posting this tonight with tears in my eyes. I can't help it. The pregnancy and birth of my little girl was the most amazing thing I've ever been a part of."
Baby Presley was born in November last year (Credit: Instagram/ Ruth Lee)
She continued, saying that she'd "always" wanted children: "When it finally happened though, it was so hard to fully comprehend. When it's YOUR body and YOUR baby, it's so different. You literally feel like it's a miracle. Because, when it happens to you, it is."
Ruth described how she had followed "so many pregnant models" on Instagram during her pregnancy: "When they photographed themselves pool-side 5 minutes postpartum, I thought, 'wow! I hope that happens to me!'
"I was 25 when I gave birth. I was healthy. I was young. I stayed active during my pregnancy. I took the best prenatals, went to the gym, used every kind of stretch mark prevention you could think of. I took hours of birthing classes, read every book under the sun, and studied natural childbirth my whole pregnancy.
"I STILL ended up with a traumatic labor, cesarean section, scars, stretch marks, and unfortunately the inability to breastfeed long term."
Presley was born via caesarean after a "traumatic" labour (Credit: Instagram/ Ruth Lee)
The American blogger went on: "I'm sharing this photo because I know in my heart that there are people out there that struggle with inadequacy. That might think they are not beautiful, that they might be ruined, less worthy, or not good enough.
"Yours might not actually be physical scars, but maybe, a failed relationship, a difficulty in your career, a mental struggle, money issues, or just feeling lost in life. Be kind to yourself. And know that you are not alone. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don't let social media taint your view of what is beautiful, what is REAL."
Ruth was immediately flooded with comments praising her for being brave enough to share the photo, many of whom were mothers themselves. One fan wrote: "Six days postpartum I was at a family BBQ and a guest gesturing to my enlarged uterus belly says 'You gonna lose that weight now?'. Thanks Asshole. At this point my episiotomy had split open and I felt disgustingly jiggly and exhausted. So thank you for being so brave by posting this."
Another commented: "Everything about this post is beautiful," whilst another wrote: "It's nice to see pregnancy and motherhood for what it really is like for us mothers. You go mama! We have to embrace this. Thank you for sharing your story because it is very comforting."
Ruth shared this photo of her holding her baby for the first time after giving birth (Credit: Instagram/ Ruth Lee)
She also shared a second image a few days later of herself holding her baby for the first time after giving birth. She wrote: "That moment when you finally get to hold your baby. Postpartum is an insane journey, and I never truly understood how difficult it is until I went through it. But, on my hardest days, when I am struggling or I feel down on myself, I like to remember the day my daughter was born.
"And I need to remember how strong I am! What I went through! And that moment when I fell in love with a 8 lb 9 oz tiny human.
"Mommas, you are tough. You are empowered! Our bodies, our minds, our perspectives will never be quite the same. But, our littles are our reason. And they are worth it!"
Ruth has also shared this before and after photo in the past to encourage mums to accept their bodies (Credit: Instagram/ Ruth Lee)
But these two posts were not the first time Ruth had taken to Instagram to share body-positive messages. She also shared a photo two months ago of herself two days after giving birth next to a more recent one. She wrote that people might think she was "crazy" to share the photos, but she made her husband Dakota take the photo "because it was real."
She added: "I felt victorious. I was probably in my weakest condition ever ever ever, yet I felt so strong.
"I am so sick of people acting like stretch marks don't happen. It's so rare to see evidence that stretch marks exist. It's so rare, in fact, that we are forced to view them as ugly or uncommon.
"Let's change that. I find them so bad ass and beautiful. Pregnancy and motherhood are no joke. We earned these. I'm grateful, so so so grateful for this body of mine, saggy skin and stretchmarks included. I can't wait for Presley to get older and for me to show those stripes off to her, and tell her that I have them from growing her beautiful little soul inside me. I LOVE MY MOM BOD!"
We hope that Ruth can inspire us all to love our bods, whatever shape and size they may be.
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