A mum has shared a very real look at what a postpartum body looks like, and it’s far from what we are used to seeing on social media.
Mum Ruth Lee hopes her story helps anyone else struggling with body image after birth.
“I'm posting this tonight with tears in my eyes. I can't help it," she begins her post. "What brings me to Instagram tonight, is the post-baby."
While Lee's pregnancy and the birth of her daughter “was the most amazing thing” she’s been a part of, she says her post-baby body “horrified” her.
“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, she said.
Despite this, things didn't turn out how she had planned - or like what she had seen on social media.
“I STILL ended up with a traumatic labour, caesarian section, scars, stretch marks, and unfortunately the inability to breastfeed long term," Lee said.
The picture above was taken a few days after Lee gave birth and at the time, she said she couldn't believe it was her. Now she is sharing her story to remind others not to compare themselves.
“I'm sharing it because I know in my heart that there are people out there that struggle with inadequacy," she said. "That might think they are not beautiful, that they might be ruined, less worthy, or not good enough.
“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.”
This article originally appeared on Practicalparenting.com.au.