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Stop Censoring Motherhood – This Mum Shared A Photo That ‘Horrified’ Her

censoring motherhood

Stop Censoring Motherhood – This Mum Shared A Photo That ‘Horrified’ Her

Everything looks better on Instagram. That’s the entire point of the popular social media platform! To show off enhanced versions of the beauty you see in the world. But one mum has decided to show an uncensored view of motherhood in an attempt to unite women in the reality of post-baby bodies.

Ruth Lee, a 25 year old lifestyle blogger and new mum from Utah, in the US, recently took to Instagram to reveal her struggles with her own body image after the traumatic birth of her daughter, Presley. She shared an image of her tummy that she says horrified her.

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. Some people don’t want kids, and I respect that. Really, I do. But for me, You see, I always have. When it finally happened though, it was so hard to fully comprehend. Pregnancy and babies, I mean that’s common. It’s everywhere. But 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. What brings me to Instagram tonight, is the post-baby. I followed SO many pregnant models during my pregnancy. And 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. I took this picture a few days after I gave birth, when my PPD really first reared its head into my life. I took this and actually was horrified. I couldn’t believe it was me. I’m sharing it 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. And above all, know that if you are struggling, I am here. I have an open inbox or (if you actually know me) an open door. #stopcensoringmotherhood #nofilter

A post shared by Ruth Lee (@baybayruth) on

“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.

Some people don’t want kids, and I respect that. Really, I do.

But for me, You see, I always have.

When it finally happened though, it was so hard to fully comprehend. Pregnancy and babies, I mean that’s common. It’s everywhere. But 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.

What brings me to Instagram tonight, is the post-baby. I followed SO many pregnant models during my pregnancy. And 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.

I took this picture a few days after I gave birth, when my PPD really first reared its head into my life. I took this and actually was horrified. I couldn’t believe it was me. I’m sharing it 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. And above all, know that if you are struggling, I am here.

I have an open inbox or (if you actually know me) an open door.

#stopcensoringmotherhood #nofilter”

The young mum’s powerful image has generated a lot of supportive comments from her followers, thanking her for her honesty and courage in sharing the image.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Ruth explained that she decided to post her photo after scrolling through Instagram one night and feeling bombarded with images of “perfect” women. “I ended up on my bathroom floor, crying. I felt that because my body didn’t look like theirs, somehow maybe my worth was less,” she said.

“I knew that there had to be other women out there like me and that social media needed more authentic pictures,” she said. “That perhaps if other women, who may be struggling with their bodies, saw this, they would realize that they are not alone. And that is empowering.”

Many women do have these feelings of inadequacy after looking at social media and comparing other people’s lifestyles with their own. We are comparing our own ‘behind the scenes footage’ with other people’s carefully edited and highly polished final product. This is something we need to try and remember when idly scrolling through Instagram, subconsciously absorbing beautiful falsehoods about the lives of others. One pretty moment in time doesn’t reflect an entire life well lived.

ruth lee
Ruth and baby daughter Presley

The 25 year old described the same emotions that many of us C-section mums go through after the births of our children – feelings of failure and guilt.

“Initially, my scar represented failure in my mind, that my body was unable to birth my baby like it was ‘supposed’ to,” she told HuffPost.

“Although it didn’t go ‘according to plan,’ my scar represents the best day of my life ― the day I became a mother,” she said. “It represents over 19 hours of labor, it represents strength I never knew I possessed, it represents pain that I endured for the sake of my baby, it represents that moment that they held up my beautiful 8-pound 9-ounce girl for the first time, and we got to stare into each other’s eyes.”

Ultimately, Ruth hopes her post inspires new mums to be kind to themselves after having a baby, and to appreciate what their bodies have gone through.

“Our bodies are not ruined after pregnancy. We need to stop letting social media contort our views on what is ‘beautiful.’ Motherhood is beautiful. Scars are beautiful. Stretch marks. Imperfection. Loose skin.”

“I hope to, for a second, unite mothers and real women and share a little honesty.”

 

Images: Instagram

Jill Slater

Jill Slater

Jill is a busy wife and mother of four young children. She loves nothing more than making people giggle, and loves to settle in with a glass of wine (or four) and wander about the internet. Feel free to follow her to see all the cool stuff she finds!

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