Ruth Lee (@baybayruth) is a 25 year old fitness and beauty blogger .With an online following of over 23,000 on Instagram. She is also figuring out motherhood since the birth of her first child in November 2016. Her Instagram is filled with super sweet pictures of the two of them together.
On Instagram we often see pictures of fitness bloggers who have just given birth with perfectly tight stomachs and not a single stretch mark in sight, while a few of us may be so lucky as to go through pregnancy without a stretch mark in sight for the general majority stretch marks are just a part of life.
So earlier this week Ruth took to Instagram to dismiss some common misconceptions that we have about pregnancy and show a more honest and raw side than what we normally are shown.
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
In the post Ruth speaks candidly about her labour and how she had an emergency C-section after what she described as a ‘traumatic labour’. She also speaks about her struggle with PPD (Post Partum Depression) and her disappointment that her body had not bounced back the way that she assumed it would by looking at other fitness/motherhood bloggers.
You guys must be thinking I'm crazy to post these, ammmmmiright? Society will look at the first picture (2 days Postpartum) and be offended. Cankles. Messy hair. No make up. A DIAPER, for goodness sake. (We ogle and thrive off of the images of women looking like beautiful unicorn fairy models after birthing humans. 🙄 whyyyyyy.) Not my usual look. But guess what? I made my husband take that picture because it was REAL. I felt victorious. I was probably in my weakest condition ever ever ever, yet I felt so strong. Society will look at the second picture (8 weeks Postpartum) and be offended. Omg stretch marks are you serious?! How embarrassing. 😑 (zoom in, I dare you!) I am so sick of people acting like stretch marks don't happen. Yes, some of you amazing ladies have been kissed by the angel of luck and managed to birth a watermelon without so much as a whisper of an imperfection, but I am not one of you. And most women aren't. Yet, 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. (& tell her that I have them from growing her beautiful little soul inside me.) 🐯🐯🐯🐯🐯 I LOVE MY MOM BOD! #takingbackpostpartum #8weekspostpartum #fourthtrimester #babymomma #tigerstripes
Everything we see on Instagram is not always how it seems, and we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to other women because everyone is different. There is no right or wrong way to look after giving birth and there is no shame in struggling to get back into shape.
In a post Ruth says, “I have stretch marks that I like more and more each day. As weird as that may sound, to me , they remind me of how strong I really am.”
So don’t be afraid to rock that ‘mum bod’ and be proud of your body and kind to yourself.