(Instagram / Baybayruth)

Ruth Lee (you might know her as @baybayruth on Instagram) is a popular IG influencer with over twenty-thousand followers. She’s into fitness and fashion and now, above all else, her family. She maintained a relatively slim figure throughout her pregnancy (as you can tell by her many selfies), but after giving birth, realized just how much ones’ body can change. That’s what prompted her to share a raw and close-up view of her postpartum belly along with a call to #stopcensoringmotherhood:

“I’m posting this tonight with tears in my eyes…The pregnancy and birth of my little girl was the most amazing thing I’ve ever been a part of,” starts her post.

Instagram / @baybayruth

Instagram / @baybayruth

She goes on to explain how much giving birth feels like a personal miracle (she’s totally right), and then gets real about what pregnancy and postpartum life are really like.

“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!'” Her words resonate with many of us who also hoped to have an easy birth with little-to-no long-term changes to our bodies. Then, Ruth shares her story:

“I stayed active during my pregnancy…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.”

She continued, “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….Be kind to yourself. And know that you are not alone…Don’t let social media taint your view of what is beautiful, what is REAL.”

Like many moms out there, Ruth recognizes how hard it is to be a mom. And not only a mom, but a mom in an era where you’re often bombarded with messages of what your body should look like, and how your labor and birth should go. But these standards of perfection are completely false, and most moms do end up with stretch marks or extra weight or scars (physical and mental).

Instagram / @baybayruth

Instagram / @baybayruth

Thank you, Ruth, for helping fight against the stigma of postpartum bodies and getting real with your viewers.