Postpartum depression: this picture should be encouraging

Ruth Lee suffered from postpartum depression and severe body image disorders after a traumatic birth experience. And did something that not only helped her but also opened the eyes of many other mothers around the world!

After the birth of her first daughter Presley in November 2016, Ruth Lee was far from exuberant feelings of happiness or pure motherhood. On the contrary, because after a traumatic delivery, she suffered from postpartum depression and severe body image disorders. And for these reasons, she decided to take an incredibly bold step: she posted a picture of her stomach on Instagram. The deep caesarean section scar, torn tissue, stretch marks – everything was now visible to the whole world, nothing was embellished.

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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

"The pregnancy and the birth of my little girl were probably the most unbelievable and breathtaking events that I was allowed to take part in," wrote Ruth under the picture and added that she always wanted to be a mother. "When it really happened, it was incredibly difficult to understand. Pregnancy and babies, these issues are perfectly normal. And everywhere. But when it's YOUR body and YOUR baby, everything suddenly changes and nothing is comparable. You really feel yourself as if everything were a miracle. And yes, it is. "

Ruth Lee lives with her husband and the now 5 month old Presley in St. George, Utah, and has not regretted her posting for a single second. She wants to encourage other women who feel the same way and show the whole world that motherly love, care and the "greatest happiness on earth" are not always a matter of course. Sometimes you have to wait – and fight. A fight that is more than worth it. <3

source: Ruth Lee on Instagram

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Franziska Grimm