We live in a world where unrealistic images of postpartum women dominate the media. The most recent example of this are the pictures of a seemingly flawless Kate Middleton outside the Lindo Wing in London mere hours after giving birth to her third child, Prince Louis.

They prompted outrage around the world, with mothers pointing out how unrealistic they were. Unlike the majority of women who’ve just given birth, the Duchess had a stylist, makeup artist and hairdresser on hand to make sure that she was picture perfect for the cameras.

To discover what she would have been going through beneath the facade, check out the video below: 

While there is no denying that women’s bodies are amazing, giving birth to a human takes its toll. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a stomach that bounces back into its pre-pregnancy state in weeks, your body will inevitably be affected in one way or another by the experience.

To shed light on the reality of postpartum bodies, women are now sharing brutally honest images of themselves after giving birth.

1. Having a child takes its toll on your body and emotions

“My body feels broken… Everything hurts… I don’t feel like I’m bonding as easily this time around… Today has gone to shit.”

2. Baby bumps don’t just disappear

Luckily, this woman’s bump is helping her cradle her newborn.

3. Women can embrace the changes their bodies undergo

“Well, I know a lot of you guys are probably thinking ‘Why would she post this picture?’, but, it took me 18 months to get here, 18 months to not cry when I look in the mirror, 18 months to finally feel beautiful in my own skin again! No one warns you about the dark sides of motherhood and pregnancy… No one gives you a heads up on how much you change physically and mentally after you become a mother. It’s been a long and hard postpartum ride for me… Eighteen months after my first son and five months after my second son I feel like I can finally see the light.”

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