This mom's raw postpartum photo makes a really powerful statement—and you'll love the way she reached out to other moms to let them know they're not alone.

By Zara Husaini Hanawalt

Ruth Lee is tired of the censored photos of motherhood that exist everywhere we look—that's why the new mother chose to share a raw, up-close photo of her postpartum belly, despite the fact that the photo "horrified" her. 

After welcoming her daughter into the world about 15 weeks before, Lee posted the photo on her Instagram page in February 2017, where it has been "liked" over 5,000 times. We can't say we're surprised.

After all, the mama got real in a way so few women ever dare to: She gave the world a clear shot of her stretch marks and her healing C-section scar. She posted about how her natural birth plan failed, shared that she can't breastfeed long term and divulged that postpartum depression had reared its ugly head into her life.

"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," the blogger wrote. "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."

Lee's statement isn't just revealing, it's also relevant. It's so easy to look at the perfectly composed images of pregnancy and early motherhood and think that that's what's real—and that all the other mamas out there have their act together while you're still struggling. But here's the thing: They're often not. We have nothing but love for Lee and the other young mamas out there who are willing to share what it really looks like. 

"Be kind to yourself," Lee wrote. "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."

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