New mom shares raw photo to detail her postpartum struggles

A new mom recently posted an intimate photo of her postpartum body -- and her inspiring caption is going viral.

Changes -- both physical and mental -- before, during and after pregnancy are to be expected. While these changes are normal, their impacts can be quite difficult...especially if there are complications. No one expects those.

Ruth Lee is a 25-year-old beauty blogger and new mom. With over 30,000 followers, fans tune in daily to her beauty reviews and lifestyle posts, where she writes about her experiences as a young mom.

Recently, she posted a raw photo of her stomach that details her postpartum struggles. While Lee educated and prepared herself for a vaginal delivery, there were complications. She was in terrible pain during her 19 hour labor and was forced to have a C-section.

"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," she wrote on Instagram.

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

Along with the scars, stitches and stretch marks, Lee soon learned she had postpartum depression. These physical and emotional changes came as a complete shock to her.

She wrote:

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.

Her words come serve as a reminder to many. While Lee talks about her daughter's birth as "the most amazing thing" she's been part of, it's important to "be kind to yourself".

"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," she said.

You can view Lee's full post here.

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Actress Kristen Bell arrives at the People's Choice Awards 2017 in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Musician Lady Gaga performs during the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Grand Palais in Paris, France, November 30, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
Actor Dwayne Johnson poses at the world premiere of Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Moana" as a part of AFI Fest in Hollywood, California, U.S., November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Presenter Sarah Silverman arrives at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Cara Delevingne attends H&M and Cara Delevingne to celebrate the opening of a new location at Westfield World Trade Center at H&M on November 17, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for H&M)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 28: John Hamm attends the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
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Actress Kerry Washington arrives at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Musician Sheryl Crow arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Author J.K. Rowling attends the premiere of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Trevor Noah attends the Paramount Pictures with The Cinema Society & Svedka Host An After Party For 'Office Christmas Party' at Mr. Purple at the Hotel Indigo LES on December 5, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
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