Kate Middleton isn't to blame for our unrealistic postpartum expectations.

Don’t Blame The Duchess: On Kate Middleton + Unrealistic Postpartum Expectations

There’s been much ado about the arrival of the latest royal bub. In particular, the chatter that Kate Middleton’s postpartum perfection upon leaving the hospital sets an unrealistic expectation for new moms. 

Well, my goodness, people! Do you compare yourselves to Kate Middleton in any other aspect of life? And if the answer is yes, then I must kindly ask you to CUT THAT SHIT OUT.  

She’s the g.d. Duchess of Cambridge and if you expected anything less than a proper show, you definitely don’t follow the royals. Zero about the Royal Family reflects real life.

All of the side-by-side comparison photos with us serf mamas are hilarious, but OF COURSE NONE OF US LOOKS LIKE KATE. Though let’s not get carried away: In the moments immediately before and after wee Louis arrived, you can bet your pence she looked just like all of us.

And let’s also not suggest that our peasant postpartum image isn’t stunning AF – messy, raw and mindblowingly beautiful. That, my friends, is in the eye of the beholder. Always.

So, how about we lift each other up, Kate included?

If you feel like getting dolled up before you leave the hospital after giving birth, do it. And turn down the volume on anyone who has anything to say about it. And if you can’t imagine doing such a thing, perfect! Don’t ruminate on it for a bloody second, Mama.

And how about THIS: Let’s not have any expectations AT ALL about what a woman should look like after giving birth, because it doesn’t serve any of us one bit.

Personally, I find the images of Kate glammed and grinning extremely powerful. Don’t kid yourself for a second and think that it was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. (More like a watermelon, actually.)

We know what she just accomplished. And whether she had a team of 100 midwives or not, she did the incredible, fucking hard work of giving birth to a new human being, as all mothers do.

Six weeks postpartum, we’re meant to be shagging our partners and signing up for pram-pushing boot camp, yet our healthcare system doesn’t provide pelvic floor examinations and medical professionals tend to not listen closely enough to really know how (or if) a new mother is coping.

It seems we value being able to squeeze into our pre-pregnancy jeans more than our ability to grow and birth tiny humans in the first place.  

So if you want to talk unrealistic standards for women, scroll through your social media feeds, flip through a magazine, watch television, see adverts in nearly every industry, but please, please don’t put that shit on The Duchess. She just gave birth, for goddess sake.

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About the Author

Lindsay Forsey

Lindsay is the founder of Tenth Moon Mother Care, a mom of two and a postpartum wellness activist. When she's not busy bundling up Tenth Moon care packages for new mamas, you might spot her on TV talking about the fourth trimester, blogging about maternal health or perfecting her "padsicle" recipe.

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