Meghan Markle is only a few weeks away from giving birth to her first child, and experience the realities of postpartum for the first time.
Royal fans are expecting the Duchess of Sussex to pose for a picture after the birth, alongside her bundle of joy and husband Harry – just like Princess Diana and Kate did – but she’s being urged to do the opposite.
Chelsea Hirschhorn, who’s the CEO of parenting Fridababy and a mother-of-three herself, published an ad on The New York Times aimed directly at Meghan, asking her to skip the royal tradition.
The ad read: ‘Dear Royal Mom-To-Be, You will soon give birth to one of the most anticipated babies in the world and I assume that, like your princess predecessors, you’ll be expected to parade outside of the hospital in front of throngs of photographers to show off your new bundle of joy shortly after giving birth.
‘You’ll smile, you’ll wave, you’ll be radiant, but between your legs will be a whole different story.
‘Sure your blowout will be perfect for your hospital step photo-op, but people will be opining on all the wrong things – like how soon you will fit into your pre-baby wardrobe – instead of having an honest conversation about what women go through during birth and immediately thereafter.
‘But us moms will know that while you wave from that step you’ll be one pair of mesh underwear away from your first post-baby poop (brace yourself)!’
Chelsea continued to say in her letter than Meghan should take a stand after giving birth to show the world what the ‘fourth trimester’ is really like after you give birth.
‘Spoiler alert: bringing a new life into the world starts with your vagina, and the aftermath is a mess. The bleeding and swelling will linger, peeing will burn, and sitting like your old self will feel like a herculean feat’, she wrote.
‘So when the “big reveal” day arrives but you’re feeling like all the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put your vagina back together again – use this stage to do your part for all women who are about to embark on their first “fourth trimester”. Skip the pomp and circumstance of the baby parade.
‘Let the headlines instead read: “Prince Brings Royal Baby Out Because Mom Is In Bed Sitting on a Pack of Ice.”
In the case Meghan still finds herself saying yes to the photo opp, Chelsea requested that she pulls a stunt in the name of all new mums.
‘And if you really can’t skip it, then at the very least flash us a glimpse of the mesh underwear underneath to keep it real. They’ll just blame it on a gust of wind, but with your help we’ll have made some real progress.
‘We’ll be rooting for you on your path to recovery and hope you take all the time you need – because raising a human requires feeling like a human. Trust us, your vagina (and baby) will thank you.’
It’s not the first time the royal post-baby pic tradition has been under fire. Last October, actress Keira Knightly accused Kate Middleton of hiding the reality of childbirth.
This time the request has been met with mixed reaction – while some women have expressed on social media that it’s quite a lot of pressure to put on the Duchess, others have agreed that this is an important conversation to have.
One said: ‘Would respect her so much more if she actually listened to you! Skip the spectacle or show us the mesh! 😂🙌🏼’.
While another wrote: ‘I appreciate the discussion you are trying to spark here. My problem with the ad is that you put Meghan Markle, a woman of color who is already facing bullying and racism, between a rock and a hard place. She may want to take photos with her baby. She may not. She may not have a choice because of who she is. But now, on top of all that pressure, she’s got the additional factor of your bold “demand” to contend with.’
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