Kate Middleton has bravely gone through with the royals' traditional Lindo Wing photo shoot after giving birth to all three of her children with Prince William: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. We applaud her for agreeing to do it in the first place (she previously told Giovanna Fletcher it was "slightly terrifying" on Giovanna's podcast, Happy Mum, Happy Baby), but we applaud her more so for not attempting to disguise her post-baby bump.
SEE: 13 royals and their blooming baby bumps
WATCH: Kate Middleton proudly shows off her growing baby bump
In an age where celebrities go to extreme lengths to create the illusion that their bodies snap back to exactly what they looked like pre-pregnancy (they don't, FYI), the Duchess of Cambridge's appearances send an important message that we all need to keep in mind.
READ: Duchess Kate's birth stories of her children George, Charlotte and Louis
Kate Middleton and Prince William with their firstborn, Prince George
With her post-partum bump clearly visible, Kate's photos reinforce the message that it's not natural for a belly that has stretched to accommodate the growth of a baby for nine whole months to snap back to 'flat' the second the umbilical cord is cut. They reinforce the message that there is nothing shameful about a post-baby bump, and that we certainly shouldn't be trying to hide them.
Kate Middleton and Prince William with their second baby, Princess Charlotte
In fact, when Duchess Kate stood alongside the Duke of Cambridge to show off their firstborn, Prince George, she opted for a blue and white polka-dot dress that proudly highlighted her bump, with a belt insert below the bust. She even cupped her swollen stomach. It's this kind of behaviour we need to encourage – just as Kate did, we need to celebrate the amazing achievement that is giving birth, and we need to normalise the post-partum body.
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Kate Middleton and Prince William with their third child, Prince Louis
Giving birth and becoming a mother can be one of the most difficult times of a woman's life, so let's put paid to the pressure to bounce back into our pre-pregnancy bodies, and start recognising the reality.
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