Royals

Duchess Meghan is being urged to ‘skip the pomp’ when Baby Sussex is born

In an open letter published in the New York Times, a mum-of-three has implored Meghan to skip the post-baby photos, as she says it sets unrealistic expectations of how women should appear after just giving birth.

Taking up a full page advert in the New York Times, Chelsea Hirschhorn, has published an open letter, urging Duchess Meghan, to not take part in the traditional post-partum photoshoot outside of the hospital after she gives birth to Baby Sussex.
With Meghan, 37, expecting to give birth to her first child with Prince Harry, 34, any week now, Hirschhorn, a mother-of-three and CEO of parenting company Fridababy, published the "Open Letter to the Royal-Mum-To-Be", where she wrote about the realities of giving birth and how unrealistic the traditional royal postpartum photos were – referring to how both Princess Diana and Duchess Catherine have appeared publicly, posing for photographers just hours after giving birth.
Meghan's sister-in-law, Kate, has previously been criticised by some for setting unrealistic expectations following her public appearances just hours after giving birth to her three children, most recently Prince Louis last year in April.
Some people criticised Duchess Kate for setting unrealistic expectations for how women should look just after giving birth. (Image: Getty)
In October last year British actress Keira Knightley penned a powerful essay called 'The Weaker Sex', where she recalled seeing images of Kate leaving the hospital after the birth of Princess Charlotte in 2015, which was just a day after she had given birth to her own daughter.
"Seven hours after your fight with life and death, seven hours after your body breaks open, and bloody, screaming life comes out. Don't show. Don't tell. Stand there with your girl and be shot by a pack of male photographers," Knightley wrote at the time.
Hirschhorn also refers to this in her letter, writing: "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," the letter continues.
"But us mums 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 Hirschhorn is urging Meghan to skip the "parade" after she gives birth to her first child with Prince Harry. (Image: Getty)
Hirschhorn goes on to question why, despite the fact women are breaking down barriers left and right, it's still taboo to talk about the raw aftermath of what women's bodies go through, before going into graphic detail about the "bleeding and swelling" that will linger.
"And if it's a C-section, there's a whole host of other issues to tend to.
"Either way, women are expected to just thrown on their new mum hat – and while some of us have the chicest milliner on speed dial, I promise you still won't feel like yourself."
The letter urges Meghan to use the stage to do her part for all women who are about to embark on their first "fourth trimester" and to "skip the pomp and circumstance of the baby parade."
"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," the letter concludes.
"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," Hirschhorn writes. (Image: Getty)
Talking to Adweek, Hirshhorn says she wanted to encourage Meghan to use this moment to shine the light on what really happens and the physical recovery women go through after they give birth, along with the hope to help change the conversation around post-birth expectations.
"Sure it's possible to have a hair and makeup SWAT team come in and work their magic to conceal the realities of what has happened, but is that really what we want women to be focused on in those first few hours of postpartum?
"Why doesn't she get rolled out in a wheelchair sitting on a throne of ice as the rest of us?"
The birth of Meghan and Harry's baby is thought to be announced via the royal family's official social media accounts with the names they've chosen for their new bundle of joy to be announced a few days later.
With the baby expected any day now, only time will tell whether Meghan will choose to follow tradition or whether she'll follow the requests of Hirschhorn and take a different, more relatable path.